In this chapter, Anna Sheather explains the background to how and why she came to create her approach of coaching with art, setting out the context of the book and summarising her research.

Anna Sheather explains that coaching with art deepens and enriches coaching conversations, moving clients beyond words to a much deeper level of awareness, understanding and personal meaning which can lead to transformational shifts. Anna Sheather explains that you do not need to be an artist to work in this way and that here art is any image that a client creates that has personal meaning to them. It is about self-expression and working intuitively, creating an image without censorship and judgement.

The book is outlined, explaining that it is essentially in two parts, with case studies used throughout to support the research and demonstrate the practical guides. The first part shares and explains the four main avenues of research that have shaped and underpin Anna Sheather’s approach to coaching with art and how these, together with the case studies and working with coaches in her workshops, have deepened her understanding, re-inforced the benefits and demonstrated clearly how coaches need to hold an art-based coaching space. The second part of the book is the ‘how-to’ part, providing an in-depth practical guide, fully supported with examples and case studies.