The Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) is run by a team of people who are passionate about making a positive difference in the world. Each team member joins us with a love of learning and motivation to share and further develop the field of Positive Psychology in relation to Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Research, and Education. The team is based in the UK and are available to connect globally.
Reece Coker / President
Reece is the founder of PPG. A fellow at the Institute of Leadership and Management, and Royal Society of Public Health, he is an experienced trainer, psychologist, and sector expert within the subjects of Positive Psychology, Motivation, Organisational Development & Culture, Neurodiversity & Inclusion, and Business Management. A senior manager within the corporate commercial and not-for-profit sectors, Reece is passionate about learning and development at all levels. He completed his Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at Bucks New University in 2016, where his research focused on hope and fear, and is currently completing a PhD in Education and Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University with a focus on courage, anxiety, and autism. He leads and lectures on the Positive Psychology and Autism Awareness in Practice Programmes. He is an autistic individual who is a passionate advocate for autism and strengths-based approaches. Reece leads PPG's Autism Centre and is keen to work with stakeholders within the areas of employment, mental health and wellbeing, and neurodiversity and inclusion. He is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, where he is a subject matter expert in the fields of qualitative research, autism, and neurodiversity (theory and practice).
Sarah Lee / Executive Assistant
Sarah’s role at the Guild is as assistant to our founder, Reece Coker. Her working background is in administration and coordination and she has worked within many sectors including publishing and property. She is mum to a young autistic son. In her spare time, Sarah loves to meet up with family, go walking in the local countryside and she enjoys gardening and sewing. Art and crafts have been a lifelong interest and she has recently enjoyed helping to provide art based activities for young children. Sarah has a keen interest in wellbeing and personal development and is looking forward to beginning the PPG Level 5 Autism Awareness diploma.
Claire Higgins / Chief Operating Officer
Claire is a Positive Psychology Practitioner & Researcher with a special interest in performing under pressure and the concept of flow. Alongside Operations, she directs PPG's Education function where she runs the Positive Psychology Academy and Positive Psychology Centre initiatives on Violence & Post Traumatic Growth and Somatics & Kinaesthetics. As a humanitarian professional, she worked for 16 years with various branches of the United Nations, International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement, and governments across the Middle East on armed conflict, protection, prison reform, operational support to refugee health and education, and advised on media/communications. She holds an MSc (Science) in Exercise & Sport Psychology (MMU), MSc (Social Sciences - Political Economy) in Violence, Conflict & Development (SOAS), and a BA (Hons) in Arabic & Persian (SOAS). Outside of PPG, Claire runs Inner Athletics where she is currently researching motivation to practice a form of movement over time, and the psychophysiology of fear and impact on motor control. Her past research has explored character and motivation to teach martial arts and/or self-defence. She has also run an executive coaching practice for the non-profit and government sectors where she coached and facilitated strategic processes and events.
Sarah Monk / Senior Membership Officer
Sarah is a Chartered Psychologist, Positive Psychology Practitioner, Coach and meditation and mindfulness teacher. She is also a part time associate lecturer on the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology in Coaching programmes at Bucks New University and a regular blog team member at The Positive Psychology People. Sarah has a degree in psychology from Southampton University and an MSc in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and started her career as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS working in both adult mental health and physical disabilities specialties. Her career in Clinical Psychology was interrupted 25 years ago when she burnt out and developed ME/CFS. She has learned to live well with an ongoing illness, Positive Psychology has been an important part of that journey and the well-being of people who work in healthcare is a keen interest. Sarah refocused as a Positive Psychology Coach, completing the MAPP in 2019. She has special interests in mindfulness, meditation, compassion, people with chronic health conditions and applying PP in groups with disabilities. Sarah’s role in the Guild involves helping develop the professional services to members including the communities of practice, peer exchange and practitioner member annual review process.
Richard Gray / Senior Education Officer
Richard has worked in education for over 30 years as a teacher, writer and examiner. After completing a BA in Biblical Studies, Richard’s MA, funded by The British Academy, focused on Indian religions and explored aspects of both Hindu and Buddhist religious thought. He also completed a research Fellowship, funded by The University of Oxford, into the implications of reader-response theory for religious literature and hermeneutics. This led Richard towards an interest in how we view ourselves and the world around us and towards an interest in psychology. Richard’s research interests in Positive Psychology are centred around the holistic nature of a person and the syncretism of Psychology, Philosophy and Theology within Positive Psychology. He is an integral member of the Positive Psychology Academy team and oversees all assessment and accreditation processes for the Guild, bringing with him over 25 years of assessment experience working for different Awarding Bodies in a variety of roles at GCE A Level. He is also currently Chair of Examiners, the Principal Examiner for Standards for one Awarding Body, and an author of various books on religion, philosophy and ethics.
Hannah Booth / Education Officer
Hannah has recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University completing her BA (Hons) degree in Education with Psychology & Counselling. Her dissertation looked at the transition of autistic individuals from school to university. She has a keen interest in the psychological and counselling side of education with a focus on how students learn and finding ways to help them overcome obstacles they may face. Hannah is continuing her studies with the Guild and is currently completing a Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology. She has a background in administration working with various organisations from promotional gift companies to Government officials. Returning to education as a mature student, she trained as a teaching assistant but wanted to progress further and found herself starting university. As a creative thinker, Hannah tries to think outside the box and looks to solve problems quickly and efficiently. She loves to spend time with her family, walking the Peak District and visiting English and national trust heritage sites. One of her key projects is managing the Positive Psychology Academy.
Ben Holmes / Education Officer
Ben manages the NICE Kitemark Award and is a tutor for the Autism Awareness Diploma course. As a qualified Autism Awareness Practitioner, he is the founder of an autism and neurodiversity coaching business. He is autistic and also has ADHD, dyspraxia, OCD, anxiety, and depression. He has a mobile apps business. His background includes working at professional football clubs and coaching other sports, sales coaching for business franchisees, recruitment, warehousing work, office and admin, yard maintenance, and cleaning. Ben is in his element when thinking creatively. Ben’s special interests include football, MMA, wrestling, darts, ancient history, neurodiversity, philosophy, psychology, business, reading, Italy, and South America. He also has a keen interest in the gym and fitness industry and completed the London marathon aged 18. His favourite foods include Italian and Mexican. His music taste is eclectic and ranges from 90s dance to Eminem to heavy metal.