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, Research, and Education. The team is based across Yorkshire and Derbyshire 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).
Claire Higgins / Chief Operating Officer
Claire is a Positive Psychology Practitioner & Researcher with a special interest in performing under pressure. She runs the PPG Positive Psychology in Practice Programme and the Positive Psychology Centre. Claire is an advocate for the application of Positive Psychology in movement, exercise, and sport settings, as well as areas of violence and conflict. A former humanitarian professional, yoga teacher, and executive coach, she worked for 16 years with various branches of the United Nations, International Red Cross, and governments across the Middle East on armed conflict, protection, prison reform, operational support to refugee health and education, and media/communications, as well as individuals employed in the non-profit sector. She holds Masters degrees in Exercise & Sport Psychology (MMU) and Violence, Conflict & Development (SOAS), and a BA (Hons) Arabic & Persian. A life long martial artist and fitness/self-defence instructor, her postgraduate research focused on the motivation to teach martial arts/self-defence. She also runs Inner Athletics and is currently researching the fear, action, and movement, and the motivation to practice movement, exercise, or sport.
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 PP 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, PP 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 also an integral member of the Positive Psychology in Practice team and oversees all examination and accreditation processes for the Guild.
Hannah Booth / Education Officer
Hannah is currently in her 3rd year of university studying Education with Psychology & Counselling at Sheffield Hallam. She has a keen interest in the psychological and counselling side of education looking at how students learn and ways to help them overcome obstacles they may face. Hannah 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, PPG's online learning space for students.
Ben Holmes / Project Officer
Ben is a tutor for the Autism Awareness Diploma course, and likes to get involved with anything autism or neurodiversity related. As a qualified Autism Awareness Practitioner, Ben 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.