Embodiment, coaching and leadership

Coaching interview



In this theme we examine how coaching and embodied leadership is important for authenticity, presence, and appreciative communication, and how this can be trained in professional practice.

We examine how coaching, movement and an increased awareness of the language of the body as a professional development potential can be implemented in future educational contexts.

This theme is related to professional education, university education and post-graduate education. The focus is on a strong interrelatedness between practice and theory








Research projects


Body awareness, contact and presence in nursing education.


The Dancing Nurses project focuses on whether future nurses' professionalism can be trained through a renewed, collective attention to the language of the body, and whether this sensual and embodied communication can be learned through movement and dance.

The project has received both national and international attention, as it has innovative educational potentials.


Winther, H., & Gröntved, S. N. (2022). Krop og lederskab. En bevægelsespsykologisk tilgang. I R. Hedensted, & J. W. Tejmers (red.), Psykologi og Sundhedspsykologi for Sundhedsprofessionelle (s. 195-212). Gad. (Danish)

Winther, H. (2020). Dance in nursing education: Somatic awareness, improvisation and embodied leadership. I C. Svendler Nielsen, & S. Burridge (red.), Dancing Across Borders: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change (s. 183-186). Routledge.

Winther, H., Grøntved, S. N., Graversen, E. K., & Ilkjær, I. (2015). The dancing nurses and the language of the body: Training somatic awareness, bodily communication, and embodied professional competence in nurse education. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 33(3), 182-192.

Funded by


Associate Professor Helle Winther



The project focuses on kinesthetic empathy, as a bodily-based competence, and is investigating how the concept can be developed in an educational context.

The project uses Design-based research as a methodology. A theory of kinesthetically empathic ways of acting in a pedagogical context is created through playful design experiments. Moreover a teaching design that can support students' attention to kinesthetically empathic ways of acting is developed.

The project is part of Playful Learning Research Extension, and enrolled at Kolding Design School, Lab for Play.

Funded by

Designskolen Kolding.

Project period: 2020 - 2024.

PhD supervisors

Professor Helle Marie Skovbjerg, Designskolen Kolding

Associate Professor Helle Winther, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports.


PhD student Sisse Winther Oreskov,
Professionshøjskolen Absalon and Designskolen Kolding.



Against the background of the current societal changes, which are best described through the concept of hypercomplexity, Reinhard Stelter tries to develop an understanding of what will be central to coaching as a transformative dialogue in the future.

This developmental research project – which involves other professional colleagues, various organizations and experts – will be presented in a book published by Content Publishing.

Funded by

Content Publishing.

Project period: Spring 2023 to spring 2024.


Professor Reinhard Stelter



The project is based on the German sociologist Hartmut Rosa's theory of resonance. His fundamental idea is based on the motto: If acceleration in society is the problem, then perhaps resonance is the answer. However, Rosa has not written much about dialogue.

The purpose of this project is to introduce the idea of resonance to deepening the understanding of transformative dialogues. Resonance in the dialogical context is a collaborative practice and a co-reflective process between both parties.

Theoretically, the project is inspired by both phenomenological and social constructionist thinking.

Funded by

Danish psychological publisher & the publisher Samfundslitteratur

Project period: Spring 2022 to winter 2023.


Professor Reinhard Stelter



The project is based on a number of interviews with people from different backgrounds (management, sports, civil life).

The aim is to examine how their lives and careers have taken shape, and which barriers they were able to overcome, which people have supported them – and how and which contextual conditions have proven to be advantageous.

The empirical material is then reflected by and further developed through various social and psychological theories.

The project will be published as a book by Akademisk Forlag.

Funded by

Academic Publishing.

Project period: Autumn 2023 to spring 2025.


Professor Reinhard Stelter



PhD project by Line Fredens

The overall question in the PhD project is about how to promote conservatory students' artistic learning processes with the aim to develop their musical learning and performance.

An enactive perspective is taken on learning in order to promote a complementary relationship between the artistic expression and the technical mastery of the instrument. With the enactive perspective, the focus is on expressions of action in a mutual relationship between brain, body and the personal and social environment.

Funded by

The Royal Danish Academ of Music

Danish School of Education

Project period: 


PhD student Line Fredens

Professor Reinhard Stelter, supervisor





This research area examines the importance of the body for leadership and communication.

Research questions particularly focus on how movement and an increased awareness of body language can develop embodied professional competence in various professional practices.

The intention is for the results of the research to be implemented in professional education, university education and post-graduate education.


Winther, H., & Højlund Larsen, M. (2022). Moving Leaders: What insights do experienced leaders develop by training the language of the body through a combination of dance and phenomenological-inspired leadership stories?Organizational Aesthetics11(1), 159-179.

Skovhus, M., & Winther, H. (2022). At lede med kropslighed og hjertevarme i skolen. Pædagogisk Extrakt, (21), 53-55. (Danish)

Berg, M. S., & Winther, H. (2021). How do children experience the embodied communication and leadership of teachers? Expressing the voices of children through artistic, sensual, and multimodal methods in educational research. International Review of Qualitative Research14(3), 444-462.

Skovhus, M., & Winther, H. (2019). Udvikling af pædagogstuderendes lederskab gennem krop og bevægelse., 1-16. (Danish)

Berg, M. S. (2018). Kroppens betydning for lærerens lederskab. Ph.d. afhandling. (Danish)

Winther, H. (2016). Kroppens sprog i lægens praksis: om kontakt, kommunikation og lederskab. Månedsskrift for Almen Praksis94(3), 267-276. (Danish)

Funded by

Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Fonden for Entreprenørskab


Associate Professor Helle Winther




What insights do experienced leaders develop by training the language of the body through a combination of dance and phenomenological-inspired leadership stories?

This project can contribute to the innovative research streams on movement, art and aesthetic practices, as well as to a better understanding of the important role of experiential learning in the development of leadership.

It investigates how dance, personal stories and an increased awareness of the language of the body can be developmental for leaders.

It also develops a training method which integrates movement psychology, dance and philosophy in leadership education and practice.


Winther, H., & Højlund Larsen, M. (2022). Moving Leaders: What insights do experienced leaders develop by training the language of the body through a combination of dance and phenomenological-inspired leadership stories? Organizational Aesthetics11(1), 159-179.

Winther, H. (2020, jul. 28). Mærk dig selv, når du leder andre - om kroppens sprog i lederens praksis. Videncentret Leading Capacity. (Danish)

Udvikling af lederes praktiske visdom – med særligt fokus på et kropsligt forankret lederskab. Af Michael Højlund Larsen, Studieleder, Zealand, (Danish)


Michael Højlund Larsen, Zealand. Academy of Technologies and Business.

Funded by

University of Copenhagen

Zealand. Academy of Technologies and Business


Associate Professor Helle Winther




Project period: 2010 -2017.

The research project focuses on Third Generation coaching, which unfolds a new universe for coaching and coaching psychology through a processing of current social research, new learning theories and discourses on personal leadership.

Coaching in this form fosters new reflections and perspectives. Third-generation coaching focuses on value reflection and identity work.

The focus is on the narrative co-creating partnership between coach and coachee: Opinions and meanings are generated jointly during the conversation, where both parties are on a journey and where new narratives slowly take shape.


Stelter, R. (2012). Tredje generations coaching: En guide til narrativ-samskabende teori og praksis. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. (Danish)

Stelter, R. (2014). A guide to third generation coaching: narrative-collaborative theory and practice. Springer Science+Business Media.

Stelter, R. (2018). Translation to Korean: A Guide to third generation coaching: Narrativ-collaborative theory and practice. Korean Coaching Supervision Academy.

Stelter, R. (2019). The Art of Dialogue in Coaching: Towards Transformative Exchange. Coaching Psychology.

Stelter, R. (2015). ”I tried so many diets, now I want to do it differently”: A single case study on coaching for weight loss. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being10, [26925]. 

Stelter, & Andersen, V. (2018). Coaching for health and lifestyle change: Theory and guidelines for interacting and reflecting with women about their challenges and aspirations. International Coaching Psychology Review13(1), 61–71.

Ryom, K. E., Maar Andersen, M., & Stelter, R. (2017). Coaching at-risk youth in a school within a socially challenging environment. Improving Schools20(2), 143-160.

Publications to download

Reinhard Stelter on Academia

Reinhard Stelter on ResearchGate

Coaching lectures

Funded by

Nordea Fonden / Center for Holdspil og Sundhed; Kulturministeriet; University of Copenhagen Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research (Copenhagen Women Study); VIA University College; Nordsjælland Hospital, Region H, IMK almene fond, UCC- forsknings-programmet Sundhed og krop.


Professor Reinhard Stelter




The project has resulted in a book publication with the intention of giving the public a current and research-based insight into a field of practice, which is of increasing importance in a world, which is changing rapidly and which, at the same time, contributes to an increasing uncertainty regarding how to act in many areas of life and work.

The book is published under the Danish title ”Kort & godt om coaching” (Brief & Good About Coaching) by Dansk Psykologisk Forlag.

Funded by

Danish Psychological Publisher.

Project period: Autumn 2020 - 2021.


Professor Reinhard Stelter