As an experienced relationship coach myself, having completed over 1,000 hours of couples sessions within my program, I thought I’d offer my expert opinion on what is still a relatively new discipline.
In this article we’ll outline exactly what relationship coaching is, how it differs from therapy and counselling and why it’s such a popular choice for people who want to learn more about themselves, how they are perceived by others and how to feel greater satisfaction and fulfilment with life.
Couples and Relationship Coaching is a blend of self-development and practical coaching sessions that help you overcome specific relationship challenges. A good relationship coach will create a safe, secure space where you can be 100% honest with yourself and your partner to help you move forward. They will empower couples with the tools they need to succeed, open up impactful topics and conversations and provide additional resources to improve and strengthen the quality of your relationship.
Your coach will often go above and beyond to guide you on this journey, helping you to identify the key values driving your relationship, whilst supporting you both inside and outside of sessions, either online or face-to-face.
Coaching programs are usually created by coaches based on their years of experience to package the tools, techniques and strategies you need into a solution-focused approach. This maximises results and helps relationships thrive, implementing new habits that impact long term change.
10 Ways Relationship Coaching Can Help:
1️⃣ Communication Improvement: Effective communication is at the core of any successful relationship. Coaches help couples learn to express themselves more clearly, listen actively, and communicate their needs and feelings in a non-confrontational manner.
2️⃣ Conflict Resolution: Couples often face conflicts and disagreements. Coaches teach conflict resolution skills, helping couples find constructive ways to address differences and prevent conflicts from escalating.
3️⃣ Relationship Goals: Coaches help couples identify their relationship goals, both individually and as a couple. This includes exploring values, desires, and long-term aspirations to ensure alignment and clarity.
4️⃣ Personal Growth: Relationship coaching often involves personal growth and self-awareness. Coaches encourage individuals to work on themselves, addressing any personal issues that may be affecting the relationship. This can lead to a healthier partnership.
5️⃣ Intimacy and Connection: Coaches assist couples in rekindling or enhancing their emotional and physical intimacy. This may involve exploring ways to deepen emotional connection and reignite passion.
6️⃣ Accountability: Coaches hold couples accountable for the goals they set and the actions they agree upon during coaching sessions. This accountability can help couples make meaningful and lasting changes.
7️⃣ Tools and Techniques: Relationship coaches provide practical tools and techniques that couples can use to maintain and improve their relationships. These tools can include exercises, communication strategies, and conflict resolution methods.
8️⃣ Prevention and Maintenance: Couples coaching isn’t just for addressing problems; it’s also about maintaining a healthy relationship and preventing issues from arising in the first place. Regular coaching sessions can serve as check-ins to keep the relationship on track.
9️⃣ Objective Perspective: Coaches offer an objective perspective and do not take sides, allowing couples to feel heard and understood without judgement.
🔟 Flexibility: Relationship coaching can be tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of each couple. Whether you’re dating, engaged, married, or facing specific challenges, coaching can be adapted to suit your situation.
What is the difference between couples coaching, couples counselling and couples therapy?
It’s important when reaching out for support that you understand what each service will provide for you and its benefits for your specific situation. The professional you are speaking with should be clear on what is and is not included and if at any point they feel you will benefit from an alternative service, they will let you know.
Here is the clinical definition to offer you some clarity.
Couples Therapy will be most suitable if an individual requires a specialist treatment or diagnosis for deep-rooted historical conditions such as depression, addiction, borderline personality disorder (BPD), anxiety and trauma. This list is not exhaustive. Therapy might include a formulated treatment based on a clinical diagnosis that will then go on to benefit your relationship. Many people prefer to embark on this journey with an individual therapist, rather than in couples sessions, but the therapist might recommend a combination of both.
Couples Counselling will involve talking through your challenges to support your awareness and it might include coping strategies to help you to make sense of the past.
Couples Coaching will take a solution-focused approach based on a number of defined goals to help you move forward and improve the overall quality of your relationship.
Although this definition suggests that counselling is mainly in the past and coaching is focused in the future, the reality is that these disciplines will consider the impact of both.
A good coach will help couples acknowledge feelings of depression, anxiety and trauma for example, that might have been caused due to the uncertainty and insecurity within the relationship. With the additional benefit of helping you formulate a clear plan as to how you move forward.
Coaching also allows room to step into the consulting and mentoring space where your coach will use their wealth of experience to guide you. They might not offer you specific advice but they will direct you to models that empower you to implement positive change. This is where the long-term results and effective habits are formulated.
Most importantly, all disciplines are about ensuring the best interests of the client, maintaining high professional standards and ensuring that they receive the most appropriate client-centred support to help them move forward.
Does Relationship Coaching Work?
Relationship coaching can be highly effective, but its success depends on several factors, including the willingness of both partners to actively participate and the skill of the coach.
Mutual Commitment: For coaching to work, both partners must be committed to the process. If one person is unwilling to participate or make changes, it can hinder progress.
Coach’s Competence: The skill and experience of the relationship coach play a significant role. A qualified and empathetic coach can make a substantial difference in the coaching’s success.
Timing: Couples should consider relationship coaching sooner rather than later. Addressing issues early on can prevent them from escalating into more significant problems.
Complexity of Issues: Some relationship issues may be deeply ingrained or complex, requiring more time and effort to resolve. In such cases, ongoing coaching may be necessary.
For many couples, they simply want valuable tools and insights that can guide them to a healthier, more satisfying partnership.
If you would like to find out more about our coaching programs and the support they offer, just drop me a message here and I’ll be happy to help.