Relationship coaching can help address problems in a range of relationships, including our relationships with romantic partners, friends and work colleagues. Here, we explain more about how a relationship coach offers help and guidance.
Relationships are one of the most important parts of our lives, bringing us meaning, comfort and happiness. Good relationships are something we all strive for. They can provide love, support, friendship, advice and guidance. However, if they break down, they can cause problems and emotional turmoil.
People seek relationship support for many reasons, and though commonly thought to only involve intimate connections, many types of connections can benefit from additional help and guidance, including:
- family members
- married couples
- romantic partnerships
In this video, relationship expert John Kenny explores how coaching can help you attract the right types of relationships, as well as overcome relationship problems.
The term ‘relationship’ is commonly used to describe intimate connections with a partner or spouse. However, the term covers any connection between two or more people: we make different connections with people through all walks of life, whether they’re quick meetings or lifetime associations.
We all experience relationship problems at some point in our lives. Different issues can come up between family members, friends, lovers, or even work colleagues. If a conflict arises or a certain connection changes, isn’t as fulfilling or expectations change, you might find your overall happiness being affected.
Over time, if relationship problems are not dealt with, negative emotions can develop, leading to other areas of your life feeling strained, unsatisfactory, or unfulfilled.
Common relationship problems include:
- wanting to improve an existing relationship
- feelings of betrayal
- trouble understanding someone or trying to understand someone better
- fear of confrontation
- lack of boundaries
- sex and intimacy issues (e.g. mismatched sex drives)
- trust issues, infidelity or suspicions of cheating
- money worries
- differing life goals or plans
Whilst there are many reasons why a relationship may be going through a rough patch, with patience and understanding, many will be able to get back on track. However, not all relationships can be ‘fixed’. For some, complex issues may signal the end of the relationship, be it intimate or between friends. Talking and working through issues can help you both to feel a sense of catharsis, whether your relationship can be fixed, or it's time to move on.
Do I need relationship coaching?
If you’re worried about any kind of relationship you have in your life, be it romantic, platonic, or work-related, it could be a sign that communication has broken down or that something in that relationship needs addressing.
Wanting or needing to work with a relationship coach isn’t a sign of failure. Being open to admitting that there is an issue, that you want to work on a relationship, or that you hope to strengthen bonds are all signs that you value your relationship and want what is best for it and everyone involved. Seeking relationship coaching can be seen as a sign of strength and dedication.
What's the difference between relationship coaching and relationship counselling?
While the two terms may seem similar, relationship counselling and relationship coaching are quite different. Working with a therapist, you're more likely to focus on understanding and resolving past issues, emotional pain, and how previous relationships, traumas or events may be affecting current relationships.
With coaching, the focus is more centred on present-day problems, issues, and your future. Through working with a coach, the approach may be more results or goal-oriented, seeking to solve a specific problem, and set specific goals or milestones.
How can relationship coaching help?
There are many reasons why people seek relationship coaching and the sessions can help in different ways. A coach can help you identify what your vision of a successful relationship is, what your expectations are, and help identify any needs that are not being met. They can help you to understand the causes of any issues (and if they can be resolved) as well as encourage better communication and listening skills.
You can work together on a strategy to tackle problems, helping you to reach fulfilment or recognise if the relationship has reached its end, and how to move on.
A relationship coach can help with a host of situations, including:
If you’re having trouble in your marriage, it doesn’t mean your marriage is failing. There are many things you can try to get things back on track. Partnerships, and the challenges that come with them, are a perfectly normal part of life. As humans, we strive for an intimate connection with a partner that we love. If things aren’t going well, it can be particularly difficult for everyone involved.
A relationship/marriage coach can work with you both to realise and resolve your challenges, teaching you effective skills that can help you in the long term.
Intimacy coaches can work with individuals or couples to explore attachment issues, enhance emotional awareness, and practise opening up and being more vulnerable. Some intimacy coaches may be able to help you with building your comfort with physical intimacy. The goal of intimacy coaching is often to help you feel more comfortable, safe, and confident in being close with an intimate partner.
Sometimes referred to as sex and intimacy coaching, a sex coach can help you navigate sexual blocks, triggers, or desires that may be affecting your emotional intimacy. Helping you to develop your individual and joint self and sexual confidence with your partner, they can also help you to explore your emotional vulnerability and how you communicate with your partner.
Sex coaches can often help with sex, intimacy, and relationship issues affecting you and your relationship. These could include low or mismatched libidos, reduced or no sex partnerships, or other sexual dysfunctions. A coach can help to educate you on any areas in which you may be unfamiliar, as well as helping you to work on your communication skills.
Navigating divorce can be overwhelming and disorienting. It’s a life-changing event and is often regarded as one of the most stressful periods a person can face in their life.
A divorce coach can provide guidance and support throughout the process. Whether you are trying to decide whether to legally end your marriage or are struggling to move forward after your divorce has been finalised, a coach can help.
The world of dating can be intimidating. With the increasing popularity of online dating sites and phone apps, it’s becoming easier to get to know people. However, for some, it’s a struggle and they may benefit from some support.
Confidence can play a big part in the dating game, as can our busy lifestyles. Despite the time-saving apps now available, we seem to have less ‘free’ time to take for ourselves. Many of us feel torn between the pressures of our work and personal life. Whilst it's important to make a living, it’s healthy to make quality time for our partners, friends, family and ourselves.
In terms of dating, you need to make time to meet the person and get to know them, but you also need time to rest, relax and rejuvenate your own mind. Not getting enough time to yourself can end in stressful situations and overwhelming feelings.
A relationship coach can help you prioritise self-care, create strong boundaries and identify what you truly want from a partner.
Many of us first make friends at school, but maintaining long-term friendships and making friends as an adult can be tough. A relationship coach can help you identify the underlying problem, whether that's to do with your confidence levels, lack of communication or needs not being met. Just like in romantic partnerships, friendships require work from both sides.
Helping you figure out if your friendships are serving you or not, coaching can help you surround yourself with people who truly light you up.
Sometimes it's our closest connections that can feel the most fraught. Whether it's a difficult relationship with your parents, or a desire to cut ties with a sibling, you're not alone. Relationship coaching can help you set goals around your family connections and help you find ways of moving past conflict or distancing yourself where necessary.
Workplace relationship support
Workplace relationships can be challenging at times, but positive relationships with your colleagues can help both career success and overall job satisfaction. Making an effort with your team and company will build trust, earn you respect and friendship, and will make for a more positive and productive environment.
If your relationships at work need some support, a relationship coach can help you unpick the root cause of the problem and help you move forward, rebuilding and strengthening your relationships with your colleagues.
Focus on taking the time to really listen to your colleagues and clients and see how people will positively respond to you in return. Active listening is a skill worth consciously developing as you will find that it will help you quickly gain people's trust.
How to find a relationship coach
If you've decided you're ready to work with a relationship coach, you can use our search tool to find the right coach for you. Coaches work in a variety of different ways, so it's helpful to read through their profiles to learn more about them and the way they work.
You can then set up an initial consultation or clarity call where you can share more about what you hope to achieve through coaching. This gives you the chance to get to know the coach better and understand how they could support you before committing to working with them.