How does relationship coaching help?

What is relationship coaching and how does it help? 


Relationship coaching is:

1. A chance to speak your truth and have it heard, with the help of the coach to make that space available for each of you.

2. An opportunity to hear the other person rather than always having to fight to be heard yourself, to have space to listen and even to question this.

3. A place to gain new perspectives than what you have had to date. Not just yours and the other person, but insights from the life coach too, who has likely seen a lot of issues and helped resolve some, seen the confusion and the lack of understanding in other relationships that could be similar to yours and shed light on your problems.

4. A way to feel heard, seen, understood and accepted.  Sometimes, the other person doesn’t need to agree with you or think like you but they do have to 'hear' you - not just the words but the intention, the messages.

5. A way for you both to learn to communicate more effectively. Again, not just words but how you might be unaware of how your voice reflects feelings, your body language and posture send their own messages to the other person no matter what words you might be using!

6. A chance to learn more about the complexities of communication for all relationships, not just this one, because there is so much to consider and execute in any and all communications with people.

It isn't:

1. The answer to the problem, the only way to save your relationship or a fix-all option.

2. A way to get someone else 'on your side' but to see other sides and perspectives, other options and learn more about you and emotional intelligence, the other person or other people generally as we often, until we do reflect and learn, only have our own viewpoint to work from.

3. If you don’t acknowledge there is a problem - and in some relationships, this happens, or one person simply cannot see their side of this problem too - then you cannot look for, let alone find, a solution.

So this is a chance to open up the individual boxes of hidden and frightening truths - something that may be difficult one to one in a close relationship that was once what you wanted and needed, but now is difficult to express and explain what is missing.

Relationship coaching can be:

A chance to open up and reflect too on what your issue really is and take that back to the couples/relationship coaching. If this is on offer, individual sessions for each person to identify needs, problems, issues and options that can then be openly discussed together.

Man covering eyes of partner

How does relationship coaching work in practice, in session?

Each life coach will work slightly differently because of their experience, their choice and values and what they offer to clients.

However, in general, coaching is about achieving goals and for relationships, this is often 'to get back to what it was' or improve it so it's not a constant battle and a struggle which is exhausting and uncomfortable, unpleasant and pushes the two of your further apart.

So the coach will start by asking what is happening and one person will start, with the agreement of the other, then the second person is asked about their perspective and views on the situation.

Also, maybe their response to what the other person said.

If there are situations where someone is not able to speak and talked over, stopped or challenged, the coach will step in and point this out and ask for that space for each of you.

The coach may 'see' things you don’t see and guide you to help you see the issues or problems too, the barriers that we all unintentionally put up to protect our feelings, beliefs, needs and energy.

They will ask guiding questions or open questions to allow you both to speak your mind, be honest and feel safe in sharing those thoughts and feelings.

At the end of each session - and it can not really resolve anything with one or even two sessions other than give you the space to speak out - the coach will assess what has been achieved (and at least something will be achieved, even if it doesn’t feel like it i.e. you want the answer to the problem, the outcome you want etc) and agree on the next session.

The coach may also give you exercises to try (like 'homework') to bring back to the next session, try new behaviours or outlooks, or to reflect both alone and together on what you might have raised or learned this last hour. They may also encourage you to set goals for the next session too, as something to work clearly towards and to motivate action and change, acceptance or understanding and hopefully, more effective two-way communication.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ
Written by Julie Crowley, MBACP | Personal Development Coach | Registered Counsellor
Oldham, Greater Manchester, OL4 5SJ

Julie offers personal development life & career coaching for self-awareness, stress management, relationships & communication that identify your options, insights and outlooks. Supporting professional team members & families, self-employed or managers. "Removing barriers, building dreams. Resolving problems, building teams"

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