Written by Becky Banham
Becky Banham
Life Coach Directory Content Team

Last updated 24th November 2022 | Next update due 23rd November 2025

Every family has its problems, whether it's not knowing how to deal with difficult teenage behaviour, or trying to cope with betrayal or a separation. Family coaching sessions are designed to provide families with the tools and techniques to resolve conflicts, reach compromises, and hopefully transform a difficult living situation into a comfortable one.

What is family coaching?

Family coaching follows the same basic concept as all other types of coaching: guiding a person from where they are, to where they want to be. Just as a business coach might help restructure a team or advise a manager on communication techniques, a family coach can work with all members of a family. They can help to find out where the problems are and what changes can be made to reach a happy medium.

Family coaching sessions are designed to keep disputes as rational as possible. When we let our emotions get the better of us, arguments can easily turn into shouting matches. A coach will ensure any arguments that arise between family members during a family coaching session are kept as structured, fair and valid as possible - so that everybody has a chance to have their say.

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How can family coaching help?

Problems within a family can be so much more distressing than in other areas of our lives. Perhaps you're arguing more and more, and home is feeling like a battle zone. Family coaching is especially effective when family opinion is divided. A family coach will help all family members understand where the others are coming from so a balance can be found between addressing practicalities and enjoying life.

But, it's not solely conflict that creates issues within families. Perhaps you think you and your family's life could do with a slight shake-up, and are looking for support in kick-starting some positive changes in the family routine.

Family coaching offers a practical solution to often very personal problems.

Some reasons people seek family coaching include:

  • resolving marital problems
  • addressing work/life balance
  • bringing up children 
  • dealing with difficult teenage behaviour
  • dealing with life after separation or divorce

Common issues family coaching can help with

Here we’ll explore some of the common issues that family coaching can help with.

Support for parents

There are many reasons why parents seek coaching. It can be due to the difficult behaviour of a child, parental burnout, or many other reasons. The transition to being a parent and looking after a child is a time filled with changing roles and identities. Parent coaching aims to help parents create a healthy, happy and balanced family life for themselves and their children.

Seeking support does not mean you aren't fulfilling your role as a parent - it means you are doing the best you can to provide the happiest life possible for yourself and your child.


Sometimes, for one reason or another, children need a little extra support. If your discipline strategies aren’t working or your child’s behaviour is starting to affect other areas of life such as their performance at school or your social life, it can become frustrating.

A family coach will help everyone get to grips with their emotions and learn how these emotions might be affecting everyone else. Once communication lines have been improved, misunderstandings can be cleared up and family members can learn to be more honest with one another.

Another option is youth coaching - designed to encourage personal development in young people while providing an outlet for their stresses and anxieties. Find out more about youth coaching today.


The teenage years can often be difficult for all the family to deal with. A combination of raging hormones, school stresses, peer problems, and the natural fight for independence can quickly turn the home into a battleground. 

A family coach can work with parents and teenagers together in order to establish mutual respect, clearer boundaries and a greater understanding of each other. A family coach will help both teenagers and parents to see life from the other's point of view.

Affairs and betrayals

It can be incredibly distressing to discover that your partner - the person who you chose to share your life and start a family with - has betrayed you in some way. It can shake up your whole life, making you question everything.

Sometimes, couples find it impossible to patch up the damage caused by a major relationship betrayal and choose to separate or divorce. However, other couples will try to find ways to tackle the problems and stay together. When this happens, a family coach can help families recover from betrayal.

Unlike counsellors and psychotherapists, family coaches do not try to get to the root of why a betrayal occurred. The idea of family coaching is not to place blame on one another or to discuss what happened; the idea is to move forward by configuring a new family dynamic. A family coach will develop certain interactive exercises and techniques to rebuild those trust bonds and help families recover from a big shake-up.


There are many reasons why a couple may choose to separate but, ultimately, divorce or separation is the final stage in accepting that a relationship no longer works. Some people say that separation from a long-term relationship is one of the toughest experiences to deal with.

Moving on can be particularly tough if you have to remain in contact with your ex-partner, for instance, if you have children together. You will likely still see or speak to one another, in order for the parenting relationship to continue. A family coach can help families to transition through a divorce or separation, to limit hurt and upset.

Bereavement and loss

Coaching is very powerful support during times of transition - and losing a loved one is one of the hardest transitions we go through. A family coach can help you understand the turmoil of these conflicting emotions, and any intermittent, out-of-character behaviour they may cause.

Grief can have a profound effect on the family unit. But, working with a coach can help the whole family to adjust and make sure that everyone feels supported.

Work/life balance

Being in a long-term relationship or having children doesn't necessarily mean you have to put your career goals on hold - you simply have to think more carefully about your work/life balance.

Family coaching can be a great tool for families to work on achieving this together, as it offers everyone the chance to get together in the same room and set out exactly how they feel. Family coaching sessions are designed to get everyone's opinions out in the open so a good compromise can be reached.

How do I know which family coach to choose?

You may have reservations about inviting a stranger to observe how you and your family interact together. It can feel unnerving to think that your life is being judged, or that you might be blamed for anything that went wrong.

But, family coaches are not there to judge or to point fingers. They are there to put things into perspective so that everyone can see the situation as a whole and learn to accept the part they play. Once everyone accepts that things need to change, the whole family can think of ways to move on positively together.

It’s essential that the whole family connects with and has a good rapport with your coach - there is more than just your own opinion to consider here. If one of you doesn't respect or agree with them, then how are you going to make successful changes?

To find the right coach for your family, you can use our easy search tool. You can search for professionals who work online or in your local area.

You can click on a coach’s name to find out more about them, along with their contact details and fees. The best way to really know if a family coach is right for you, though, is to meet with them and trust your instincts.

Further reading

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