What is it? Relationship coaching is designed to address, through a series of sessions, issues or concerns an individual (or individuals) has about any relationship, personal or professional. Relationship coaching can be done with individuals, couples (any two people) or groups (3 or more people.) Relationship coaching can be used to design goals (and accountability) that are in alignment with your relationship vision and values.
How is Relationship Coaching different from therapy? Good question. The relationship coach and client collaborate and are peers, responsible to each other for the work being done. And while therapy is evolving to include this kind of collaboration, it tends to focus more on “healing and understanding” and connecting how past experiences and relationships might be impacting and influencing current behaviors, choices and relationships. Both relationship coaching and therapy share a common goal: the client moving forward into being in relationships in a healthier way. Emotions come up in both therapy and relationship coaching and the difference is how emotions are processed and used in the work. As a practitioner of both therapy and relationship coaching, I find that each discipline informs, influences and enhances the other.
“Awareness must be paired with behavioral change to be effective.” (Center for Right Relationship website)
As a therapist for twenty years, one thing I have noticed is that for some clients it is difficult to “hold” the changes being made internally through therapy in the face of pressure from the outside not to change, to maintain the status quo. Relationship coaching can support the individual, couple or system through this process. As a relationship coach my goal is sometimes to educate and mostly to create space for increased awareness of what is happening in your relationship(s) and to provide structure for sustainable change based on your core values, dreams and vision.
“Our greatest joy-and our greatest pain comes in our relationships with others.” – Stephen R. Covey