Relationship Coaching - Your Questions Answered
If you want to understand more about relationship coaching who better to answer your relationship coaching questions than Helena Bailey, who is a qualified UK life coach.
In this article, Helena will answer your relationship coaching questions and help you understand how it is different from couples therapy, the benefits of relationship coaching and if a relationship coach can save someone's marriage, civil partnership or other important relationship.
What is relationship coaching?
Most things that you do in life require teaching or coaching for you to become better at, for example, if you want to play tennis better you can hire a tennis coach. A relationship is no different and most of us haven't been taught how to have a good relationship or how to be a better partner.
Relationship coaching is a life coaching specialisation where a life coach has been trained to help people improve the quality of their personal relationships. A relationship coach can help you understand your current relationship, what it is you want from your relationship, diagnose what could be wrong and help you set goals to improve your relationship.
The two most important benefits a relationship coach offers is guiding you through painful issues and creating a safe environment for you to face your fears and discover your true desires.
Relationship coaches tend to have experience and training in various relationship types, from romantic to family relations and friendships. Most relationship coaching involves couples who are either married, in a civil partnership or in a serious romantic relationship.
Most coaches meet with both partners and teach communication, conflict resolution amongst many other subjects. You would be amazed at how many couples find communication and conflict resolution coaching life-changing.
In some situations, relationship coaches don't need to work with both partners in a relationship and sometimes one on one coaching helps a person speak more freely and present their version of the problems that they feel exist. This means that you are able to enjoy a satisfying relationship even without your partner's participation in the coaching process.
Although slightly rarer, relationship coaches also work with people who are not yet in a relationship. They work with single people who maybe have a history of troubled relationships or who have difficulty knowing what they want in a relationship.
Is Relationship Coaching the Same as "Couples Counselling?"
Relationship coaching is not the same as couples counselling even though there are many similarities such as:
coaches and counsellors both want to help you live a life you feel better about
they both create an atmosphere of trust, non judgement, and support
both help you identify what is holding you back
counsellors and coaches focus on good listening and asking you good questions
both counselling and coaching help you to be more resilient
they both want you to find your own answers that work for you
both coaching and counselling can help you identify and work towards life goals
they work to help you move forward in your career, relationships, and home life
both help you with identifying core beliefs and changing your perspective
they both have the goal of helping you reach your potential
coaches and counsellors both encourage self-discovery
The biggest crucial difference between a coach and a counsellor is the level of regulation. Coaching is not regulated whereas counselling is regulated by The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). The reason for this is that counselling is recognised as a therapeutic technique and coaching is not.
Coaches are trained in helping clients move forward in life where counsellors are also trained in human development, sexuality, family dynamics, and mental health conditions. If you're having relationship troubles, a coach might help you clear up your thinking, get some perspective or set inspiring new goals. However, in the case of problems with debilitating mental illness, couples therapy would be recommended.
Relationship coaching is action orientated and relationship counselling is coping orientated. Coaches want to help you recognise what you think and counsellors also want to also help you realise how you feel.
Coaching helps you set and achieve goals and counselling helps you recognise and solve your problems in life.
A coach has the job to challenge you frequently where a counsellor is there to support you with empathy and understanding, although they might still gently challenge you.
A coach is focused on your potential vs a counsellor is focused on helping you be at peace with yourself and your life.
Unlike therapy, relationship coaching rarely requires you to re-tell your childhood story, but it can help you find peace with where you are now.
Will relationship coaching save my relationship?
Relationship coaching can help save your relationship but it isn't guaranteed. Generally for coaching to help save your relationship it will have a higher chance of doing so if both partners want to save the relationship and are willing to try.
As an example, if one partner is not interested in saving a relationship then it is very unlikely that a relationship can be saved. However, with that said it is not uncommon for partners to be in different positions in relation to their relationship. Additionally if only one spouse decides to hire a coach, when he or she lets go of mental suffering, the burden on the marriage could be reduced and the relationship could then improve.
Coaching helps couples clarify relationship issues whilst bringing awareness of resentment, fear and avoidance. Marriages often benefit from coaching, but each marriage has its' own unique difficulties, so it is impossible to say whether or not a marriage will grow stronger through the process of coaching.
Even if a relationship can't be saved coaching many people still find it beneficial. Most people feel they achieve closure and that they have tried everything to save their relationship, which in itself improves their feelings.
How do I choose a relationship coach?
The key factors that you should consider when choosing a relationship coach are:
Your personal connection with a coach: arguably the most important thing to consider. If you don't feel comfortable with your coach you wont get the best outcome from coaching.
Have they completed the appropriate training: it is important that. the coach you choose has been trained by a respected coaching organisation.
Is the coach experienced: Not all coaches specialise in relationship coaching, therefore it would be better to use one that has experience as a relationship coach.
Do they have reviews or testimonials: This is a difficult one as clients may not be happy to review their relationship coach publicly due obvious reasons.
Is an initial consultation offered?: If a coach is trying to immediately book you up to a block of sessions without an initial consultation.......RUN! A good coach would only want to work with people they feel they are a good fit for an can actually help.
Do they offer remote or physical sessions: Contrary to popular belief geographic proximity isn't as important as finding a coach who is the right fit, especially with technology available today such as video conferencing. Obviously if a coach only offers physical sessions then they would need to be reasonably local to you.
How Much Does Relationship Coaching Cost?
How much a relationship coaching costs usually depends on how good a coach is or how experienced they are. Relationship coaches set their own prices however this has normally been done with quite a bit of thought along with what market rates are.
The cost for an hour of relationship coaching can range from less than £50 for a more junior relationship coach through to more than £300 for a very experienced relationship coach. It can sound expensive however the best way to think about the cost is an investment and how valuable would it be to repair your relationship.
Coaches all have different ways that you can pay, such as: by the hour, by session (a session could be a set amount of time) or by the month. Some coaches even work on a monthly retainer type fee and they are available to you for a set amount of hours per month.
Some coaches also offer discount if you purchase a block f sessions and group coaching sessions are usually an option.
Every relationship coach is unique, however the average rate for life coaching in London is around £150 per hour (https://bmmagazine.co.uk/business/how-much-do-life-coaches-charge-in-london/).
What are the benefits of relationship coaching?
Usually the most desired outcome of relationship coaching. Relationships can not only be saved but made better than ever.
By achieving a better relationship or closure at the end of relationship coaching people tend to feel better and less stressed out in their day to day lives.
Whilst relationship coaching doesnt always "save" a relationship, closure is valuable in helping people move on with their lives.
Another benifit, even when relationship coaching doesnt save a relationship is that partners can separate amicably making things a lot less stressful, especially when children are involved.