Partner Coaching

Relationship Coaching for Partners

"It is from relationships that we get hurt, and it is from relationships that we get healed."

COACHING FOR PARTNERS

How does this work? Can you tell us the basics?

Coaching sessions are scheduled once a week, for 50-minutes. (Longer sessions are available too, for when more time is needed to discuss what's going on.)

Some couples prefer to meet every other week, and that's okay too. (Generally though, it's best when you're first getting started to have some consistency and regularity for the first month or so.)

A common question is: How long will this take?

Much of that depends on what you're coming in with, and what your goals are. Your level of engagement determines how quickly you make progress. I have found that once you get started it's fairly easy to tell how much of this work you need. One way of looking at it is: when you both start doing the kind of communication and problem-solving on your own - that we do in our sessions - you're ready to stop.

Another question that comes up is: What are we going to talk about? Is there a program we follow?

There is definitely an agenda for the way we work, but it's not about plugging your relationship into a formula. This is not a workshop, it's an in-depth conversation. Our work relies on your participation. We use the various conflicts and concerns that come up in the relationship as an inroad to identifying the patterns and emotional dynamics that are keeping you stuck. We get to the truth of the underlying emotions so that each partner can gain a better understanding of the other. The goal is to course-correct in the areas of communication and connection.

How do we pay for sessions?

Payment is made in advance of the session, which you can easily do from this site by clicking on the MAKE A PAYMENT link. You'll need to log in with your username and password.

You can pay for one session at a time or for a multi-session package that gives you a slight discount. Recurring payments are available, too, so that you can set it up and have it automatically renew each month until you pause or cancel.

 

RELATIONSHIP COACHING FOR INDIVIDUALS

Relationship Coaching applies to individuals, too, not just couples. Working on relationship issues on your own can be very productive. It doesn't matter whether you're currently in a relationship, or operating solo - the way we show up in relationships starts with the way we show up with ourselves. We humans are wired for connection so the topic of love and relationships is always relevant, no matter where you are in your life or what your relationship status is.

 

AREAS OF FOCUS FORM

For people who are ready to get started with Relationship Coaching (and for anyone who's curious about a list of topics), check out the Areas of Focus form to identify the subject areas that are important to you. (Requires login. Click Save and Send, when complete.)


Areas of Focus


ABOUT RELATIONSHIP COACHING

There's a saying that says, "Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have."

So what's going on with your Self? What happens to you in relationships? Are you your best, most highly-evolved, loving self? Or, do other things come up that lead to stress or self-doubt, or being distracted from who you are and what you want your life to be about?

In Relationship Coaching, we work on improving communication and confidence within all the relationships in your life, especially partner relationships.

Confidence in relationships means being emotionally secure and feeling emotionally safe with others.

  • It means building a toolkit of skills for healthy, positive communication and self-expression.
  • It means feeling so emotionally safe with others that you freely express yourself in true and honest ways.
  • It means understanding your own emotional triggers so that you can break old patterns of communication.
  • It means setting healthy boundaries for yourself in your interactions with others, and honoring their boundaries when you interact with them.
  • It means acknowledging and taking care of your own emotional distress, and learning how to manage each other's (which is called co-regulation).

Being me, while being with you.

The aim is to be your authentic self - not some covered-up version of yourself - while interacting with others. All the time. 
It doesn't matter whether you are presently in a relationship, recently out of a relationship, looking for a new relationship, or operating solo.
The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.

Getting hurt is inevitable.

In any meaningful, intimate partnership, getting your feelings hurt is going to happen. It can't be avoided. The key is in learning how to repair hurt feelings, not preventing them from happening. Good emotional repair leads to a deeper relationship connection.


RELATIONSHIP COACHING GOALS

Some issues that bring people to relationship coaching are:

  • Communicating Better: using words that bring closeness, not distance
  • Connection: deepening, strengthening, improving the emotional connection
  • Confidence and Self-Esteem, being your best self, and feeling secure
  • Conflict Resolution: learning how to have healthy disagreements
  • Emotional Triggers, and learning to manage them better
  • Balance (Work/Life/Family/Me-Time)
  • Changing Negative Habits
  • Pre-Marital Readiness
  • Rebuilding Trust
  • Setting and Respecting Boundaries
  • Sex and Intimacy
  • Understanding Your Partner Better
  • Coping with Break-Ups and Separations
  • Healing a Broken Heart

If you'd like to get support with any of the topics above, contact me today to schedule a free consultation. We can talk about how I may be able to help you get back on track with your life and relationship goals.

Free Consultation

  

RELATIONSHIPS AND EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

Very few of us make it out of childhood unscathed. For most of us, we carry with us old emotional wounds, leftover from our formative years. These wounds are born out of our life circumstances and the relationships we have with our primary caretakers. Even though they're from the past, emotional wounds (or "core wounds") can affect our self-esteem and self-worth in the present. These emotional wounds operate in the background, like a program on a computer - playing a role in how you feel, how you think, and how you act. These old "programs" also play a big role in who you are drawn to in relationships - the kinds of partners you choose to be with.

It is in our nature as human beings to strive toward healing these wounds, whether we're consciously aware of it or not. We seek resolution; we seek healing; we seek fulfillment and wholeness.

So then... what happens when we end up in relationships where our core wounds are being activated, where our negative emotions are feeling triggered and inflamed? (Things like: feeling shut out, abandoned, controlled, not listened to, not good enough, not wanted, not seen for who you are, and so on.) When you're in that scenario where your old wounds seem to keep getting triggered in your current life, you may ask yourself: What does this mean?  Or, What's wrong with me? Why is this happening, and what should I do about it?

That is exactly what our Relationship Coaching is all about. It's about looking through the lens of your relationships to gain insight into your true self - both your strengths and your limitations. It's about acquiring a sense of personal empowerment. It's about getting on a productive path with essential self-care and cultivating positive relationships by way of implementing healthy personal boundaries. Designing a life of relationships that heal, not harm. Relationships that support the person you are, the person you are meant to be. Relationships that nourish the very essence of who you are. Relationships that meet your very fundamental need for meaningful and satisfying partner connection.

We do this by talking on a deep level about what you feel, what you think, and what you want. We gently unpack the box of issues that are meaningful to you. We get to the heart of the matter. We look at the obstacles - the things that are holding you back or getting in the way.

You show up; you engage; you think and feel and share; you commit; you acknowledge; you accept; you release; and I'm there with you, guiding you along this path. This is the process of coaching; the process of changing. Welcome!

 

THE TRIGGER CYCLE

One of the most helpful things we work on in relationship coaching with couples is identifying what's known as the "trigger cycle" and then modifying it.

What is the "trigger cycle?" The trigger cycle is when two people are activating each other's emotional triggers over and over again in what feels like a never-ending loop.

Here's an example: Partner A gets upset and starts commenting on the thing that upsets them by criticizing Partner B.

Partner B feels the sting of the criticism and starts to withdraw by turning away from Partner A.

Partner A senses Partner B's withdrawal and begins to feel ignored. Not liking this feeling of being ignored, Partner A raises their voice at Partner B, telling Partner B that they're a bad communicator and that they need to listen better, perhaps even with a few choice words that are less than kind.

Partner B doesn't like how Partner A is talking to them, begins to feel angry (maybe hurt or scared, too), and puts up an even thicker wall. Partner B may even want to "teach them a lesson" by ignoring Partner A altogether or by walking away.

Partner A feels abandoned by Partner B.

Partner B feels attacked or controlled by Partner A.

Instead of focusing on the initial issue that was upsetting Partner A at the beginning of their conversation, each partner has now been triggered into a state of high emotional stress.

By this point, both partners are feeling disconnected and under attack by the other. An argument or a stalemate has broken out and a fight-flight-or-freeze response kicks in. When couples say, "This happens to us all the time. I don't even know what we're fighting about," it's usually a case of each partner being triggered by the other and both partners being stuck in the trigger loop.

So how do you break the cycle...? How do you get out of the loop?

That's what Relationship Coaching does: It helps you break the trigger cycle, and get out of the repetitious loop of feeling unheard, misunderstood, or at odds with your partner. If it was as simple as saying, "Here, follow these simple steps," I would list those steps here!

But resolving and healing a trigger cycle can actually be quite intricate and complex. Because of the blindspots we often have around our deepest vulnerabilities and the things that trigger us, it can be hard to treat this as a DIY project (although not impossible). That said, modifying and course-correcting in the area of trigger cycles is a relationship game-changer, and I'm here to help with that.


TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS

Not all relationships are the same, and yet successful relationships seem to have a few common traits that point to their success. What is relationship success? Basically, it's both partners feeling loved, feeling secure, and feeling happy to be together. In Relationship-Confidence Coaching, we build a communication toolkit that includes these traits:

This is a common trouble spot in many relationships. For some people, being clear and direct about what they need and want is not something they were raised to do. Speaking up about what you need and want makes some people afraid of being judged, or criticized, or uncomfortable in some way. Or for some, they just don't know what to say or how to say it. Learning how to put needs and wants into words takes practice; it's totally do-able.

For the partner on the receiving end of this kind of open, clear communication - it's nice to know that what-you-see-is-what-you-get and that there is no hidden agenda going on with your partner. You can trust what your partner is communicating, which brings a feeling of confidence and ease in the partnership.


REVEAL, DON'T CONCEAL

We're talking about each person being willing and able to talk openly (and calmly) about the things they need and want, so that the other person doesn't have to work too hard playing guessing games or being a mind-reader.

This is a common trouble spot in many relationships. For some people, being clear and direct about what they need and want is not something they were raised to do. Speaking up about what you need and want makes some people afraid of being judged, or criticized, or manipulated in some way by the other. Or for some, they just don't know what to say or how to say it. Learning how to put needs and wants into words takes practice, but it's totally do-able.

For the partner on the receiving end of this kind of open, clear communication - it's nice to know that what-you-see-is-what-you-get and that there is no hidden agenda going on with your partner. You can trust what your partner is communicating, which brings a feeling of confidence and ease in the partnership.


LISTEN AND LEARN

With this trait, each person is able to show the other that they are really listening to what the partner is saying. This is about paying attention to the other. Genuine listening shows interest and caring. When you are truly interested in understanding your partner better, you naturally tune-in to them when they are expressing something to you.

When your listening skills are good, your partner knows they are being heard by you. They never have to stop and ask, "Did you hear what I said?" or "Are you listening?"

In successful relationships, both partners practice being good listeners, not just one. If you find that your listening skills are not quite up to par, this is a skill that can be improved with practice. But the underlying feelings toward your relationship ought to be examined: Do you have a genuine interest in your partner's thoughts and feelings? Do you have a sense of curiosity about your partner and their life? If you don't, do you want to? Listening is a skill. It's also a very important part of partner connection.


OWN YOUR STUFF

They say that being in a relationship is like holding up a mirror to yourself because your "stuff" is going to get reflected back to you. That's the nature of relationships. Which is a good thing because it has the potential to lead to a lot of really good personal growth.

The biggest problem with this mirror-reflection thing is that it's really easy to start projecting your issues onto your partner. And that leads to blame and criticism. So, this is something that needs to be reeled-in, in order to have a successful relationship.

What's the best way to keep projection at bay? It starts with the way you speak to each other, particularly when you are not in agreement with one another. A key tip is to speak from the "I" point of view (I want, I need, I feel, I think...) and not from the "You" point of view (you always, you never; you're too (blank); you're not (blank) enough; you're such a (blank); you make me mad, you annoy me, you depress me, etc.

Talking from the "I" point of view is about expressing something that is true for you. It means you have to open yourself up and sometimes be a little vulnerable about what you feel or how you see things.

Talking from the "You" point of view is about pointing the finger at someone else and blaming and criticizing them. And them's fightin' words, as the saying goes. To have a successful relationship, practice turning those "You" statements into "I" statements. Practice telling your story about how something makes you feel, rather than talking about the other person's actions or intentions (as you perceive them).

 


"When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

~ Maya Angelou


DISCERNMENT COACHING: IS IT TIME TO UNCOUPLE?

When couples ask...should we stay or should we go?

If you and your partner are experiencing stress in your relationship, you may be thinking a lot about whether or not you even belong together. Perhaps you relate to questions like these:

  • Do you find that you're not communicating well anymore?
  • Are you arguing way too much? Getting triggered all the time by one another?
  • Are you not feeling affectionate toward one another?
  • Maybe intimacy has taken a back seat to life-stuff, or has gone on permanent hold?
  • Does it feel like there are things that you just can't talk about?
  • Are you worried that maybe you're not on the same page anymore?
  • Have you really tried to work out your relationship concerns, but you're still in the same rut?
  • Or, does one or both of you refuse to even try to work on the concerns mentioned above?
  • Does interacting with your partner make you feel unwell (headache, stomach ache, backache, etc) or exhausted and drained?

As relationship partners, maybe you wonder if you are on the right path together. Perhaps you ponder if this relationship is meant to be. Maybe you ask: Are we learning, growing, and becoming better people by being in this relationship? Are we having fun together? Are we good for one another?

And then there are the questions: Is it even worth it to work on repairing our relationship? Are we both willing, or is only one of us interested in working on it, while the other partner is disinterested or unwilling? Is one partner leaning in, while the other partner is leaning out - of the relationship?

A lot of times when couples ask these questions to themselves or to one another, the answer can be a resounding, "I don't know!" And that's because it's complicated. There are many moving parts to a relationship, especially a long-term one. There are lots of feelings, both good and bad. There is commitment and loyalty. There can be loss and betrayal. There is the structure of a life together to be honored. There are new desires for growth and happiness that emerge as we go through life.

All these things can create a web of vulnerable emotions. So the process of sorting out what's good for all parties involved is a delicate one that requires patience and a certain tolerance for uncertainty, just for a little while. This can be a confusing time, but by asking the questions and processing the feelings that come up, the clarity will come. It always does. I can help you navigate these choppy waters.

So is this relationship right for you? For both of you? Let's find out. For couples, we'll work as a team to define the issues and clarify the important goals. We'll give each of your positions a voice, so that the thoughts and feelings on both sides are represented. For individuals, we'll do the same thing, only our sessions will be one-on-one without your partner. We'll assess and evaluate, using a pragmatic conversational approach to get to the issues that matter.

From there, we'll arrive at the wisdom and clarity to answer this question: Should we stay or should we go? Are we meant to work through our issues, together? Or, is a healthy uncoupling in our best interest? Either way, our work will aim to bring clear-mindedness and personal empowerment to both partners in the relationship. The right path becomes clear...

 

FORMS FOR GETTING STARTED WITH PARTNER COACHING

The purpose of these forms is to help me understand you and the things that matter to you the most.
Click on the links below to access the forms. Requires login. Click Save & Send, when complete.

1. Intake Form

2. Areas of Focus

3. First Session Questions for Partners

4. Session Prep Form