Relationship Coaching is the application of professional coaching to personal and business relationships.
While many singles and couples become motivated to seek help when struggling with their relationships, coaching and relationship coaching are positive, results-oriented professions that help functional people achieve their personal and relationship goals and is not a substitute or replacement for therapy provided by a licensed clinician trained to treat mental, emotional, and psychological disorders.
While relationship coaches might be experts in relationships, the art and science of coaching is to facilitate success from inside the client without providing advice or “professional opinions.”
Relationship Coaching addresses one of humanity’s most basic needs; for love and connection. As social beings it is almost impossible for us to be successful or fulfilled without supportive, successful relationships.
The label “relationship coach” has been used for many years by professionals (Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, etc.) and entrepreneurial para-professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.
With the evolution of personal/life coaching as a recognized profession in 1995 with training standards and certification initially established by the International Coach Federation, relationship coaching as a coaching specialty with its own professional training, standards, certification and methodologies was first developed by David Steele, a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who founded Relationship Coaching Institute in 1997.
44% of U.S. adults are single, and 27% of adults live alone. (Source- census.gov) If this trend continues, soon, the majority of the population of the western world will be single.
Helping singles have fulfilling lives and successful relationships requires understanding that not all singles are alike and most do not fit the stereotype of being lonely and desperate for a relationship.
Relationship Coaching Institute identifies the following seven types of singles:
Each type of single has their own unique developmental goals and challenges requiring specialized skills and strategies to effectively coach them to experience relationship success independent of the advice-driven approaches of other professions.
As with singles, not all couples are alike. Relationship Coaching Institute identifies the following four types of couples:
Family coaching includes nuclear and extended families, parenting, siblings, family businesses and co-housing arrangements.
Productive businesses require effective relationships. Coaching business relationships can include workplace relationships such as manager-employee, peer-peer, between corporate divisions, teams, as well as customer and vendor relationships.
Relationship coaching is a professional client-focused service where an individual or couple is assumed to be healthy, powerful, and able to achieve relationship goals with effective support, information, and guidance. There are significant and sometimes contrasting differences between therapy and coaching, and these differences in and of themselves better highlight the strengths of coaching.
In short, coaching is a results and goal-oriented methodology that assumes the client is functional and fully capable of success, while (psycho)therapy is a healing profession trained and licensed to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and psychological disorders. Coaching and therapy can complement each other very well. It could be said that coaching starts where therapy ends, making coaching a good fit for personal growth-oriented therapists.
Credit: David Steele