Curated from: Modern Intimacy
Have you ever felt you and your partner are having the same fight over and over again? Or, the same kind of fight over different circumstances? This is one of the most common relationship challenges, and if left untreated it’s a breeding ground for resentment and dissatisfaction. This is where relationship support comes in.
Relationship Coaching vs. Couple Therapy: What’s the Difference?
Couples Therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on improving a romantic relationship and cultivating deeper emotional safety and closeness. Just like with individual therapy, there are many modalities and schools of thought regarding how to address relationship struggles, for which relationship therapists have specialized education in the couples & family field and practice under regulated state licensing.
Relationship Coaching focuses on the same area of expertise and is different as it operates under a goal-oriented approach to solving relationship problems by gaining tools, working through stuck points, and achieving goals in a concrete way.
While both are based in psychology, relationship coaching leans more towards solution-based personal growth models to tap into unlocked potential. Therapy tends to invest more time delving into how the past shapes the present, while coaching tends to be more present and future focused. And because the Life Coaching industry is not regulated, the key to getting excellent relationship coaching is to work with a qualified professional who’s credentials and expertise are a match for your unique needs.
Experts understand that a relationship is more than the sum of its parts. In connection, two people come together and form a third entity which is the relationship. That entity must be big enough to fit both of your needs, wants, and desires. This is what your Relationship Mentor can help you achieve.
How Can Relationship Coaching Help with Conflict Resolution?
A couple is two people coming together, each with different backgrounds of personal experiences, culture, family history, and so much more. It can feel like we are coming from different worlds! Therefore it makes sense that tension will inevitably happen as differences arise in behaviors, beliefs, and core values.
Conflict is the clashing of different perspectives. However, the real problem is rarely about the thing you are arguing about, but rather about something much deeper. What is really happening is that one or both people are not feeling seen, heard, understood or respected around certain areas of the relationship that are important to their personal wellbeing.
This is why a relationship coach works with you to get to the root of the issue. They will carry out a deep exploration of your situation to clearly track the relationship dynamic, define the problem in an objective way and help you see the necessary steps to take to get to where you want to go. From there, you work through the blocks that get in the way of deep connection, as well as receive guidance and learn skills around communication, intimacy, and how to work through differences in a way that feels sustainable in the long term.
The coaching sessions can be done individually or as a couple. This process of learning conflict resolution in real time becomes the gateway for conflict prevention and management in the future, as well as provides a stronger baseline of trust in your relationship that comes from understanding and protecting your relationship in a more intentional way.
Using Communication Tools Outside of Sessions
Gaps in communication as well as different styles of expression are usually a big part of relational distress, which is something most couples are able to self-identify as a growth opportunity. A coach works with you to unlearn and transform the patterns that block open communication as well as teaches you skills and techniques to foster both sides of the equation, from clear and respectful sharing to empathetic listening.
This is done via modeling and guiding couples towards better communication in session experientially, as well as through skill building for individuals and couples through an educational coaching approach. This means that you receive explanations, techniques and prompts tailored to you and your unique situation, so that you can increase your toolbox in terms of navigating hard situations as well as how to talk about them in ways that are emotionally safe and supportive to all parties involved.
At the beginning, the practice of incorporating new skills feels unnatural therefore more guidance and mediation is needed. A good coach will remind you that new skills are not hard because they will be hard for you. They just feel hard because they are new. Over time and with practice, people feel more empowered to take risks using new communication styles outside of sessions, at home and with partners and lovers. These conversations become the bridge to deeper connection and stronger relationships than ever before.
Most people grossly overestimate the amount of effort it will take to change or improve their relationship. However, once they channel their concern into intentional action, they learn the skills needed to transform not only their romantic partnership, but also the relationship to themselves and all others around them. And by that point, most folks wish they had gotten support sooner!
The post How Working with a Relationship Coach can Reduce Conflict appeared first on Modern Intimacy.