Before we jump into the meat of this article, there’s one piece of advice we’d like to emphasize. Prior to working with any life coach, please make sure this person is a certified coach. What this means is, they completed the program’s intense curriculum and are qualified to coach you towards your goals, whether it’s individual or couple’s coaching you’re seeking.
You’ll be able to identify their certifications if they’re displayed on the website. So, before booking with the coach, go check out their website and notice if the ICF certification logo is displayed.
Now, onto the in’s and out’s of couple’s coaching. In this article, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between therapy and coaching. Ready? Let’s start!
The Differences Between Couple’s Coaching And Therapy
It doesn’t matter what you go to a coach for, they work from the present you in order to move toward the future. Therapy focuses on the past.
- Helps determine whether you do or don’t want to be together
- There is a tendency to focus on the past and the effect it has on your present.
- The focus is only on the couple, not necessarily each of you individually
- Primarily works on the communication and listening techniques
- You work on issues as a couple, period
- Concentration is placed on individual relationships along w/the couple’s dynamics
- The priority is placed communication and listening techniques
- Focuses on building the viability and strength of your relationship
- An emphasis is placed on the here, now, and moving forward together
What To Expect From A Couple’s Coach
Any good coach will first meet with both of you. This helps establish if the coach is the right fit. From there, each would meet with the coach independently of the other. This is to weigh and establish a connection with each person in the relationship, and get to know where each is at emotionally, mentally within the relationship and within their life.
Your coach is trained to hold the relationship and coach from a place that is best for that relationship. This helps the couple focus on themselves and make the improvements necessary for growth. One of the helpful tools the coach uses is homework assignments, these are often completed together outside of the sessions.
Usually in therapy you are told not to talk about the session once you leave. A coach will give you guidelines and tools to have a productive discussion that doesn’t lead into a full scale war.
The Bias Misconception
There can be a strong misconception around bias when it comes to couples coaching and therapy. What this means is, one partner believes the therapist is siding with the other partner. Qualified coaches and therapists will never hold bias, their interest is the relationship and not individual biases.
Conceived bias is usually an insecurity around a person’s behavior. Trained and certified coaches aren’t coming into the sessions with an opinion, they are there with a helping hand, tools, and to help you and your partner work through your challenges. Your coach is there to listen, observe, and ask the right questions. Beyond those questions are the tools, skills, exercises that you’ll get to help strengthen your communication. Which will only serve to enhance and better your relationship.
Bias is not in the room.
Some Last Words
Coaching and counseling are different processes. There’s nothing wrong with either, you have to do what works for your relationship.
As stated earlier, when you work with a coach, the focus is forward present and future. You can’t hide like you would in therapy. You won’t be eight or ten sessions deep and feel like nothing has been accomplished.