Finding the right relationship coach can be daunting. Improving your relationships requires a lot of work and it’s important to have a qualified guide to walk you through the journey. So just how do you choose the right coach? These 6 tips will guide you through the process so you can get to work on healing yourself and your relationships.
1. Decide if you want a male or female coach
People typically reach out for help from a relationship coach during difficult times. Since your coach will be at your side, helping you navigate this difficult time, it’s important to decide whether you’d feel more comfortable opening up to a male or female coach. Some people feel more comfortable sharing their journey with a female, while others feel more comfortable sharing their journey with a male.
Are you having trouble relating to a particular gender? If so, a relationship coach of the same gender you’re having trouble relating to is a safe, and maybe less intimidating way, to gain exposure to that gender.
You may also want to take into account whether it would be helpful to have perspective from the opposite gender’s point of view. Often, input from the opposite gender can help us better understand where our partner is coming from. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.
2. Find a coach who specializes in your area of need
Relationship coaching is an umbrella term that covers a wide spectrum of our relationships with others. Are you struggling with how you personally show up in relationships? Are you needing to explore yourself within the context of a relationship? Are you finding yourself repeating the same self-defeating patterns from one relationship to the next? Are you having trouble relating to your current partner? Self-work is just one side of relationship coaching.
On the other side, there is couple’s work. Are you and your partner facing conflict that you just can’t seem to resolve? Do you both have a hard time expressing and/or receiving love? Do you struggle with intimacy issues (remember that intimacy doesn’t just include the physical side of things – it includes emotional connection, too)? Do you both have a desire to grow closer and attach on a deeper level? Is your partner willing to partake in couple’s coaching with you? If you answered yes to any of these, look for a coach who can work with couples.
Perhaps you’re not currently in a relationship, but you’re wanting to explore some unresolved issues. Have you been involved in an abusive relationship and wanting to heal? Are you having trouble getting over an ex? Do you struggle with negative messages you grew up with surrounding relationships, sexuality, gender roles, etc.? Are you wanting to date and find a partner, but have limiting beliefs that are holding you back? You don’t have to be in a relationship to benefit from relationship coaching. Many relationship coaches can work with you and give you the tools you need to heal from within so that you are open to giving and receiving love when the time is right for you.
3. Find a relationship coach who is sensitive to your values
Our views on relationships often intersect with our personal values and beliefs. Provided your value system is healthy and serving as a strong compass in your life, it’s important to find a coach who is sensitive to them. Finding a coach who can integrate your values, such as religion, culture, sexual orientation, etc. is important.
4. Decide if you want online or in-person sessions
With advancements in technology, many coaches are taking to the Internet and providing sessions online via Skype or other video meeting platforms, or via phone. Online and phone sessions are typically just as effective as in-person sessions, especially since much of your healing journey is done in between sessions through reading materials, homework and reflective periods. If, however, in-person sessions are more comfortable for you, that’s ok, too. Many coaches offer both in-person and online coaching sessions – just ask when contacting them.
5. Find a coach who has the proper training and/or experience
As with all professions, proper training is essential. When it comes to issues of the heart and mind, however, it is important to find someone who has the experience to guide you. When we’re working on something as intimate and delicate as relationships, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Find someone who not only knows which tools work for coping with strong feelings and overwhelm, but who also knows how to teach them to a client. It’s also important that your relationship coach knows how to guide you through the coaching process. There may be times you feel stuck, or confused, and a properly trained coach can help you get unstuck and find clarity. You will be doing hard work; be sure to find someone who is equipped to walk that journey with you.
How do you know if someone has the proper experience/training? It can vary between providers. Some have years of experience in helping people and have the testimonials to show their experience. Others have studied the fields of psychology and sociology and have a strong understanding of the science of human behavior. While some coaches are also therapists, many are not. If they are not a therapist, find a coach who is certified by a professional coaching organization. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective coach about their qualifications and check their online reviews/testimonials. Relationship coaching is both a financial and personal investment, and a little research can go a long way toward a successful outcome!
6. Determine an approximate budget
It can be tough justifying an expense that seems so selfish. It’s crucial to realize that this investment could be one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. Of course, you’ll need to have an approximate idea of how much you can afford, but if someone you resonate with is just outside your budget, it’s worth finding a way to make it work. You really can’t put a price tag on inner peace, joy and healthy relationships. Many coaches offer packages at various price-points and you can often purchase coaching sessions a few months at a time. Many coaches have their packages listed on their website, and if they don’t, don’t be afraid to ask what their fees are.
As with all personal journeys, finding the right relationship coach is ultimately a personal decision. With a little guidance and some research, you will be able to find the right fit for you.
Learn more about Jessica Yaffa’s relationship coaching services.