Updated: Sep 12, 2020
My parents argue about almost everything. From little things like my dad placed items in the wrong place to bigger decisions on which country to travel for the school holidays.
I hear the same thing over and over again in nearly every argument. My mum would say, "Why do you never change? I've said this so many times. Why do you never listen to me?"
And my dad would react the same way: apologize and obey, for a short period. Then, he would forget all about it, and the argument repeats, like a broken video recorder, rewinding a scene again and again.
Since young, I have always wondered if there is a better way to communicate and resolve conflicts in families. Nagging and yelling seems to be the default mode for many traditional Asian families, yet is it really necessary or the only way to resolve the issue?
“If disagreements are unavoidable, can we disagree without arguments? Can we manage conflicts in a more peaceful way?” were questions that fuelled me to research more on effective communication skills and other methods to build a healthy relationship.
Then, I stumbled upon relationship coaching. The more I explore relationship coaching, the more fascinating it is. It has an enormous potential to transform our relationships from good to better and it is suitable for anyone in any relationship stages.
In this article, you’ll learn
What is relationship coaching
Who is it for
Why is it important
How is it different than couple therapy or counselling
When is a good time to do it
How you can get relationship coaching for yourself
What Is Relationship Coaching?
Similar to life coaching, relationship coaching helps people find greater fulfilment in their relationships, be it romance, friendship, working relationship, or family bonds.
It is an experiential process where you work with a relationship coach to:
Understand your current situation — what works and doesn’t work,
Learn to overcome issues (guided by a coach),
Upgrade yourself with new practices and new habits to thrive in your relationships: self-management, clear listening, generative conversations, making agreements, and more.
Who Is It For?
Relationship coaching is for people who are in relationships and want to bring it to the next level. A level where they feel fulfilled, and happy in their relationships.
No matter where your relationship is at, there is always room for improvement, and relationship coaching taps into your potential to create the relationship you desire.
Why Is It Important?
Just like how we take daily supplements to maintain our health, relationship coaching is the supplement to check-in on our relationship health level.
Questions that inspire us to ponder on our relationship health levels are:
Am I listening to my partner, or waiting for my turn to answer and prove my point of view?
Am I facing or avoiding conflicts?
Am I requesting or complaining?
Am I keeping my promises?
Am I holding my boundaries and maintaining my dignity?
Do I expect my partner to do something that wasn’t agreed between us, i.e., unspoken expectations?
Unless a relationship coach intentionally guides us through an in-depth check-in process, often, we’re not aware of the behavioural and conversational patterns in our daily lives.
Some patterns are empowering and some are disempowering, which can lead your relationships downhill if disempowering patterns aren’t discovered.
A relationship coach can help us discover our blind spots by unravelling negative patterns hidden deep inside our bodies, bring them to light, and guide us to replace them with empowering, positive patterns.
Relationship coaching also provides us a new and different lens on how we see our current circumstances, giving us new possibilities that we didn’t notice before.
As the old adage goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
We can stand in a different position, look at situations and our partners from a new lens, and learn empowering patterns that supplement our relationships.
How is Relationship Coaching Different From Couple Therapy Or Counselling?
Couple therapies and marriage counselling are equivalent to blood pressure pills; they're designed to stabilize abnormal levels of health. Whereas, relationship coaching, as mentioned, is like a Vitamin C supplement. It boost you with extra nutrients.
What this means is that couple therapies and family counselling focus on fixing wounded or broken relationships, while relationship coaching supplements you with 'nutrients' to improve and enhance your relationships.
When Is A Good Time For A Relationship Coaching?
Whenever you feel you want something more from your relationship, or you feel something is missing, that's a sign to have a healthy check-in with your relationship coach.
Perhaps, you feel you could say or do things in a better way, or you want to reignite the magic you once had when you first met, or maybe build a deeper connection with your significant other.
As long as there's a room for improvement, there's a space for relationship coaching.
Conclusion: Building A Great Relationship That Lasts
'Relationship' is a massive pillar that affects many aspects of our lives, yet we weren't taught how to build positive, happy relationships that last a lifetime.
Thankfully, I found Mark Mooney and Madeline Wade. Both of them are Master Somatic Coaches and Relationships Coaches with over two decades of experience.
My experience with them has opened my eyes and shifted my perspective about relationships:
Old couples don't have to stay together for the sake of commitment only. Love can still exist even after decades of marriage.
How we converse and behave affects the quality of our relationships.
To improve our relationships, it starts with ourselves, not the other person.
This sparked the fire in me to bring this life-changing wisdom to Asia, in collaboration with HummingBeing.
Isabelle Claus Texeira, the founder of HummingBeing, shared the same motivation too. She realized there is a big missing gap in almost all of her coachees. Her coachees would ask for career or leadership coaching, and one issue constantly pops up that affects their career: relationships. Whether it’s relationships with colleagues, management, and some will start to speak about relationships with family, partners, friends, or children.
In Isabelle’s experience, many coachees were at a loss and embarrassed to address those relationship issues. Her coachees were taught how to lead, how to manage people, but they weren’t taught how to build empowering relationships.
This is why MindfulSpace and HummingBeing decided to invite Mark and Madeline to Asia to help more couples build happy and fulfilling relationships that can support other areas of life such as career, finance, and overall well-being.
You might ask, “Why Mark and Madeline? What makes them special?”
Mark and Madeline are Master Somatic Coaches for 25 years, which means they use somatic techniques in their relationship coaching sessions. This, combined with only a small number of experienced somatic coaches available in Asia, making them even more valuable.
Even better, Mark and Madeline’s approaches are universal and inclusive — no religion, cultural, historical, and ethnic beliefs attached to it. This means anyone can benefit from their wisdom and practice in their own country.
Some of their universal approaches are:
Make clear requests to take care of your needs, and to feel a sense of belonging, safety, and respect
Hold your own while respect others boundaries
Speak your opinions in a way that keep others safe and feeling respected
Manage conflicts with dignity and stay open and connected to the other person
Critical listening with the heart
For over 20 years, Isabelle has coached on conflict management, crucial conversations, problem-solving, influencing skills and mediation, yet she has never quite really nailed it herself. With Madeline as her coach and mentor coach, the approach ‘from the body up and the mind down’ gave the new insights that were not visible to her before. Even for Isabelle as an experienced coach, she has:
Experience what 'power with" feels in her own body, learning how to sense and align herself
Discover and refine what mood is supportive and what’s not, and how to shift to a supportive mood to stay in a relationship she cares about, even in the most stormy moments
Next, you’re probably wondering, “What is somatic?”
Somatic includes a critical component that most coaching techniques omit: the wisdom of the body. This coaching method moves the center of learning from the mind to the body, giving you access to all aspects of your intelligence — mind, body, and emotion. Because of its holistic approach, it provides sustained, transformative changes that stay with you.
Mark and Madeline have been transforming couples for nearly 20 years. They have many success stories, and one stood out is how Mary and Tom overcame their internal negative patterns and turned their relationship around.
Mary and Tom had been in a relationship for six months and had a feeling to spend their lives together.
Tom hadn't proposed yet because he was scared of making the 'wrong' move. He was worried that he might lose himself for the sake of the other. His upbringing had displayed this with his parents. This, combined with a strong need 'to do it right' held back honest conversations.
On the other hand, Mary was easily triggered by the smallest suspicion. She was afraid that Tom might cheat on her when he didn't respond to her text immediately. She couldn't sleep at night if Tom didn't wish her a 'good night, sweetheart' message.
By using the wisdom of the body, Mark and Madeline helped them to recognize the cause of the trigger so they can be aware of it whenever it appears in them and each other. They came into agreement and began shifting difficult patterns and slowly expanded to positive habits.
The result was a proposal, a marriage, and a beautiful daughter.
What's incredibly effective about somatic coaching is that it facilitates embodied learning.
To explain this best, let me ask.
What's your keyboard typing speed when you first learn how to type?
Perhaps a letter per second.
Let's say you type 5 hours a day for seven days in a row. What’s your typing speed now?
Most likely, you can type faster than the first day.
And do you know why?
Each letter you type, you're training your body to remember the feeling of typing. Gradually, your body remembers the layout of the keyboard, allowing you to type without even looking at it.
This learning method is called embodied learning, where you learn through physical movements. It's similar to learning a new musical instrument.
Embodied learning is powerful because whatever your body has learned, as long as you practice it consistently, the wisdom stays with you—forever. This is actually how habits are formed and retained.
"To be different in your relationship, it is required that you become a different person and not be at the mercy of who your past suggests you 'should be'" - Mark and Madeline.
To help you kickstart your relationship transformation journey, we are opening registration for "The Art and Mastery of Long-Lasting Relationship" 6-session course for people who are:
Seeking more in their relationships
Feeling something is missing
Looking for ways to improve their relationships
Wanting to have happier, more fulfilling days with their partners
For more information, WhatsApp 9783 7313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org