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Couples Coaching

My couples coaching practice was born out of the coaching I do with executives and business owners. With many business clients we eventually work holistically on all aspects of life. Making sure that the plan works for both partners is critical, which can lead naturally to couples coaching (see Life Coaching).

In the last few years, I have had some projects that began as couples coaching. In those cases, the couple realized that they wanted to develop a new chapter in their lives together and sought my help to help them make it happen.

Why do people call for couples coaching?

Often an external event precipitates the couple wanting to plan a new life chapter. Some examples include:

  • Retirement
  • Newly married
  • Moving to a new location
  • Having children
  • Kids leaving home
  • A partner wanting to change careers
  • A physical challenge
  • Making a relationship work better
  • Working on financial issues

How is couples coaching different from individual life coaching?

I think of couples coaching as coordinating three individual coaching projects-each of the partners plus the relationship. A successful, sustainable result must work for both partners and support a vibrant relationship. The couple decides which aspects of each of their lives will be included in the work we do together.

How does couples coaching compare to psychotherapy for couples?

My work with couples builds upon a relationship that is basically stable. If a couple is significantly challenged interpersonally or unsure whether they wish to stay together, they aren't good candidates for couples coaching. However, one of the explicit goals of couples coaching is to strengthen the relationship.

What work do you do other than improve the relationship?

Often there are other aspects that require special focus. Sometimes they are financial, sometimes career oriented, or in response to external event.

How do couples begin working with you?

Before we begin the formal coaching, I typically have a short conversation with each partner separately and then with couple together. Like any other coaching we must decide that we have good interpersonal compatibility and are clear about the project goals.

What is the typical duration of a couples coaching project?

The duration of the coaching depends upon the goals to be achieved. In most cases, my coaching contract is a minimum duration of three months. Clients often choose to extend the coaching relationship to achieve the results set out initially. In some cases, when couples are working on a specific, focused issue, we can complete the work in less than three months.

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