Process of a Relationship Coaching
Every relationship is as individual as the people who are in it. Respect for this uniqueness makes a standardized approach impossible.
Nevertheless, we are often asked for an assessment of the duration and scope, and it is the legitimate concern of those seeking support to get an orientation on what they are getting themselves into.
Please understand that the following description can only be a rough framework and we will work out everything else together with you after we get to know you. We do not have a rigid procedure, but adapt the course of relationship coaching to your needs.
Still, it’s good to know that relationship coaching can become a longer process. In the beginning, the focus is certainly on couples counseling, but often it then develops into an individual growth process for each person. There is no right and wrong in this process. From our perspective, every relationship is an opportunity to get to know yourself better.
A normal consultation cycle consists of four to six sessions, each of which takes place approximately three to four weeks apart.
The contents could look like this:
Entry and Understanding
In the first two sessions we mainly listen and try to find out what concrete agreements and rules are needed so that the couple can commit to a common path.
Often, patterns that repeatedly lead to disappointment come up and we work with the couple to develop tools for de-escalation. This does not mean sweeping conflicts under the rug, but finding a framework for change.
If necessary, we will suggest to the couple rules for communication and for developing a culture of dispute.
Also, in the first two sessions, partners gain a theoretical understanding of the developmental step they are about to take and the challenges involved. In many relationships, this understanding already creates a relaxation, since the partners were afraid that they had lost love and had drifted apart. Suddenly they can place the current situation in an ongoing process, in a model, which not only creates understanding but also gives them the courage to move on.
While this is not yet a solution, it often leads to a temporary truce and creates the motivation to address the deeper causes of the conflicts.
“Okay, we’re lost and stuck,” respectively, “finally I can relate the feelings and fears.”
Now that the foundation for conscious understanding has been laid, the real work can begin. The first step is completed and the despair of not understanding, gives way to a restrained confidence and often curiosity.
“What’s next?” is then the all-defining question that sprouts on the breeding ground of newfound hope.
Recognize and Change
In subsequent sessions, we address the underlying causes of the conflicts.
These mostly come from the biography: They are caused by the former family environment in which the partners grew up, by experiences and by past injuries, which are repeated in the current partnership.
In this individual biography work, it seems to make sense for us to focus on one of the partners. The other has the role of a participating witness in these sessions. He can thus develop understanding but also compassion for the everyday actions and reactions of the partner. This compassion, in turn, is the prerequisite for forgiveness and letting go of pent-up resentment.
Biography work also often reveals hidden or unconscious entanglements with parents, in-laws, former partners, or even one’s own children.
We try to work through as much of the biographical material as possible in these sessions, yet if you have deep-seated hurts or difficulty opening up, it may be useful to attend some individual coaching sessions. This is also the case if the shame threshold for working in front of the partner is too high or if a separation occurs during the process.
But regardless of whether it’s an individual or couples session, this section of couples counseling is designed to get the journey back to yourself on track. It is an impulse to question oneself and the partnership in its current form in order to creatively let something new arise from the answers.
In the beginning, this is often only a small plant and it is the partners’ own responsibility whether they want to nurture it or separate.
Integration and Future
In further sessions we reflect on the couple’s journey so far and work out further possible development steps.
We focus primarily on the future and strive to bundle the positive will of the partners so that a force emerges that can master the inevitable challenges ahead without our support.
The previous crises and theaters of war have largely calmed down. Now it is a matter of allowing as free a view forward as possible.
We work with the couple to determine if they would like topic-specific sessions and make a plan over time if necessary.
The frequency of sessions usually extends to six to eight weeks, depending on the couple’s wishes.
Such accompaniment at longer intervals can last for a longer period of time – depending on how and where a couple wants to develop.
There is no end here, because self-realization never ends.