What is a Relationship Coach?

Does relationship coaching work?
on September 11, 2023
Read time: 5 mins
by Moraya Seeger DeGeare

Couples therapy, marriage counseling, and relationship coaching are all tried and tested ways to help improve your relationship. 

Unlike therapy, a relationship coach is more action-oriented and future-focused in their approach. These sessions are designed to give couples practical tools to deal with relationship hurdles, rather than dealing with isolated underlying issues. 

If you’re considering relationship coaching, instead of traditional couples therapy, there are a few important things to keep in mind before starting your journey. 

What does a relationship coach do? 

A relationship coach is a professional who supports individuals and couples to help them improve and navigate their relationships. The main focus of a relationship coach is to assist clients in developing healthier and more fulfilling relationships with themselves and others. 

Relationship coaching allows you to learn vital skills for relating, such as conflict resolution skills and intimacy development. If you feel you’re lost in your relationship, these coaching sessions are designed to guide you in the right direction. 

Relationship coaching is more psychoeducational in practice and often focuses on the couples navigating a particular life stage together, such as parenting or direct communication. 

What problem does a relationship coach solve? 

Relationship coaching programs focus on a myriad of couples' issues, aiming to provide guidance and support to deal with these problems head-on. 

For example, these training programs deal with communication issues, conflict resolution, trust issues, as well as more general relationship skills. It’s important to note that while relationship coaches are valuable resources for addressing these common relationship challenges, their approach is more focused on skill-building rather than dealing with more deep-rooted inner work or a couple navigating a major mental health diagnosis. 

These coaching sessions are designed to give you the tools to create a more functional relationship with your partner, rather than dealing with specific issues. 

What’s the difference between a relationship coach and a marriage counselor? 

Relationship coaches are not therapists or counselors, and their focus is on providing guidance, support, and practical tools to enhance relationship dynamics. These coaching services are usually action-oriented, helping clients develop strategies to form healthy relationships.  

However, marriage counseling or couples therapy is a board-regulated profession, requiring certain levels of education, clinical training, and often additional certification to work with more than one client as a patient.

For example, professional counselors have credentials such as LMFTs or LPCs and use specific psychotherapy techniques to support couples to go from distress and disconnected to connected and understanding each other. 

While they can help clients work through various challenges, they are not trained to address deeper psychological issues or have these years of experience with specific relationship problems like traditional therapists. Even though they don’t have counseling certifications, certified coaches have taken part in specific coach certification programs and are accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF)

These rigorous relationship coach certification programs specialize in helping couples heal resentments through actions, rather than traditional therapeutic approaches. 

How do you find a relationship coach? 

If you think that a relationship coach is right for you, it’s important to find the right person for you! Just like couples therapy, compatibility with your therapist or coach is essential for success.

Determine your needs: The first step is to decide your relationship goals and what you want from coaching sessions. With your partner, it’s important to evaluate your love life and assess where you need relationship advice. For example, if you want more healthy communication this is a good starting point when looking for a coach.
Research: Once you have identified what you want to tackle, it’s important to research coaches who are most suited to your needs. There are online directories dedicated to listing relationship coaches, which will also list their relevant certifications or qualifications.
Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends or family members who have worked with relationship coaches. These personalized testimonials can provide valuable insights and help you find a coach who has a track record of success.
Compatibility: A strong coach-client relationship is essential for success, so it’s important to be comfortable during your sessions to get the best results. Trust your gut to determine if the coach is right for you — with the final decision to be decided as a couple.

What are the benefits of a relationship coach? 

Relationship coaching for couples is designed to give you the skills for the best relationship possible. If you’re both committed to these coaching packages, there are myriad of benefits for both you and your loved one. 

  • Improved communication skills

  • Enhanced conflict resolution 

  • Goal setting for future 

  • Building trust & security 

  • Strengthened intimacy

  • Personal growth and self-awareness

  • Objective perspective

All romantic relationships benefit from this guidance, no matter what issues you may be facing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the price of a relationship coach?

    Relationship coach pricing varies widely depending on several factors, depending on the specific services offered. The price also varies depending on whether you choose individual or couples coaching, or if you’re attending a private practice. Depending on where you decide to go, some coaches offer hourly or package rates, while others offer more intensive programs or monthly retainers.
  • What does a relationship coach do during a session?

    The format and content of a coaching session depend on the coach’s approach and the client’s needs. However, usually, you can expect active listening coaching, goal-setting, conflict resolution skills, and general skill-building. Coaches may also give couples homework and exercises to work on in between sessions, so you can track your own progress.
  • What is a dating coach?

    A dating coach is similar to a relationship coach, with guidance focused more on improving dating skills rather than specific relationship skills. These coaches work with clients at various stages of dating, including those who are single or looking for a partner. Dating coaches often support clients in interrupting ridged dating patterns that are not working for them to being more open and present to the process. This also differs from life coaching, which focuses more on general life skills rather than more specific relationship advice.
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