Relationship Coaching with a difference
You CAN learn the skills that lead to a joyful, loving relationship.
When a relationship starts to go wrong it’s not much fun and the added stress of not getting on well together can make communication even more difficult.
It is not always easy to ask for help when life does not seem to be going according to plan – the good news is asking for help, does help and David speaks from experience and believes he would have benefited from starting his journey of self discovery when he was a much younger man.
David uses a variety of tools in relationship coaching including counselling, NLP and art work, focusing on long term solutions and looking at better ways of relating. You will be learning and relearning how to develop powerful and sometimes magical ways to perform better in every area of your life, not just in your close relationship but all your relationships, including family, friends and work colleagues.
Having a positive structure
Relationship Coaching is similar to relationship counselling, marriage counselling couples therapy and more. Relationship Coaching takes a positive approach to the relationship by leading you through a structured solutions focused process that gives you life long skills to live in a more harmonious way.
This is achieved in a safe and confidential environment, encouraging gentleness, assertiveness, and respect and unlike individual coaching where the focus is on the individual, the focus in this case is on the relationship.
That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.
” E.M. Forster, Howard’s End, 1910
The Coaching Process is designed to encourage more effective ways of communicating with each other and gaining a deeper awareness of active listening so you will find it easier to understand one another, enabling you to engage and move forward in a more positive and proactive way.
“A wise man has long ears, big eyes and a short tongue” – Chinese Proverb
Making a Contract
What does a contract mean, why is a contract so important and how does it work. A contract is an agreement between two people whereby they agree to abide by specific prearranged terms.
It is not being suggested that this is a legal and binding contract: it is more a way of developing an honest, caring and compassionate attitude towards the person you are in a relationship with.
Quote from Wickipedia
“A contract is an exchange of promises between two or more parties to do, or refrain from doing, an act, which resulting contract is enforceable in a court of law. It is a binding legal agreement.  That is to say, a contract is an exchange of promises for the breach of which the law will provide a remedy.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contract
The skill here is taking responsibility for the relationship and the relationship is the court of law and it is within the relationship that you provide a remedy.
The contract is particularly useful when you have agreed something and if this agreement is not adhered to then you can challenge the person who is not basically keeping to their word. This does not have to be a big stick approach, more a reminder that we did agree to do this and the more gentle the better.
It is not fair to expect someone to do something if they have not previously agreed to do, where as agreeing in a contract is a way of eliminating, or at least reducing any chance of a misunderstanding around any specific issues.
Contracts are a healthy way of being clear and clean in your actions; it encourage respect and sets firm boundaries around what is and is not acceptable behaviour within the relationship.
The contract also clarifies job demarcation within the relationship and the standard joke is for example, “who job is it to put the dustbins out” (for some couples this is a big one!) If this pleasant little job has been agreed before hand and then the dustbins do not get put out, then the other person has a fair and just argument to challenge the dust bin putter outer who is not sticking to the agreement.
So without a pre arranged agreement where both parties agree to a specific task, role or behaviour there is only an expectation and it would not really be fair to turn an expectation into a clear and concrete agreement to do something.
The contract is not a formal agreement drawn up by solicitors etc. This is more an agreement between two people and if need be write it down and sign it, thus giving it value and worth.
Making and sticking to agreements is an important skill to develop if you want to reduce and hopefully eliminate conflict. If the contract is not working then sit down and renegotiate in the spirit of a respectful, honest, open and caring relationship.
And I rest my case…
Taking personal responsibility
This is a follow on from a contract because they are closely related. You will also learn about taking personal responsibility and shared responsibility within the relationship. This includes taking responsibility for your actions and behaviours, learning to own your statements by using the “I” word as opposed to the “you” word. “When that happens, I feel like this…”, as opposed to “you make me feel” or “they make me feel….”
Taking joint or shared responsibility could include such areas as the children’s education and discipline, the mortgage or rent and holidays together. Negotiating and honouring what are the things that are important to you and The Relationship.
When we own our statements the other person is less likely to feel a personal attack. We also take responsibility for our emotional state and learn to get our needs met in a positive fashion – being a door mat is not much fun and we don’t need to be on if we so choose.
If we go through life blaming others and making excuses for where we are in our lives right now, then on some level we are not taking responsibility for our life right now. Blaming and shaming, and making excuses are not really the way to a taking responsibility for your life. We are doing is dumping our stuff on someone else.
We have choices and we can take control of those choices by learning to control what we do with our lives. Allowing your self choice and taking responsibility for that choice will give you independence and freedom within a healthy relationship. This leads to inter-dependence as opposed to co-dependence
The fist step is to acknowledge that we need to take responsibility and that we can take responsibility, because when don’t take personal responsibility we are giving our power away. Taking responsibility is an opportunity to grow and be self determined. This is a way of finding yourself – within the relationship.
When you create your own destiny,
you prevent others from doing it for you…
When we blame someone else for something that has affected us we are shifting the responsibility for what happened. When we take full responsibility for our lives things go better, events are more likely to slot into place, life runs more smoothly because we are in control and in charge and if things do go wrong we can put our hand up and say I did my very best, accept it and move on a wiser and more content person.
Identifying what you want
Sometimes we do not know what we want and by skilfully exploring where you are, at this exact moment in time and were you want to go, together we can open avenues that did not seem possible or clear to you before.
Goals give us direction and purpose
Goal setting for the relationship is really helpful because a relationship can have no clear direction or loose direction over time. This process gets the relationship back on track by looking for and agreeing common aims and goals for your future together such as money, the children’s education, the house, career and so on.
Sometimes only one half of the team has goals and you may even be pulling on different oars ending up going around in circles, rather than moving forward on a collaborative course.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going” – Zig Ziglar
Goals are useful on a daily basis, constantly reminding you of where you are going so you can remain focused and positive about the direction you want to move towards. We can get knocked off course and goals are the constant reminder of where we are going that will keep you moving in your agreed direction.
Goals are not just for the bigger long term objectives, they can be designed for relationship maintenance such as agreeing on being pleasant to one another, not swearing if one partner does not like it or avoiding words that that are designed to wound or trigger negative responses. Spending quality time together, going to the cinema, dancing, getting away on a regular basis, getting out more often, going for walks together, and rekindling the spark and fire that you used have, and…. having more fun together.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus
When things get stressful the goals will be a constant reminder not to give up and to continue working at your commitment to staying in the relationship and ironing out the wrinkles that get in the way of a loving, caring, harmonious, friendly balanced relationship.
Going back to art work and time lines – We will use artwork to set out your life plan and I just love this bit because I find it to be profound and powerful, and can initiate massive shifts. There can be lots of Ah-ha moments during this stage. The process of setting goals has the capacity to motivate and enthuse. This will be your road map to success.
Taming the Angry Monster
When we get angry Adrenalin is released into the body and produces a Fight or Fly response. Some people will stay and fight their corner and some will want to get away as fast a possible.
To avoid the Adrenalin rush which is often the precursor to a situation breaking down it is helpful to identify the triggers that spark off an angry response. Then we start to become aware of what is happening and take appropriate action to choose not to react but ratherrespond in a calm adult way, avoiding the release of adrenalin and its consequences. Click here for more info on Taming the Angry Monster
Conflict is healthy and conflict resolution is an easy skill to learn and becomes easier with practice, and in time develops into a positive, assertive behaviour delivered in a calm, conversational way. Conflict does not have to be negative – it can develop into a respectful, intimate, loving and caring part of your relationship.
“You would have to be celibate monk, taking a vow of silence, living in solitude to go through life and not upset someone.” – Thank you DF, St Margrets, as seen on the back of the loo door.
Relationships don’t have to be competitive and couples who learn how to avoid competing, identify common life goals and to share responsibilities within their relationship will enjoy the sweetness and magic of a special relationship
Gentle and Safe
From the counselling and coaching skills that I have learned over the years I can assist in this process of change in a gentle and safe way taking you from where you are now to where you would like to be.
To make an appointment – Contact David to start your journey right now.
Tel 07815 737 529 or 01963 363 359
David Plimmer MAO (Manip), MBACP, INLPTA, ANLPMT.
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