Marriage coach or therapy, which one is right for you?

Marriage coaching is the primary focus of The Power of Two Online program. So what does a marriage coach do? Marriage coaching is all about education. Many people come to romantic relationships in life with a roseate glow. Hoping that the love and affection felt today will last through the years. Eventually, many couples find that the strain of daily life together, combined with a lack of relationship skills and bad communication habits lead to discontent. Anger and contempt develop towards your partner and you find yourself wondering what happened.

Couples that do thrive in the long run are couples who either bring with them relationship skills or (more likely) they learn them along the way. At Power of Two this is what marriage coaching is all about. Most people learn about relationships from the families they grow up in. Unhealthy patterns and a lack of knowledge about what a healthy relationship is can lead to relationship problems.

marriage coach
A marriage coach is a teacher

A good marriage coach will empower a couple (or just one partner looking for help) with the tools and skills to communicate effectively and resolve conflict. It is possible to stay calm in the midst of a storm and develop and maintain that loving feeling that started it all.

A marriage coach is:

A trained educator. The Power of Two program is based on actual skills. You won’t hear advice about how you need to be a better communicator, you will learn HOW to be a better communicator. Skills for communication, collaborative decision making, keeping anger in check and out of your marriage and staying intimately connected are all part of the program. Think of it like a boot camp for your marriage.

A person who lives what they teach. You likely wouldn’t expect to find good information about how to have a strong marriage from someone who is not married. A credible source is someone who’s been married, maybe even struggled to have a strong marriage. Every relationship faces challenges. A good marriage coach works hard in their own relationship and understands what it takes to practice what they preach.

marriage coachA confidential partner in your journey to create the relationship you want. Often part of working through relationship issues is having someone outside the relationship you can talk to. Maybe you have a friend or confidant you can talk to, maybe you don’t. Maybe your circle of friends or your co-workers are not the right people to discuss your relationship challenges. That’s okay. That is where a marriage coach comes in.

A marriage coach is not:

A therapist. Therapy can be a critical step for some people. Therapy can help you deal with other factors such as depression, anxiety, your past experiences and other mental health issues that will not be addressed while working with a marriage coach. Alternatively, in person traditional therapy can be costly and out of reach. Marriage coaching can provide an alternative that is discrete and affordable.

A passive partner. A coach, like a therapist is a trained listener. While it can be valuable to have someone you can talk (ok, vent) to, a good marriage coach isn’t going to let you and your partner slide by without doing the work. Learning relationship skills is not easy and does require work and commitment. A marriage coach can be a partner is keeping you motivated and help you build your tool box of skills.

An end all, be all. While a marriage coach can be strategic partner and a very valuable part of a support team, marriage coaching is not an end all, be all. In many instances a skill building program is an excellent compliment to therapy. It all depends on your situation and individual needs.

The bottom line is that most couples can benefit from learning new skills to relate to each other. Solving conflict in a collaborative manner doesn’t always come naturally. If you wanted to get better at tennis, you’d find a great coach. The same is true for your relationship.

A marriage coach is a trained educator ready to help you take the next step to have the relationship you want!