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Relationship Coaching: New Hope for Singles and Couples
Our Mission is to promote fulfilling life partnerships by providing
effective, healthy and empowering support, information, and resources to
singles, couples, and other helping professionals. We are dedicated to creating, preserving and improving relationships.
Our Vision is to create a social movement promoting
successful life partnerships by collaborating with professionals who share our
belief in the importance of healthy marriage and family relationships, and in
the quality of life for ourselves, our children, and future generations .
This is an open invitation to all professionals who share our vision.
Let's make a real difference. Failed relationships are at the
root of our social problems. We share the same goal, so let's join forces. We
have developed a powerful model which helps singles and couples have successful
relationships. By collaborating with other professionals, we can more
effectively bring public awareness to the tools and information needed to create
successful life partnerships.
A successful life partnership is a high priority for most of us.
When people enter committed relationships they do not want to
fail. If our society can solve economic and technical problems, creating a
healthy economy and technological wonders such as the World Wide Web, surely we
can achieve our shared human relationship goals by applying our skills and
knowledge in a similar fashion. There should be no barrier to any single person
or a couple wanting to have a successful marriage and family. Let's join
together and make this happen. If you share this vision, or know someone who
does, please contact us.
Background - Our Founder's Story
By David Steele
When I began my career as a helping professional in 1978, I
was quite ambitious about the difference I wanted to make in the marriages and
families in my community. I came from a divorced home, and it was very important
to me that marriages and families succeed. Aware of the high social costs of
failed relationships, I was passionate about solving the mystery of how to have
a successful marriage and family, personally as well as professionally.
From Couples Therapist to Relationship Coach
After 20 years of practice, I burned out on working with
couples on the verge of divorce. It struck me that to put off working on a
relationship until it's in trouble invites failure, yet that is what prompts
most people to get help from a therapist, and I didn't know any other way to
practice as a relationship professional. I was frustrated at being the resource
of last resort; knowing that many couples would contact a divorce lawyer prior
to seeking couples therapy, and with all my training, experience, and dedication
I couldn't save so many severely damaged relationships of couples that sought my
help when it was too late.
In today's world, the casual observer can easily see that
therapy still carries a stigma of inadequacy or failure, which therapists have
not helped by aligning with the medical profession, using the title of "Doctor"
and providing diagnosis and treatment for insurance reimbursement. I have found
that as long as couples associate therapy with "treatment," they will be
reluctant to see a therapist, put it off as long as possible, and have
unrealistic expectations when they do seek help. While the therapy profession
has its roots in personal growth and emotional healing, the days of Carl Rogers
and Virginia Satir seem long ago and unrecognizable in the world of HMO's,
PPO's, and Managed Care.
I stumbled upon "coaching" in 1997 and fell in love with it.
An entire new helping profession had developed from the worlds of personal
growth, sports, and business, completely off my radar. As a therapist, I found
it an attractive and novel approach to work with functional people who have
goals and want fulfillment in their lives. It struck me as more effective to
help people succeed in their goals than attempt to help them fix problems. I
first took a weekend workshop then completed a comprehensive training in
Personal Coaching, sometimes called Life Coaching.
I wanted to apply coaching to relationships and could not find
an existing model for doing so. I then developed my own paradigm involving five
stages that a person would go through from being single to being in a fulfilling
life partnership (see "Five Stages of Relationship Coaching" below).
When I looked at relationships from a coaching perspective, it
struck me that working with singles was a critically necessary starting point. I
became very excited to discover this large segment of the population (101
million adults in the U.S., 46% of the adult population), many or most of whom
desired successful relationships, that most helping professionals had been
ignoring. It seemed so logical that singles become couples, and I couldn't
understand how I had overlooked this niche in my mission to help people have
successful marriages and families. If we could help singles learn about
themselves and relationships, including how to make good relationship choices,
their chances for long-term success would be greatly increased.
Working with singles became a very exciting prospect for me. I
had to research this niche because I knew nothing about it. I read self-help
books for singles and looked up resources on the internet, and it was pretty
scary and disappointing. From my perspective as a therapist turned coach, the
existing technology, the existing resources for singles, like dating services,
personal ads, matchmakers, flirting workshops, "Find the perfect mate" self help
books, seemed like another setup for failure.
I was pleased to discover that singles are ideal coaching
clients: They are usually motivated, functional, they have a clearly identified
goal, are easy to identify and market to, and they typically have discretionary
time and income. My classes and coaching for singles were very well received,
and I had no trouble attracting clients and interested helping professionals. My
coaching services for couples attracted functional couples seeking to enhance
their relationships, as well as couples who would ordinarily seek therapy but
preferred a coaching approach to their relationship challenges.
Since discovering the world of coaching, I have re-discovered
my passion and calling for helping others and making a difference in the world.
I believe my effectiveness with my clients as a Relationship Coach is far better
than as a therapist, partially because my clients are in a better position to
benefit from my services, and also because coaching is a powerful, healthy,
empowering vehicle for helping people to get what they want in their life and
relationships. While therapy is beneficial and will always be needed to help
people in pain, I see coaching as the next evolution for therapy as we
increasingly promote functionality and prevention of dysfunction.
New Hope and New Challenges
I truly believe professional coaching to be the next evolution
of helping people with their life and relationship goals. While the need for
therapy will not disappear, in the past 8 years I have seen more and more
professionals and the public discover and prefer a coaching model for positive
change. At first glance, professionals often say "I've been coaching for a long
time and didn't know it!" Contrary to the stigma of therapy, and similar to
personal training, amongst the public it is becoming a status symbol to have a
coach. The perceived desirability of coaching and increasing public and
professional awareness creates more availability of, and demand for, the
services of professional coaches. "A rising tide lifts all boats." As a
Relationship Coach, I feel hopeful that we can finally make a dent in the
Presently there are many thousands of professional coaches
worldwide, and training institutes graduate hundreds more each month. Many are
alarmed that there are no governmental regulations, or educational or licensing
requirements; literally anyone can declare him/herself a coach and start
marketing their services, charging what clients will pay, and let the buyer
beware. There seems to be little protection against unethical and/or incompetent
practitioners, other than the likelihood that they will fail to stay in practice
in a business dependent upon word of mouth referral. As a career helping
professional, I am concerned about this and believe it presents tremendous
challenges to the future of coaching.
The good news is that, in my experience, the vast majority of
people attracted to the coaching profession are either already qualified and
practicing helping professionals, or are mature, talented people of integrity
with a strong calling to help others who seek training and experience before
hanging their shingle. Therapists will be reassured that coaches are trained to
recognize that they don't do what therapists do, and to follow the guideline
"when in doubt, refer it out." Coaches do not treat clinical disorders such as
anxiety, depression, addiction, and phobias. On the other hand, a therapist can
do what a coach does, providing a choice of paradigms and methodologies for
therapist and client. As the coaching profession gains more visibility, many
clients may prefer a coaching model to a therapy model. Clients who do not
perceive themselves in need of therapy may be more inclined to see a coach,
opening up new practice opportunities for therapists using the coaching
As RCI trains Relationship Coaches and helps them build
successful practices, we have witnessed many of them discover or re-discover
their passion for their work and make a tremendously positive difference in the
lives of countless singles and couples. Increasingly, we see creative, talented
professionals taking their work out of their office and into their communities,
impacting many more relationships than through a traditional private practice.
In addition, they are experiencing financial success and emotional satisfaction.
This gives us hope that the world we dream of helping to create is actually
achievable in our lifetime.