A Couples Coaching Experience

Very often, in the first session, I ask my new clients how they feel about the session ahead. They usually say something like: "We have no idea what to expect." The vast majority of my clients have never received coaching before, and, as we are here to talk about some very personal information, they are often apprehensive, and a little nervous.

 

My couples desperately want help, but they also want reassurance that coaching will be worth it. Worth the initial discomfort, the vulnerability, the time commitment, and the financial investment that it requires. 

So, I have recently started to ask my couples to reflect on their experience, so that I can share some of this with you to give you a better vision of coaching.

I have great admiration for my couples, for their resilience, their determination and willingness to do whatever it takes to save their marriage or relationship, their love for each other. 

This couple have answered my questions from the heart, and their coaching journey lasted just 8 weeks and 6 sessions. I hope that you can sense from their answers just how much they mean to each other and how far they were prepared to go to be happy together once more. I have referred to them as 'husband' and 'wife' to honour their anonymity.

Their relationship was transformed.

Husband 

As you went through the coaching journey, how did it change things for you?


Initially Jane, as you know having experienced counselling, I was very sceptical of any process, having
tried talking to my wife for so long which always resulted in the same outcome “it’s not me it’s you.” I
had all but given up, from our first zoom session I felt uneasy opening up to a complete stranger
about something so private, but immediately I felt talking to you enabled my wife to listen patiently and calmly. So utterly desperate I was at that stage, you listened, you didn't point the finger or proportion blame, and facilitated a very neutral and calming atmosphere in which to talk about aspects of our life’s needs, fears and what was important to us as individuals. From that initial session I just knew if we put the effort in ourselves you would guide us to ultimately what we both wished and hoped for.


What did you hope to get from coaching with me? Were your expectations met?


I hoped for anything that did not resemble counselling, and I got something very friendly, unbiased
and professional, by the end of the sessions you, and we, far exceeded any expectations I could have
dreamed of before we first were introduced.


How has your relationship changed since beginning the
coaching?


We always said during the sessions that we wished to have a relationship like it was at the start, well
we have that but with so much more understanding of each other, we know what makes each other
tick, what we as individuals want out of the relationship, but what is important to us personally.


How have you or your partner changed?


Definitely, if there is something to discuss, we do, without fear of how it will end up, we do disagree
from time to time, but it never becomes an issue. And our relationship has definitely become filled
with fun and much laughter, I honestly feel like I can be myself as well as being a couple.

How would you describe your experience of the sessions? Did you feel heard, understood, valued? Did you enjoy the sessions or were they uncomfortable for you throughout?


I was uncomfortable, and very nervous initially, but those fears and guarded feelings thankfully quickly diminished  during the first session, yes I did feel heard, understood, valued throughout the sessions, but I also felt like the coaching was done in a very friendly, very calming and bespoke to our needs, not like you were delivering pages from a manual, “we laughed, cried, had difficult discussions, improved our communication skills, and learnt so much about each other in every session”. I grew to enjoy the sessions very quickly, and couldn't wait to tell you how far we had progressed at the next one.

What was the thing you benefited from and/or enjoyed the most?


Seeing our relationship blossom and become very happier after each session, but I have to say  you have to believe in the coach and the coaching methods, and be willing to put these valuable lessons into practice between sessions to gain the benefits, which thankfully we both believed in, and tried really hard to achieve the positive outcome.

What will you now do differently to how you operated before the coaching experience?


Everything, but mostly talk without blame, we understand each other so much more now, even after 9 years together, and most of all it is okay to disagree, and it is not a reason for an argument. We never go to bed now with any ill feeling.


At what point during your journey did you start to feel more at ease with the sessions (if at all)?


Remembering how cautious and sceptical I was of the process before entering into it, I felt more at ease, at the beginning of the second session, having had time to evaluate the first session and the coaching techniques, given that first session was very emotional and difficult for myself.


Do you feel that you received substantial value for money for the package you chose?

Yes definitely, I'll be honest initially didn't think we could afford the fee’s, but given the fantastic outcome and where we are now, compared to where we were prior to the coaching sessions when our marriage was almost finished, with the financial implications of separation and divorce. We absolutely received value for money and so much more. Jane I’m not tight but I am very careful with money, and I would have happily paid double and more for what we have achieved as a direct result of your coaching.    


On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the coaching you have received?


1.000.000 and a lot more


Is there anything that you feel I could learn from you about the coaching experience?


Jane no I am, we are, 110% satisfied, over the moon and so thankful for what you do, and how you do it, an absolute credit to relationship coaching, with your guidance, your neutrality, your friendly open approach our marriage would have failed, personally I cannot thank or recommend you enough.
 

Wife

As you went through the coaching journey, how did it change things for you?


I felt more positive about my relationship with my husband and that there was hope that we could save our marriage. 


What did you hope to get from coaching with me? Were your expectations met?


I hoped to save my marriage and to be able to communicate better with my husband, which I was hoping would improve our relationship. Yes, my expectations were met. I also discovered a gentle side to my husband. 


How has your relationship changed since beginning the coaching?


It has changed dramatically from the place we were in at the time of our coaching. We were in a very difficult place with little or no appreciation of each other. We now have a better understanding of each other and make time to listen to each other. At times it’s not easy and it’s taking work on both our parts but we both want to work at our marriage.

 

We enjoy being with each other now more than ever. 

How have you or your partner changed? 


I believe I have changed in my attitude to how I think things should be, this is because I have a better understanding of where my husband is coming  from. I am less tense around him, I used to wait for or expect him to react in a negative way to some situations which became his normal behaviour pattern. my husband has a more positive reaction now to things that in the past would have ended up in an argument. We have both learned to be more patient with each other.


How would you describe your experience of the sessions? Did you feel heard, understood, valued? Did you enjoy the sessions or were they uncomfortable for you throughout?


Sometimes the sessions were uncomfortable, that was during times when it was hard to listen to how my husband was feeling and his thoughts on our marriage. It was sometimes uncomfortable for me when I found it difficult to put into words what I was really trying to say. 
Overall I did enjoy the sessions, I looked forward to the opportunity to improve my relationship with my husband. I didn’t want the sessions to be a slanging match where we just accused each other of bad behaviour. What was good was being able to be honest in a controlled and/or calm environment with you, which prevented us ending up in another argument but being able to work things through without actually realising that was what we were doing. 


What was the thing you benefited from and/or enjoyed the most? 


One of the things I really enjoyed was being able to laugh at Us. We had been on such a difficult journey for then last 2 years laughter and having fun was not part of our life any more. Everything was a battle and it felt like no one won. It was good to see and hear my husband laugh again.

 

One of the good things that came from the sessions overall for me is that he understands why it’s important to me to have (certain things) and how I choose things is a process I enjoy. He has become a lot more patient with me in these areas and I know he keeps quiet rather than say things that in the past would have otherwise upset me. It’s not without its difficulties but we are both more patient  and have a better understanding of how each other may be feeling at the time. 


What will you now do differently to how you operated before the coaching experience?


I now try to see things from my husband's position rather than always from mine.  After learning so much about the way my husband was seeing things and learning how my reaction to him affected our relationship.  

 

I never want to go back to how we were before our coaching.

At what point during your journey did you start to feel more at ease with the sessions (if at all)? 


I felt at ease after session 1 I think, this was because I felt that the way you were with us as a couple was perfect for us. I was worried my husband would not respond to the sessions but as soon as I listened to him start to open up I knew it was going to be ok. It wasn't all easy but absolutely worth it.

Do you feel that you received substantial value for money for the package you chose? 


In my eyes it was flipping priceless. You can’t put a value on saving your marriage and finding love again which had been lost.

Having said all that, yes, definitely value for money.

The amount of time you gave us at each session, the amount of sessions we had and the time you spent after each session putting into emails was very good value for money. I never felt rushed at any of our sessions.  

On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the coaching you have received?

10 being happy ..... 10 


Is there anything that you feel I could learn from you about the coaching experience? 


Just to say Thank You