Ever Wondered What a Threesome with a Life Coach Looks like?

As a life and relationship coach, a lot of my work is done from my Vancouver apartment – I get to be on the phone most of the time, sometimes even in my peejs (that’s my cool name for pyjamas), with the dog sleeping right beside my desk.  That is when I am speaking with my individual clients, anyway.

When I am working with a couple, things are a little different.  For one thing, I am often WITH them in person, or on a Skype video call for at least part of the session so I can see how they are interacting together.  Most couples come to me for some kind of package, so in most cases, I would have spent some time with each of the couple prior to our first session with all of us to get a confidential, no-holds-barred feel for what the issues between them might be.

What is not different is my approach to the work: I still ask how the week or time since our last session has gone, I check in on any homework assignments they may have been working on, and work with them to speak about what they need to in order to be present in our time together.  I still see where we want to point ourselves for the next hour of time and what they would like to walk away from the session with.  I still ask questions, I still listen for what they may not be saying.

The only difference, really, is that there are more people involved, more voices to hear and acknowledge, and another perspective to consider.

What I love about working with couples is that they tend to have a duality in their time with me.  They are both on their best behaviour and at the same time have the freedom and safety to say whatever the heck it is that they need to.  It’s such an interesting thing to witness. What gets brought up is often things that they don’t feel comfortable speaking about to their partner or hadn’t thought was previously important.  They also sometimes start to see their partner as I see them, as a neutral third party, and that can be incredibly eye-opening.

With me in the room (or the conversation), there is a reverence to the exchange – they are conscious of not wanting to hurt one another, but also usually really want to say what they need to in order to move ahead and show up in an honest way, knowing that I am there to be sort of a referee, if need be.

What kinds of things do people talk about?  That is a question I get asked all the time!  I will be honest – it’s why I am writing about it today – it’s very often about either sex (not enough of it, wanting to try something outside of the norm and not be judged etc) or communication (breakdowns, assumptions being made, patterns that aren’t serving anyone anymore), or variations of those.  And as these are two HUGE, loaded-right-up topics, it often leads us to explore things like self-worth, values (both individual and as a couple), expectations, and assumptions.  Sometimes, couples just need to know that what they are going through is completely normal, be given a few suggestions for things to try as a homework assignment, and to have a safe place to check in.

Some of my favourite work with couples (and individuals, for that matter) is to identify what’s great, zero in on what could be better,  create a vision, a ‘Manifesto’, if you will, about how their relationship will look, address action steps and then implement away.  We are always, always in relationship.  Seriously.  It’s either with our butcher down the street, our bodies, or the person we wake up with everyday.  I am all about making all of these relationships work.  Full stop.  And they can.

Curious about what it’s like or looking for a bit of a relationship ‘tune-up’?  Just as I do with individual clients, I am always more than happy to offer a sample session to any couple and I make it a bit longer just ‘cuz there’s two.

Happy Hump Day!

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