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What is Relationship Coaching?

Y Ives International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2012

This paper presents an initial conceptualisation of relationship coaching for single people. The needs of singles are often ignored or misunderstood, and this paper argues that coaching offers an effective framework for helping them form and secure sustainable life-partnerships. Relationshipcoaching is here portrayed as a nuanced balance between goal-focused coaching, building a clearfocus to create an effective action plan, and developmental coaching, to help the coachee identify areas of intrapersonal awareness and growth. Rather than emphasising a therapeutic role or aiming for profound inner change, relationship coaching seeks to foster more adaptive relationship attitudes andskills. Developmentally, relationship coaching draws most heavily on Kegan’s subject-objectrelations, recognising that ability to reflect on experiences and be more in control of life dynamics are essential to making effective choices. The paper concludes with a model of relationship coaching, to serve as a flexible guide for assisting singles through a process of discovery and action towards theirachieving their aim.

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