When I work with couples I use a combination of compassionate communication (NVC), coaching, and a variety of techniques and principles acquired through facilitating restorative circles for communities experiencing conflict. I call this method Transformative Couples Coaching.
When we have the experience that the messages and meaning that we are trying to convey to our partner are not being received, we can get frustrated and put up armor around our hearts, making us less likely to be able to feel and receive the messages and meaning that our partner is trying to convey to us. Once this oppositional energy, sometimes called the drama triangle, gets invoked it can be very difficult to escape.
In our work together I will support you to step off of the drama triangle and restore your loving connection with your partner by facilitating the exchange of messages and meaning that are so important to your connection and intimacy. When we slow down the process with gentle guidance and reflective listening, we can stay connected to our heart in our communications, and learn to understand each other more deeply.
Transformative Couples Coaching promotes the idea that our lives and relationships are more satisfying and productive when we replace “me against you” strategies with strategies that answer the question: “What serves us?” This takes confidence that conflict need not be a game in which one of us wins and the other loses. Instead, we listen for shared values, common objectives, and opportunities for connection.
Transforming me against you thinking often entails attending to anger, pain, and resentment—our own and those of our partner. For most of us, this is uncomfortable. Yet, as a practical matter, people are more likely to listen to our views after having their own anger and pain authentically acknowledged. Also we are more likely to hear them if our own anger has lifted.
Anger is powerful and at times constructive. Yet, it also has a way of becoming a disempowering fixture in our lives. It can keep us from facing our complicity in our own condition, from identifying the real source of our pain, and from creating much needed connection. This insight is essential if we are to transform a stalemate in a relationship into a unified, inclusive effort against common challenges.
This work often includes articulating a compelling vision of our relationship. An inspiring vision of what we are for—that stays clear of blaming or shaming and resonates with our deepest values and beliefs—encourages us to choose connection over alienation, joy over despair, solutions over bitterness, and new insights over habitual responses. We imagine a positive future together, bring it forward into the present, and then live—moment by moment—into the relationship and the world we wish to create.
This work can not only increase the level of connection and intimacy in your relationship, but can also transform your seen and unseen attitudes and ways of being in the world that might be leaking your power and keeping you from experiencing more joy, possibility, and love in you life.
As this work is best done in person and I split my time between Mexico and Santa Cruz, I am not always available for Transformational Couples Coaching.
I offer this work on a sliding scale.
Please call for more information!