Coaching and partner: the focus on oneself, the other and the bond
The couple is a process and, as such, you need to update your links to adapt to new situations and challenges. If the individual processes capture the attention of each one, increasingly divergent paths are generated in which the original meaning is lost and the couple dissolves.
In this sense, coaching is not only effective as an individual process, but also for the couple .
- Related article: "The 6 types of Coaching: the different coaches and their functions"
Couple coaching: for a greater well-being of the relationship
This week Lluis Casado, psychologist coach professor of the Postgraduate in Psychology Coaching of the Mensalus Psychological and Psychological Assistance Institute, talks about the importance of matching the rhythm of individual growth with the growth of the couple.
From the vision of couple coaching, what concept do we start from?
Two people establish a relationship when they build a bond (the us) that responds to their needs at the time. Likewise, people change throughout life as a consequence of reasons inherent to the life cycle, whether biological, social, psychological or even accidental. For all these reasons, the original link, if it does not evolve, becomes obsolete.
The couple is a process and, as such, they need to update their links to adapt to the new situations that appear over the years.
So, what happens to the couple who does not update their bond?
If that happens, the original bond can become an obstacle to the individual development and development of the couple. In addition, if the individual growth rate is not the same, this difference can give rise to an asynchronous couple in which it becomes difficult to update the link (the expectations and needs of both parties are different).
For this reason, the harmonic growth of the couple requires the individual rhythmic growth. Now, this evolution is not so simple. Let's not forget that we are talking about the growth processes of two autonomous people and the construction of new interdependent links.
What elements come into play in the individual growth process?
People behave according to guidelines, habits, personal style, beliefs, values, relational links, emotional experiences, identity and life script in transactional terminology. In stable situations our behaviors are adaptive and our relationships satisfactory.
When we are in a situation of idealization everything is going well and therefore we do not see the need to change. In the case of the couple we are in the phase of falling in love. But this situation of idyllic well-being is artificial in the medium term since people change internally in the same way that our environment also changes. Sometimes it is difficult for us to take a step and evolve, we cling to that well-being experienced in the first phase and disconnect from the current moment.
What does partner coaching work in this regard?
From coaching we aim to have both members reflect on their role in the relationship so that, later, they find those common points that lead them towards new shared goals of change and evolution.
And what kind of work are we talking about?
We refer to the work of three stages. The first stage of the couple coaching process corresponds to consciousness. Each member needs a space to become aware of where they are and how they feel about the other person.
The couples arrive with a reason for consultation related to the complaint, the difficulty to be heard, to be respected, etc. The petition refers to the other rather than to oneself. Precisely, in this first stage of work it is essential to realize what the individual role and its consequences are.
Once the two are located, it is time to take responsibility. In the second stage of the coaching process there are three key questions:
- What change do I take responsibility for?
- What do I have to contribute to the relationship?
- What can I ask the other? / How can I help you take responsibility?
What do you work from these answers?
Among the aspects we analyze, we pay special attention to how each person receives the request of others. It is interesting to observe how the petition arrives and "resonates" in the individual. The associated thoughts and feelings will offer a wide range of meanings that will favor the taking of mutual responsibility, an information that is usually obfuscated by discussions and unconstructive conversations.
And what is the last stage?
The third stage is action. The coach brings the couple to change based on the following questions:
- What will I do?
- What will you do?
- What will we do together?
As we can see, when working on all these aspects it is important to keep the focus on oneself, the other and the link. This is something that does not always happen in the real life of the couple. The coach is in charge of helping to keep all the centers active, otherwise, the work done throughout the sessions will be in vain.
In short, how can we understand the growth of the couple?
The growth of the couple is the permanent search for the link that, in the "here and now", allows maximum personal development with the other. The link is, at the same time, the shared objective and the means that facilitate the greatest individual development. In fact, highly developed couples use the growth of the couple as a catalyst for individual growth, since they make the most of the synergy of interdependence as opposed to the blockage that the dependency relationship signifies.