Your new Team through Relationship Coaching
The last couple of posts have introduced you to why men find it hard to commence with relationship counselling and what often prevents them from doing so. You can get to part 1 here and part 2 here. Right now I want to introduce you to a new term. One that is a better descriptor of the couples counselling environment. The first post talked about how games are played and the rules around them. This is very appealing to a lot of men. And as well as that every boy knows, the best teams have the best coaches. The term I want you to familiarise yourself with is Relationship Coaching because it has a broader more inviting appeal to men but it really helps explain what is actually going on in the therapy room. Or perhaps more importantly what should be going on.
You see, ‘counselling’ suggests there is something wrong with me. Something I need to fix. Relationship Coaching on the other hand… well.. Just ask your man what he thinks. In the team environment, we all know our role and the expectations of others. We don’t want to let the team down. We are in this together and it is an equal partnership. The whole team, (the marriage partners), are responsible for the success of the team.
So, for many men, relationship coaching is a better descriptor for what should take place in the relationship counselling environment. It also has the added benefit of reducing the feelings around vulnerability and the experience of shame. Relationship coaching is exactly what it says it is. It is coaching the relationship. The way the language is used here is far more appealing to us men simply because it means that the relationship needs work, not me and not you but our relationship.
It also suggests that improvements can be made and a better relationship happens as a result. This is how you explain relationship counselling to your man. There is a game plan in place with an outcome in mind and rules to get you there. Contrary to popular belief, men have feelings too. We are just as emotionally available as women but without the experience of expressing them safely. We find it hard to put our feelings and emotions into words that articulate what we are experiencing in the moment.
To do so we risk becoming vulnerable to the person, you, that we care for and love the most. Just like in the team, we don’t want to let you down so we often shutdown. Don’t ask your man what he is scared of, ask him what vulnerable feels like. I am not going to tell you how scared I am but I might just tell you how vulnerable I feeling at this moment.
Until next time…