Relationship Coaching

"Graine Mediation can help bring couples and families together to resolve tough issues... before things get out of hand."

What is Relationship Coaching?

At Graine Mediation, Relationship Coaching is based on similar methods and principles as our Mediation practice:

  • Couples and families must come to sessions with a true desire to plan for and implement real change in their lives and relationships.
  • Problems are assessed by the clients and the coach.​​​​​
  • Goals are identified.​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Concrete action plans for resolution of disputes and issues are discussed and created.
  • ​​​​​Plans are implemented by the clients with guidance from the coach.

3 Guiding Principles of Relationship Coaching

  1. Your power lies in working on your relationships in the present and for the future. Whatever happened in the past between the couple, the family and in the individual clients’ history cannot be undone. Your past experiences should not and do not need to rule the present.
  2. A marriage or partnership is an entity unto itself. In order to save a faltering relationship, each party must do what would be best for the relationship as a whole even when that is not what is most comfortable for the individual parties. This is sometimes in the form of a compromise; sometimes in the form of giving up certain freedoms; and, sometimes in the form of maintaining the status quo.
  3. The only behavior that you can change is your own. If another member of your family, your spouse or partner chooses to change, it is not because you made him or her change. It is because his or her desire to have a good relationship with you is so strong that it overrides other interests and behaviors.

Your past experiences should not and do not need to rule the present.

  1. Relationship Coaching is goal-oriented and action-based. Relationship Coaches help couples and families focus on concrete problems and the creation and implementation of the best plans to support and build healthy and satisfying relationships. Coaching clients must be fully functional and free from serious psychopathology.
    • Marriage & Family Therapy is a healing profession which includes mental health diagnoses and treatment. Therapists are trained to diagnose and treat mental, emotional and psychological disorders, as well as help couples and families move through difficult situations. Therapists focus on the problems of individual family members as the key to solving marriage and family problems.
  2. Relationship Coaching views the failure of human relationships as the cause of most human suffering. Relationship Coaches focus on what it is will take to heal the relationship itself and less on what is “wrong” with the individual parties. Relationship coaches believe that most of life’s sadness, disappointments, and frustrations are the result of relationship troubles, not individual problems.
    • Marriage & Family Therapy views the individual’s happiness as just as important as the health of the relationship. The therapist works on finding ways to both diagnose and treat the individuals’ mental health issues as well as support the family/couple’s well being as a unit.
  3. Relationship Coaching is a collaborative, problem-solving process between coach and clients. A Relationship Coach provides clients with support, information and guidance that complement the clients’ own motivation to succeed in their relationship goals going forward. The clients’ desire to be happy within the relationship is a key to success in Relationship Coaching.
    • ​​​​​Marriage & Family Therapists are expected to figure out what is “wrong” with the clients and then come up with solutions to “fix” the problems. In particular, therapists encourage clients’ to be aware of past injuries and to understand the relationship between those events and traumas and the clients’ emotional processing of the past as it relates to their present situation.
  4. Relationship Coaching helps clients find and implement behavior choices that support and enhance their relationships, not focus on feelings and past traumas.
    • ​​​​​Marriage & Family Therapists encourage introspection and work on the individuals’ mental health and feelings as well as building bridges from the past to the present and future.

Most of life’s sadness, disappointments, and frustrations are the result of relationship troubles, not individual problems.

Relationship Coaching assumes that the couple desires to stay together or that the family is seeking to learn a better way of working out their differences. Relationship Coaching involves planning for families’ long-term success in communicating needs, resolving current issues and disputes, and avoiding future conflict (where appropriate).

  • ​​​​​Divorce Mediation assumes that a couple is headed for separation and, probably, divorce. Divorce mediation involves planning for the spouses’ individual lives in terms of parenting their children, living in and financially supporting two separate households, and the division and distribution of their assets and debts.
  • Married Couples. Relationship Coaching is an excellent choice when there are bumps (and serious bumps) in the road, but neither party considers divorce to be a good option.
  • Unmarried Couples. Relationship Coaching is very helpful for couples in serious relationships who are having problems.
  • Engaged Couples & Couples Contemplating Marriage. Relationship Coaches can help couples sort out their differences, practice compromise, assess their commitment to ongoing relationship building skills and provide reality checks in terms of family dynamics over the long haul.
  • Families. Relationship Coaching is a great alternative to therapy or counseling when some or all family members want to focus on tackling the problems at hand and not spending therapeutic time and energy on what “went wrong” in the past.​​​​​​​​​​
  • Financial Decision-Making. Relationship Coaching’s emphasis on goal-oriented problem-solving is a good fit for relationship problems involving money. Also, Robin Graine, JD, CDFA®, your coach, has years of experience helping clients with their financial matters as a divorce lawyer, divorce mediator and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA).​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Step And Blended Family. With all of the many personalities and past “baggage” inherent in step and blended family situations, Relationship Coaching’s “fresh start” approach cuts through painful past episodes and helps families focus on getting along better today.
  • Adult Siblings. Adult siblings often need outside help when group decision-making is needed with regard to their elderly parents. Since time is often of the essence in these situations, Relationship Coaching’s problem-solving orientation is often an choice for these important life-decisions.
  • Parent-Teen Matters. When parents and their teenagers have “power struggles”, Relationship Coaching’s emphasis on maintaining and enhancing loving relationships -- where open communication is most likely to occur -- versus attempts to control behavior, is an effective alternative to traditional counseling.
  • Different Parenting Styles. When battles over child-rearing techniques and methods are causing stress in the household, Relationship Coaches can help parents reach compromise solutions that work well for both the parents and their children.
  • Adult Children Living With Parents. Where parents of adult children are attempting to help them “fly from the nest”, a Relationship Coach’s practical approach to relationships – as well as your coach’s experience in career planning as it pertains to family finance -- is a good choice for both preserving important parent-child relationships and, at the same time, helping the adult child plan for his or her “launch” into independence.

Certain individual and family situations are not appropriate for Relationship Coaching. If any of the following personal and family situations exist, Graine Mediation will not be able to accept your case for coaching (or mediation), but can help with referrals if needed:

  • High levels of anger/aggression;
  • A history of domestic violence;
  • ​​​​​A history of child abuse/neglect;
  • A strong belief system and/or any form of mental illness, personality disorder or substance abuse that renders a client unable to work within the realities of the present-day situation;
  • Inability/unwillingness to tell the truth;
  • Any form of mental illness, personality disorder or substance abuse that renders a client unable to take action and move forward on a path;
  • Self destructive impulses/behaviors; and
  • Extreme dependency on others

Pre-Marital & Pre-Parenting Couple’s Coaching

Pre-Marital and Pre-Parenting Couple’s Coaching educates clients regarding classic marital and relationship pitfalls that most pre-marriage and pre-parenting couples think will “never happen to them”. Marriage and children change relationships forever. Anyone contemplating either or both of these life-changing events needs to be prepared.

Pre-Marital and Pre-Parenting Coaching provides a safe place to discuss plans, goals and worries in light of the fact that every newlywed couple, and couples who are contemplating or getting ready to have a child, have only a 50/50 chance of staying together for the long run.

Pre-Marital Coaching and Pre-Parenting coaching is especially recommended for brides and grooms-to-be, and couples considering having a child, who do not feel they have good role models when it comes to long-term marital and/or parenting relationships.

The best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other.