Services Offered:  Relationship Coaching and Relationship Education

Relationship Coaching is a life-changing process.  Coaching, not to be confused with counseling, is distinctly different from the therapeutic approach.  In coaching we are laser focused on what we can do today that will lead us to better lives and relationships tomorrow.  We all have a past.  The combination of life situation, family history, and our own individual choices have brought us to where we are today; but our history does not have to be our destiny.  Since our focus in coaching is on constructively moving forward, we don't dig into anyone's past.  If counseling or therapy is what is needed, we make referrals.

The coaching approach is about starting now and being intentional about what we choose to do today and tomorrow.  If someone keeps on doing what they have done in the past, they will keep on getting similar results.  One may continue doing the same old stuff because it is either (a) the only thing they know to do, (b) they believe that doing something differently will probably be awkward or hard to do, or (c) they believe that they can't change.  The truth is that (a) they can learn new things, (b) it will be awkward and/or hard to do at first simply because it is a change (however, before long the new things become natural and within a few months a whole new "normal for me" is formed), and (c) we can all change by working at it for a little while.  It can honestly seem like a relationship will never change, but I see relationships changing every day.  The reason: this approach works!

Did you notice that the above paragraph did not mention feelings?  Feelings always follow actions.  You don't make changes in your life because you feel like it, you do it because you decide to.  When a couple meet and fall in love, they are excited.  They spend time talking and just hanging out together.  They go out and do fun things together.  Wonderful feelings of love develop.  But, since no emotion is stable, these loving feelings will be strong, then not so strong, then strong again in the normal flow of life.  The idea that marrying the right person will give you happiness "ever after" works great in fairy tales.  But in the real world happiness comes and goes just like all other feelings.

So, let's jump ahead a few years to when this couple has children, jobs, financial challenges, etc.  They don't spend a lot of time just hanging out together, doing fun stuff.  Since feelings follow actions, and their actions are not the things that produce the loving feelings they crave, there is a problem.  If they wait to do loving stuff until they feel like it, they never will.  They are in a rut.  If we can get them doing the things that build great grown-up-with-kids-and-jobs-and-struggles relationships; the feelings will return and their mature marriage will be better than that adolescent version of love could ever be.  Unfortunately, "mature relationships" have little to do with longevity or the ages of the people. 

Marriage was God's idea, and He gives us the patterns to follow to have great marriages throughout the Bible.  Consider 2 short quotes from the first book (Genesis) and the last book (Revelation).  "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:24-25)  Note that the couple did 2 things that brought about the process of becoming "one flesh."  They had to leave and cleave.  What this means for us today is a fascinating study.  But what happens when we fail to do these things?  "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first." (Revelation 2:4-5)  Repent means to turn back from going the wrong direction and to go the right direction.  A couple in trouble chooses to do this whether they feel like it or not... and the loving feelings return!

Another couple who are doing pretty well decides to follow more closely God's design for their marriage, and they reach a whole new level of love: a blissful marriage.  Instead of waiting until they are in crisis, they take a proactive approach.  Crisis may never come for them, but if they are at a "4" on the 1-5 scale, they can be a "5" by tweaking the way they "do marriage" together.  Or they can continue with the "4" and never experience the blessings God intends to give them.

Have you ever attended a weekend retreat or a seminar and learned wonderful things, and yet a week later nothing had changed in your life?  The training is important, and it lays the foundation for change.  But most people find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to take that head knowledge and apply it effectively in their daily lives on their own.  When we combine the training with coaching over a period of time, we get significant results.  Coaching clients get the full benefit of our training program, plus having several levels of support every week while they implement the needed changes.  Options for coaching:

1.    Group Coaching is arranged in partnership with host churches and uses their facilities.  A couples group consists of 5 to 10 couples who meet once per week for 2 months (8 sessions) for about 90 minutes each session.  Couples have access to the "Treasured Relationships Online Training Course" for use at their own pace for 6 months, and are encouraged to complete specific sections of the course between weekly coaching sessions.  Sessions start with about 30 minutes of training, based on the online course.  Then, after a break, there is about 45 minutes of coaching.  Each couple is given the opportunity for the coaching to be focused specifically on them.  If they prefer to only observe and learn from the group, that is fine.  There is no pressure.  This is more than a support group because it is forward-focused and encourages the couples to implement specific marriage-building practices.  There are guidelines that must be followed, such as showing respect toward every person, strictly maintaining confidentiality, etc.

2.    Individual Couples Coaching packages range from 4 months to a year in duration.
Notes: (a)  All clients have access to the "Treasured Relationships Online Training Course" for the duration of their coaching contract plus 6 months.
(b)  Clients have a variety of resources in the Private Client Portal, with each couple having their own private section that is secure and password-protected.
(c)  All packages include 3 live sessions with your coach per month, online and email support, and "just-in-time" coaching sessions as needed.
(d)  We believe in intercessory prayer, and have several "prayer warriors" committed to pray specifically for each client daily.  They have the first names only of the clients.  Clients can choose to share specific prayer concerns with the "prayer warriors" as they see fit.
(e)  Your coach will also seek God's blessings on your behalf daily, lifting up specific concerns, and praying for God's direction in helping your relationships thrive.
(f)  There is a fee for Individual Couples Coaching, which is not covered by health insurance plans.  This is a ministry as much as it is a business, and our goal is to make our services as affordable as possible while still producing enough income to continue the work.  Therefore, we are working to develop a nonprofit organization to provide partial scholarships; as well as making other efforts to keep this fee as low as possible.  
    *  We have an installment plan option, spreading the cost over the term of the coaching agreement.
    *  There is a 10% discount for advance payment (the "pay-in-full" option).
    *  We give a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is explained in the "Dave's Guarantee" tab on the website.
(g)  This is a new program as we take our expertise and begin offering it in the Wilmington, NC area.  We are using a new website to deliver our online training program; plus the various forms, materials and resources for coaching clients.  Initially Dave Wilder is our only coach, and a full coaching load is 10-12 couples at any given time.  When Dave's coaching load is full, a waiting list will be established.

Package 1:  Couples participating in Group Coaching, who desire to move into Individual Couple Coaching have the option of private coaching for 3 months if they sign up within 30 days of the group’s conclusion.  This gives them 5 months of coaching: 2 in the group and 3 individually.

Package 2:  Individual Couple Coaching for 4 months is the entry level coaching agreement, because permanent change does not take place quickly, and we are dedicated to your success.

Package 3:  Individual Couple Coaching for 6 months is our premier package, and includes 3 additional coaching sessions to be used at any time during the 6 months following the end of the coaching agreement.

Relationship Education consists of training people in the skills to develop and strategies to use to have great relationships.  While our focus is primarily on marriage enrichment, we also offer some additional relationship-centered programs through local churches.  All of our training is faith-centered and congruent with the Bible's teachings.  Biblical references having to do with the subject matter are always printed in a handout, whether or not there is time in the class to examine all these scriptures.  Our programs are:

1.    Treasured Relationships Online Training Course:  Currently this is a 12-session course that is all about relationship skills for healthy marriages.  This includes scriptures explaining God's design for marriage, downloadable worksheets, and video of Dave Wilder teaching the materials.  Each session is about an hour in length.  As this program is being refined, additional sessions may be added.  We are considering adding a few subjects, and a couple of others may be broken out into two sessions because the information is difficult to cover in one hour.

2.    Programs available through host churches, with the details to be worked out with those churches:  These may be offered as weekend retreats, one-day workshops, a series of evening sessions, etc.  Treasured Relationships does not charge for any of these programs, but there may be a charge for the materials used, books provided, etc.  In some cases the host church will pay for the materials.  In other cases those attending the training will pay for their own materials.  Available courses are not limited to, but include the following:
*  Married Couples: Christian Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program
*  Engaged Couples: 
Marriage Preparation Workshop
Singles: "How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerkette)"
*  Forgiveness: Key to a Fulfilling Marriage
*  The Biblical Basis for Marriage
*  Developing a Healthy Blended Family
*  Why Marriage Matters: 21 Conclusions From the Social Sciences
*  Marital Sex as it Ought to Be
*  Sex and Romance in the Biblical Marriage
*  Understanding the Love of Your Life
*  The 5 Love Languages
*  Getting the Love You Want
*  His Needs/Her Needs
*  5 Steps to Romantic Love
*  Conflict Mediation
*  Interpersonal Communication Training
*  Marriage and Priorities

Note:  We are always open to discussing with church leaders ways that we can develop a program to support their churches.  The courses listed above are, in several cases, from other experts and they will be given credit for their work.  Books or workbooks, as appropriate, will be provided for students in the training.  In most cases bulk purchases will keep the cost low.



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“Most Valuable Decision”

Prior to coaching with Dave, I would lay awake at night worrying about our relationship struggles.  There were haunting questions about what could I have done differently to prevent the demise of the relationship and what could I do to improve the relationship, if possible.  That was when a decision to get help to put things into perspective had to be made.  The decision to seek coaching was one of the most valuable ones I have ever made.  Dave was very approachable and understanding.  His responses to my questions and issues seemed to always be on target.  The experience made sense to me in that he did not spout psychobabble or give a canned response learned from a book.  I deeply appreciated the fact that he genuinely listened, was reflective and thought provoking.  Now we have made much better decisions, moved on from the past, and gained a greater sense of peace which is very helpful.  Now we are doing well, are very happy, and continue toward building a great marriage.

      Larry P., Jacksonville, NC