Treasured Relationships News, with 2 special invitations... September 20, 2016

In This Issue:

  • Invitation #1: Radio Interviews next week: How to Listen In 
  • Article: "Do we need Marriage Counseling, or Relationship Coaching? And, what is “Relationship Coaching”, anyhow?
  • Invitation #2 is in directly below the article.


Invitation to Tune In!

Two weeks ago I announced the big news of 3 radio interviews coming up, and then they got delayed.  Twice.  The problem was that the radio show hostess had gotten sick, but she's doing much better now and we are all set for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week, at 12:00 Noon (Eastern Time Zone).  So I'm inviting you to tune in live if you can.  And if not, I will be providing a link to listen to the recorded interviews at your leisure.

Here's how you can listen to the show:

To listen over the internet:

To listen by calling in:  (646) 668-8921

Soon after the show airs (it will air live, and be recorded), I will be able to post a link for you to listen to later.  Please invite others to listen to the live show, and to listen to the recordings of the 3 shows.  I am praying that God will use this opportunity for His glory, and to bring encouragement to those who are struggling in their marriages.



Do we need Marriage Counseling, or Relationship Coaching?  And, what is “Relationship Coaching”, anyhow?


There is a great deal of confusion about what “Relationship Coaching” is, and whether there is a difference between “Coaching” and “Counseling.”  Here’s a brief explanation of these two distinctly different approaches marital help.  While one approach focuses on the future and specific actions couples can take to develop great marriages, the other approach focuses on examining the past to overcome emotional trauma, thus changing the present and future.  I’ll dig into that a bit deeper, then devote a couple of paragraphs to the practical ways “Relationship Coaching” can benefit any married couple.


Comparing Relationship Coaching and Marriage Counseling (also known as Therapy)

There are significant, and sometimes contrasting, differences between counseling and coaching.  Here are the main differences:

  1. Coaching assumes the client is whole, while counseling assumes the client needs healing.
  2. Coaching has its roots in sports, and more recently in business and personal growth programs. Counseling has its roots in medicine and psychiatry.
  3. Coaching works to move people to a higher level of functioning, while counseling works with people to achieve understanding of themselves and emotional healing.
  4. Coaching focuses on actions and the future. Counseling focuses on feelings and past events.
  5. Coaching focuses on solving problems. Counseling digs into the root of the problems.
  6. Coaching works with the conscious mind. Counseling works to bring things hidden deep within the unconscious, into the conscious mind.
  7. Coaching works toward solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills, and implement effective changes. Counseling works towards internal resolutions, with the hopes of letting go of old patterns.
  8. Coaching is typically delivered over the telephone (live contact with resources delivered over the internet), which eliminates proximity issues and the need to drive to appointments. Counseling requires in-person appointments.


In short, coaching is a results and goal-oriented methodology that assumes the client is functional and fully capable of success.  Counseling is a healing profession that diagnoses and treats mental, emotional, and psychological disorders.  These two distinctly different professions can complement each other very well.  In fact, one way to look at is that coaching starts where therapy ends, making coaching a good fit for personal growth-oriented therapists and counselors.


Which is better: Coaching or Counseling?

The answer to this question hinges entirely on what the problem is to start with.  Counseling is great at addressing specific personal problems such as mental illness, addictions, and resolving childhood traumas.  In those situations, counseling is clearly called for.  But when there is no pathology to diagnose and treat, when the couple’s marriage is simply a little (or a lot) off track,. Coaching may be a more helpful choice.  Men and women are often frustrated, bored, and tired of being in a marriage that isn’t what they know marriage can be and is supposed to be.  They may say such things as “I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore.”  Or “I love you, but I can’t live like this anymore.”  Or “We’ve simply fallen out of love.”  This is the realm of Relationship Coaching, and it works wonders!  And there is yet another level to Relationship Coaching for couples, because some couples are doing well and yet want to take their relationship to an even higher level, where their relationship is their greatest adventure in life.  We call this “Radical Marriage Coaching.”  So, if Relationship Coaching picks up where Marriage Counseling leaves off; Radical Marriage Coaching picks up where Relationship Coaching leaves off.  It is most helpful to join into the process at the appropriate level.


Sometimes “Marriage Counseling” doesn’t seem to work, and yet there is clearly a need that counseling addresses.  We often see couples enter into Marriage Counseling where one of them has a personal problem that is affecting the marriage.  The marriage dynamics are affected by that personal problem, but treating the marriage will never resolve the personal problem.  For example, a couple enters into therapy together while one of them has an addiction issue.  The addiction is certainly affecting that marriage, but what is needed is for the addict to get individual treatment for their individual problem.  Starting there paves the way for tremendous success.


In situations where neither party has a problem that requires counseling; and yet their marriage is struggling, Relationship Coaching truly shines.  It is popular today to believe that mate selection is the most critical factor in establishing a healthy marriage.  Therefore, we think that if it’s not working out like we anticipated what we need to do is divorce and find another mate that is a better match.  But that’s simply not the way it works.


While mate selection is an important factor (maybe 20%), the most important factor (near 80%) is what we do in the relationship.  So let’s say that I am lousy at doing the Waltz.  I’ve never had any lessons, but I grew up watching my parents dance.  They weren’t great at it by any stretch, but by the time I came along they had at least figured out how to avoid stepping on each other’s toes.  Then I get married, and we begin our dance.  It’s horrible, because we are both stepping all over each other’s toes.  Neither of us knows what we are doing, and we each blame the other.  It’s frustrating.  It’s painful.  It’s embarrassing.  So we change partners.  We get a divorce, and each find a different dance partner.  And now we have 2 couples stepping on each other’s toes.  The solution is not to change partners.  The solution is to learn the dance!


Marriage is a lot like a complicated dance, such as the Waltz.  It is absolutely beautiful when it’s done right.  And it’s ugly when we don’t know what to do.  Relationship Coaching teaches couples what to do in order to have great relationships.  It is action oriented and future focused!


As a Relationship Coach, I don’t need to know much about your past.  I know you have a past, so let’s just acknowledge it and move forward.  At the very start of coaching, I’m interested in learning (a) what you want in your relationship, and (b) what you’ve been doing that hasn’t worked.  This takes about 30 minutes, and then I have enough information to figure out which “dance steps” you need the most help with.  From then on it’s all about what you can do today and in the coming week that will move you closer to the marriage of your dreams.  With the same partner!  In spite of your past mistakes.


In closing, I have one important point to make about feelings.  Not how you felt in your past when something or another took place (counseling).  What I’m talking about here is what to do when you simply don’t feel like doing the dance steps I can teach you.  (“I don’t feel like listening to her talk.  I’ve heard it all before.” Or “Why should I do that with him when I don’t feel like it?”)  The simple answer is that feelings always follow actions.  Just start doing the steps that build great relationships, even when you don’t feel like it, and you will soon feel like doing those things.  In a few short months, you will be doing a beautiful marriage dance.  You won’t need me anymore, so you graduate out of “dance class,” and another couple takes your place.


People “fall out of love” when the feelings are no longer there.  The feelings quit either because they were never doing the right things together, or they quit doing those things.  These same people “fall back in love” again when they start “doing marriage” the right way.  Do this.  It works.  Don’t wait until you are in the mood.  Just do it.


That brings us to one last comparison: Coaching is time-limited, with most couples mastering these important “marital dance steps” in 5-7 months.  Counseling, in contrast, can go on for years.  It’s difficult to move forward while focused on the past.  But sometimes we need to focus on the past and gain emotional healing so that we can start focusing on the future and finally move forward.


An Invitation to Pass Along:

Do you know a couple who would benefit from Relationship Coaching?  I have openings right now, so encourage them to make the decision to move forward instead of staying “stuck” in a pattern that isn’t working for them.  And since I have three radio interviews coming up next week, my openings may all get filled as more people hear about Relationship Coaching and how it works.  I have a network of other Relationship Coaches to refer the “overflow” to, because I only coach 6 to 8 individual couples at any given time.  I thoroughly enjoy helping people reach new levels of joy and fulfillment in their marriages.  But I also reserve time in my life for a fantastic relationship with Laura (my lovely bride), spending time with our children and granddaughter, several local ministries, helping to train a new generation of relationship coaches through the Relationship Coaching Institute, and enjoying life in many ways. 



Dave Wilder

Your Relationship Coach at



 Please tell others about Treasured Relationships! If you know anyone who might be able to benefit from this ministry, ask them to check us out on the website. I work from an office in Wilmington, NC; but the days of having to travel for appointments are over.  I've embraced technology that makes this ministry more effective and more convenient at the same time.


Welcome to new members of the Treasured Relationships community!

I send the Treasured Relationships newsletter to you twice each month, plus occasional special announcements (such as this one).  Over the next several days, there will be short emails sent to my newsletter list so that I can give the details of how to listen in live to the upcoming radio interviews, and to provide the links to listen at other times.  Once I have all 3 links to the recordings, I will post them on the website; and I will return to the 2-newsletters-per-month pattern.

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Dave Wilder

Treasured Relationships LLC: "Helping couples relate well, build fulfilling relationships and experience marriage as God designed it to be!"