What is dating coaching and relationship counseling?
These are relatively new terms in the psychological field, we are more familiar with couples counselling. Dating coaching is essentially conversational support around how to improve your dating experiences. It ranges from tactics on behavioural approaches and practical tips, for example how to write a good online dating profile to what questions to ask on dates, and to more psychological aspects which include things like improving self-esteem and confidence. Dating coaching looks out for unconscious ineffective dating patterns and seeks to remedy them.
Relationship counselling can be anything from couples therapy to counselling of ‘one half’ of a couple. You don’t have to be married to seek out help. Many couples who date and want things to work or to work better, seek relationship counselling. Traditionally there are two approaches, a systemic and psychodynamic/ analytical approach. A systemic approach is where the family dynamics are taken into consideration, the psychodynamic approach looks at the dynamics between the couple. The Tavistiock take a psychoanalytical approach, Relate have a psychodynamic approach, but neither of these insinuations necessarily have trained psychologists.
What sort of clients/situations do we usually work with?
Essentially anyone who feels stuck or frustrated with their dating journey.
Many singles struggle with confidence in talking to strangers, others struggle with understanding signals or behavioural patterns (is a person interested or not in me), some people struggle with huge anxieties around rejection, others struggle with getting close to people they fancy, and some don’t know ho start the dating process especially online. Many people feel that dating should happen naturally and feel frustrated when things don’t go to plan. In fact most people sabotage themselves making it difficult to find a meaningful relationship. Date coaching seeks to fix that to some degree,
What sort of qualifications enable someone to be a relationship/dating coach?
Perhaps frustratingly for clients, there is no set prescription for what qualifications a dating coach or relationship counselling. Some people call themselves experts based on past experiences and reading loads of books, others have been on specialised courses to deal with relationships. Your best bet when choosing a dating coach or relationship counsellor is to know how long they have been working as a dating coach, that you feel comfortable with their method and you feel safe when seeing them. A rule of thumb, is that someone with a year long coaching or therapy qualification is more likely to be better than someone who has taken a short course or learnt ‘tricks of the trade’ from someone else. Ask what their past history is, what they have worked with and what makes them an expert in dating and relationships.