By Lavern Nissley
Encompass Executive Director
If you wanted to improve your golf swing or baking skills, you would likely seek quite a different avenue of professional expertise than if you had just suffered a compound fracture.
Relationships and marriages have these same two dimensions of expertise: one is more focused upon healing and therapy, the other upon learning and implementing skills. Let’s dive in and see how these fit together.
So how do you know if you need marriage/relationship counseling or coaching? The simple answer is that it depends on what you’re experiencing.
In general, clinical counseling is related to:
In contrast, relationship coaching is related to:
While you may be able to self-determine next best steps for your relationship or marriage, we offer a complimentary intake session that includes 1) getting acquainted with you and your story, 2) reviewing the results of a 20-minute online assessment, and 3) mapping out best next steps.
For about 30-40% of couples completing an intake with us, clinical counseling is the best next step due to untreated addictions, affairs, abuse, or mental health issues. We can provide a listing of recommended counselors as referrals since we DON’T provide clinical counseling.
Is there overlap between counseling and coaching? Yes. Both are about helping couples get to a more positive and productive place in their relationship.
But counseling is more like the initial metaphor of getting help for a compound fracture, possibly with some physical therapy. And coaching is more like gaining skills with a golf swing or baking to improve in those areas.
We love helping couples wherever they are in their relationship, whether Devitalized, Conflicted, Coexistent, Connected, or Vitalized. We’ll help you understand which of these reflect your current interactions with each other.
Are there more negatives than positives? That would be Devitalized or Conflicted. More positives than negatives? That would be Connected or Vitalized. About the same amount of positive and negatives? That would be Coexistent.
Whether it is counseling or coaching that best match your current needs, you have our full attention and compassion to meet you where you are!
Encompass Connection Center helps couples learn how to create fulfilling, productive relationships for years to come. We offer a free relationship assessment to determine your relationship’s strengths and potential threats. For additional help, look into our RINGS Experience, which includes marriage strengthening exercises and a coaching model to help build real intimacy and growth skills. We'll also help you to break those destructive patterns that may negatively impact generations.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.