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Questions & Considerations

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Coaching vs Counseling

This is a very common question. One that has several layers of distinction and similarities. The best and most simple difference to counselling (also called therapy) focuses on assessing, diagnosing and treating behavioral healthcare (including but not limited to depression, addictions, trauma, mood disorders and the like). Fundamentally, counselling has the emphasis to help improve overall mental health. This involves uncovering the pathology or the 'why' behind a person's mental or behavioral disorder(s) by examining challenges and patterns across their life from their youth. Coaching, does not have that emphasis nor in most cases, depending on the background, the training to address such complex issues.

The premise and priority of coaching is to help a person or a couple to explore pathways to growth. This is done by setting actionable and attainable goals to navigate current personal or relationship stressors to achieve a better and different outcome. The coach will work with a person or couple to develop goals that are most important to them and journey with them to that intended purpose. Coaching helps to identify patterns and pain points causing disruption currently. Then, will partner with the person or couple to create and build goals holding them accountable within a set amount of time to achieve those goals.

Both have their advantages. Coaching is not a clinical diagnosis and for many is preferred to traditional counselling or therapy. Whereas counselling takes great care to explore past pains of life experiences causing overall dysfunction, coaching examines the pain points of current conflicts to help address resolve and rebuild. Coaches position themselves as accountability partners not just clinal pathologists. Counseling seeks to understand the past to be better in the present, whereas coaching seeks to synergize the present for a better future. 

Is marriage coaching covered by health insurance?

Great question! 

The immediate answer is no. It does not. The reason is
the aim of healthcare to cover treatment that is considered 'necessary to health'. This consideration covers areas such as physical (including metabolic and fitness), mental, familial and financial healthcare. Marriage or relationship coaching is not considered healthcare.

One might ask why would marital issues not be covered by family insurance. Emotional health is not normally considered 'necessary to health'. This particularly considers marital and relationship issues. These type of interactions are made of choice and thus can be unmade by choice. Neither is it thought of as a treatable illness or disorder. There may be a possible, but not probable, small gray area with some companies however most insurance claims will not cover marriage or relationship specific issues.

Because of this MarriageSpeak LLC is a self pay only service. 

Is this Faith Based Coaching?

I am sure if you read my introduction you saw the words pastoring and ministry listed so I will answer the question in two ways. First off, I am a pastor of almost 20years and a minister of almost 30years now. However, there will be no sermonizing in our sessions; unless requested of course. With that said, in my opinion, the bible is a rich and replete source of wisdom for every area of life. So to me personally, yes, it is a great influence in everything I do. Although personally my faith is indispensable, professionally, it does not interfere with any measure of counsel given. Nor is it blatant or boisterous in any way. But to the contrary I believe it enriches it.


To answer the question directly, I would say it depends on what is required and requested. I begin every consultation with an objective and discerning ear to identity the need as best as possible. Should the client desire a more biblically based engagement they must make their request clearly known. With my combined experience in secular training and collegiate studies, I believe it affords an unique opportunity to provide a truly holistic approach to every client serviced based soley on their needs.

Is marriage coaching really succesful?

The short answer is yes!

However I think the word successful must be considered. If by successful does that mean every marriage is saved from divorce? Or does every relationship recover? Sadly, the answer is no to both. 

It must be said that there are many factors that contribute to what most would consider successful. One, for example, is that every relationship or marriage may not have meant to begin let alone to continue. This type of thought is outside of any counsellor, coach, or therapist interaction. Please keep in mind none of the three are miracle workers. We cannot make or unmake marital decisions. We can only guide and advise to the best of our ability based on information provided but the ultimate decision is in your hands.

Secondly, on varying levels we can only offer, instruct, counsel, advise on what is presented to us. Meaning, each client couple must be open and honest during the sessions to disclose the difficulties they face so they can be addressed. Without honesty, success will certainly be limited.

In addition, although we will develop plans and provide concepts and tools the client must apply the methods given to experience a change in thier situation. As a coach, I position myself as an accountability partner not a task enforcer. The client couple must participate in their own development and process of change.

I am proud to say that 9 out of 10 MarriageSpeak client couples have experienced a positive and progressive turnaround through our sessions. It is not perfect but I consider that successful.

Lastly, success is determined ultimately by the goal of the client. If the aim is better communication and that is achieved by them, then that is successful. If the goal is to feel a greater sense of self-worth from more spousal engagement and affection, then that is successful. Helping to achieve your goal(s) is our aim. It may be challenging but with us working together and those goals are attained, we consider this very successful!

So how can I help you obtain success in your marriage or relationship today?

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