We are all individuals. These case studies are indicative of the kinds of issues that may arise. In all cases, the response is client tailored.
Professional Married Couple
This case involved two clients, married partners, with children. Both have good jobs, but do not seem to have enough time for each other or to meet what they perceive are the demands of family, career and business life.
The couple were referred to me by a third party. Like most of my clients, they did not need a ‘voyage of discovery discussion’. They knew they were stressed and had researched many options.
My Initial Response
I sent them and they completed the Stress Test (see side bar). This prompted the initial discussion and clarification of core issues or ‘Stressors’, before the first session, in which the clients short term responses were identified. The healthy responses were to: focus on being effective at work; speaking (or at least shouting at each other) and remaining attentive to the children.
What was less healthy (or unhealthy) was that: there was no time for their individual needs; they were spending more time apart and; when they did engage with friends, it was to complain about things.
We worked on becoming calm and explored what ‘Impacts’ each of the ‘Stressors’ had on their lives. We explored how they viewed themselves and the rules and standards by which they lived their lives. Insights from this activity brought immediate relief, calmness and the spare capacity to pause and start co-operating, with me and each other.
Each client then considered the Emotional Needs Audit (see side bar) with me and we built a plan for them to each individually ‘get their needs met’.
This was backed up by two joint sessions in which the clients begin to negotiate (i.e.co-operate) with each other to get the marriage and family needs met. This did need some planning and practice, which I supported them both with.
The family became calmer and more mutually supportive. One of the partners chose to work further with me on a life-long leadership coach and advance in their careers. Both felt approaching me on an ‘as and when’ basis, for example when the teenage children became a challenge or when one of their parents passed away. The family has successfully move on.