I am so grateful to be in this space and place at this point in my life. I came from a broken home, where my father denied paternity until I was 11 years old. I was subjected to molestation as a young girl. I married very young and quickly became a teen mother. I lost my sight for more than 11 hours after being in a diabetic coma with a 1 year old daughter to care for. Blessed, I regained my sight and gave birth to my 3rd child (my 1st child died after being born prematurely). I am a twice-divorced female, who discovered that I compared each and every relationship with a man to the broken relationship I had with my father.
What prompted you to become a Love and Relationships Coach?
After giving up on love and vowing to never get married again or let anyone into my heart space again, I found love. This time around, I allowed myself to grow from the hurt little girl to the aware grown woman. I had to do this to be a good wife and a better person. After all my tears and fears of love, I discovered that God gave me this as a gift. He allowed me to go through and still stand to help someone else avoid all the wasted time and tears of relationship hurts. Relationships don’t only include love, but business, family, and even friendship. If the dysfunctional relationships I lived through could help one person avoid the feelings of worthlessness and rejection, then ALL the pain and hurt was worth it!
What is your main concern or question when you start a couples coaching?
My main concern when we start working is “What do you want in and out of this relationship?” The first interaction with individuals is meditation. I want them to meditate on what their “IDEAL” relationship looks like. I encourage them to write me a quick summary of what that looks like. This summary has to be vivid in details! From here, we start to work on what their relationship actually looks like and my work surrounds how they got to that point, and what we need to do to re-route and control their lives, starting with that relationship. The most important question that I will ever ask a client is, “Who and what is it that you need to forgive?”
What are the three most important elements to implement into coaching relationships?
Let the breakdown set up the breakthrough. It is vitally important to allow space for the hurt, but to never get caught there. It’s impossible to grow and move forward when you are stuck in reverse. Not festering in the pain gives the client the ability to not only control their healing, but speed the road to recovery. Encourage, but don’t push. I am there to prompt and foster change, not to force. When I work with a client, they are in full control of not only their treatment, but their healing. I am there to stand in the gap to give them encouragement and support, which provides a safe space for change free of judgment. Remove all judgement and comparison from each client interaction. You must keep your personal feelings away from helping your client. You can draw on your experience, but never input your experiences into what your client has a desire to do within their relationships.
When coaching relationships, do you coach couples or individual coaching?
I work predominately with individuals, mostly women. What usually happens is I work with one party and then the other party comes at a later time. With the client’s consent, we are able to work with the other party, if they desire.
Have your personal relationships and experiences influenced your coaching process?
Of course! That is the main thing that I use as a reference. The emotions associated with the bad relationships, the feelings surrounding needing acceptance, the emptiness of being alone are all personal experiences and triumphs that I had to overcome. I have lived through all of these things and I have to say, coming out on the other side of these emotions was the greatest gift I ever received!
How do you handle coaching when one person in a relationship does not participate in the coaching?
I make sure that my clients understand that you can only change YOU in the relationship. If the need for change has not come to the other person, you CAN’T do anything about that. You are in control of you and your actions only. If you spend your time orchestrating someone else’s change, when will you have time to allow your healing and growth? Focus on you and I believe that the stars will align in your favor. I am a strong believer in the Law of Attraction. You will attract to you the person you need!
What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a Relationships Coach?
1st : Check your own hurts! The hardest thing you can ever do in your profession is to attempt to help someone heal something that is still painful for you! If you are not careful, you will bring your hurts into something that has nothing to do with you.
2nd: Walk within your expertise and be you! Don’t ever try to be something that you are not. That sometimes means that you may have to refer a client out for additional services. Guess what? That is OKAY! You represent you, your expertise, your experiences and that is your gift to your client!
Holding on to past pains in new relationships is like buying a brand new dress and then rolling around in mud!
Connect with Kimberly Dunlap
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