#184: Relationship on the Rocks? Why You Need Skills, Not Couples Counseling

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Navigating Relationship Crossroads: Why You Need Skills, Not Therapy

Have you ever felt like you and your partner are drifting apart, desperately needing help but hesitant to try again because past attempts left you feeling even more disconnected? You might be thinking, "Gosh, we need some help, but what if this makes things worse?" If you're struggling to bridge the emotional gap and fear another failed attempt, I want you to know you're not alone.


Today, we're addressing a crucial question: How can you trust us with your heart and relationship? And how are we different from traditional counseling and therapies?

Understanding Your Fears and Frustrations

Beautiful souls like you have fears and frustrations around getting the help and support that you need, and we get it. You might worry it will feel like past therapy sessions, or blame will be assigned to you or your partner because you're labeled as the bad person in the scenario. I promise you right now, this would never happen in the work that we do.


Our approach is all about mutual growth and understanding. We focus on teaching principles and skills that are designed to help you create the relationship you desire as we move on from past grievances. Therapy is great to work on you. But it’s hard to work on your own issues and your relationship at the same time. In this instance, you can’t kill two birds with one stone. You need two different approaches.

Why Couples Wait to Get Help

Did you know that the average couple waits more than six years of knowing things aren't going well before seeking help? Could you imagine waiting six years to treat a chronic illness? Likely not—but that's what many people do with their emotional sense of wellbeing.


When couples finally raise their hand for help, it's often because they're in crisis mode, having ignored the emotional fire burning for years. We frequently get asked how our approach differs from traditional counseling and therapies. While there's a place for each type of emotional support, today's episode is about helping you understand who we are and what we do.

Separation Support Bundle

Want to stop feeling terrified about what your partner’s request for space means? Not sure where to begin?

Our Unique and Collaborative Approach

  • Mutual Growth and Practical Skills: Our process focuses on equipping you with principles and skills to move forward. Unlike traditional therapy that often delves into the past, our approach prioritizes starting where you are and addressing your current needs. We believe that while understanding the past can be helpful, it should not stall your progress or leave you feeling worse after a session.
  • Real-Time Support and Participatory Process: Relationships are dynamic, and addressing issues in real-time or close to it is crucial for real change. We offer continuous support outside regular sessions because we know that life happens between those sessions. You need a mentor you can reach out to when something goes wrong, not two weeks later. Our approach is highly participatory. We involve you actively in the process, ensuring that you practice and implement new skills rather than just discussing issues.
  • Avoiding Dependency: We don't want you to rely on us to make your life decisions. Instead, we focus on mentoring you to find and trust your own answers. You are the best judge of your life and your circumstances, and our role is to guide you in making decisions rooted in your understanding. Our support extends beyond regular sessions to provide real-time mentoring, helping you navigate challenges as they arise.

Practicing New Skills and Moving Forward

  • Implementing and Practicing New Skills: Implementing new skills is essential for progress. You can't just learn them; you have to practice them. Missteps are normal when learning something new, and it's important to have a support system to help you navigate these challenges. Our mentoring gives you a place to practice safely.
  • Progress Over Perfection: Striving for perfection in your relationship can be destructive. It's natural to make mistakes, and recognizing this helps you focus on progressing together. We stress the importance of small, gradual steps forward because trying to perfect everything at once can leave you exhausted and disheartened.

How We're Different from Couples Counseling/Therapy

  1. Mentoring Focus: We offer relationship mentoring, not couples counseling. This means we focus on guiding you to develop practical skills and strategies to improve your relationship.
  2. Real-Time Support: Our support extends beyond regular sessions. We provide real-time mentoring to address issues as they arise, not just during scheduled appointments.
  3. Skills Over Past Analysis: While we acknowledge the importance of the past, our primary focus is on equipping you with the skills needed to move forward and create the relationship you desire.
  4. Collaboration with Therapists: Many of our clients work with traditional therapists and us simultaneously. Our approach complements traditional therapy, ensuring you get a comprehensive support system.
  5. Participatory Process: Our approach is highly interactive. We involve you actively in the process, ensuring that you practice and implement new skills rather than just discussing issues.
  6. Avoiding Dependency: We mentor you to find and trust your own answers rather than creating a dependency on our guidance. You are the expert on your life; we're here to help you navigate it effectively.
  7. Practical Implementation: We emphasize the practical application of skills in your daily life. It's not just about knowing what to do but about actually doing it and making progress together.
  8. Holistic Approach: Our mentoring considers the dynamics of your entire relationship, not just individual issues. We aim to create a balanced, harmonious relationship through comprehensive support.

Take Action—Don’t Wait

There is no problem too big to solve, but waiting too long often leads to running out of the emotional energy needed to make positive changes. If you know you need help, don’t delay. Begin your journey now. Explore our resources at Stacibartley.com, schedule a free call, or join the Better Love Club for a month. Start somewhere, and it will become clearer what you need as you go along.


If you are in a relationship crisis, what you need isn’t intensive therapy focused on discussing problems but skills to change your relationship dynamics. And remember, you can always reach out to us for support. We’re here to help.

Resources mentioned in this episode:


  1. Better Love Club: Access unlimited resources, workshops, and a supportive community to deepen your relationship skills. Explore the club.
  2. Relationship Conversation Cards: Enhance your communication and deepen your connection with our Relationship Conversation Cards. stacibartley.com/cards

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