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What is Marriage Coaching? + Top Certifications

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Have you been thinking about becoming a marriage coach? 

Today, I’ll show you how to build your own marriage coaching business and trade your 9-5 for a career that offers freedom and fulfillment.

Want to learn more? Keep reading!

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is marriage coaching?

Marriage coaching is a form of coaching that helps couples create healthy and fulfilling relationships. Couples learn to navigate the challenges of marriage more effectively, deepen their intimacy, communicate better, become more connected, and feel more fulfilled. 

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Instead of focusing on the past, marriage coaching is all about what’s happening in the present and what goals couples want to achieve in the future. 

But how exactly do you help your clients as a marriage coach? That’s what we’ll look at next.

What does a marriage coach do?

As a marriage coach, you provide a space in which couples can grow together.

You’ll ask them probing questions about the present and future of their relationship and help them find solutions. You’ll also equip them with the right tools, strategies, and skills they need to improve and deepen their relationship.

Most importantly, you’ll hold both partners accountable for managing conflict, improving communication, and setting their goals throughout the process.

Marriage coaches can help couples with several issues, including:

  • Communication issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Infidelity
  • Financial stress
  • Decision-making
  • Family dynamics
  • Intimacy issues
  • Attachment styles
  • Parenting differences or styles
  • Substance abuse
  • Major life changes

However, it’s important to remember that you’re offering marriage coaching – not marriage counseling. Keep reading to learn about the difference.

What is the difference between marriage coaching and marriage counseling?

There are two significant differences between marriage coaching and marriage counseling.

The first is what counseling and coaching are each focused on.

Marriage counseling is focused on insights. It looks at what happened in the past and how it has contributed to the issues the couple is currently facing. 

Counselors help each partner address past events and process trauma by getting to the root of the issue.

On the other hand, as a marriage coach, you’ll help a couple transform their marriage by focusing on their present and future.

Coaching is more about taking action. You’ll help the couple set a goal and develop a plan that allows them to take actionable steps to reach it.

The other difference is that, unlike marriage counselors, marriage coaches aren’t medical professionals. 

Marriage counselors are formally educated and hold a license. They’re able to diagnose and treat mental health issues.

Marriage coaches don’t typically need to be educated or even certified – they just need first-hand experience and a proven method to get results.

As a marriage coach, you don’t focus on helping people with their mental health (even though your coaching can improve your clients’ mental health). You don’t diagnose, prescribe, or treat illnesses for your clients.

But who are your clients? 

Let’s talk about who can work with a marriage coach.

Who can benefit from marriage coaching?

While most people assume that marriage coaches only work with couples on the brink of separation or divorce, any couple who wants to improve their relationship can work with a marriage coach.

Marriage coaches can help couples who are:

  • Fighting about the same issue repeatedly
  • Discussing divorce
  • Concerned about their future 
  • Struggling in their sex life
  • Experiencing change (such as children moving out or illness)
  • Having unproductive arguments
  • Overcoming infidelity
  • Arguing about money
  • Feeling disconnected

And marriage coaching can have a huge impact on their clients’ lives. For example, The Gottman Institute, a research-based organization that offers coaching to couples, has developed a method with which it can predict divorce with over 90% accuracy. 

At the same time, a majority of clients (73%) say that coaching has improved their relationships and enhanced their interpersonal skills (71%).

How do you become one, though? 

To learn about becoming a marriage coach, keep reading.

How do you become a marriage coach?

The most important part about becoming a marriage coach is making sure that you have the right experience and know how to help couples get the results they want.

But if you want to be a successful marriage coach, there are a few other things to consider, like finding a niche, getting clients, and providing outstanding service.

You can do it – and here are the steps. 

Find a niche

There are 23,000 certified coaches in the US alone – and if you don’t have a niche, you’ll never stand out.

Yes, you’re a marriage coach, but that’s pretty generic. You have to get specific to find success.

And that’s where having a niche comes in.

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A niche is what will help you land your ideal clients because your services are specific to their situation.

For example, you might help couples resolve issues around money, intimacy, or politics. Or, you can teach them to communicate better during times of crisis. 

Those are niches.

Other niches that marriage coaches could have include: 

  • Blended families
  • Infidelity recovery
  • Newlywed transition
  • Midlife marriage
  • Intimacy

Anything that you have experience in can be a niche – in fact, you can find 100 ideas here.

Whatever niche you choose, make sure there is an audience who is willing and able to pay for your services – for example by researching other coaches who provide the same service as you do. If there are other coaches, you can be fairly sure that there is a market for your coaching.

Get a marriage coaching certification 

You don’t have to be certified to be a marriage coach. You just need the right kind of practical experience and a proven method of helping people meet their goals.

But if you decide to get certified, remember to choose your program carefully. I recommend finding courses taught at reputable universities or approved by well-respected organizations, like the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Here are a few ICF-accredited marriage coaching certifications to get you started:

The Art & Science of Coaching

This course takes a solutions-focused approach to coaching and is based on neuroscientific principles. Coaches are trained to work collaboratively with each of their clients to reach their goals.

Format: Online or in-person

Price: $4,512

The Art & Science of Couples Coaching

Over the course of four weeks, you’ll study both healthy and unhealthy relationships to teach you how to identify them. 

You’ll also learn to assess a couple properly, identify each partner’s strengths and weaknesses, and determine if each partner is willing to put the work in. 

Format: Online, four 60-minute webinars

Price: $149

Couples Coaching Certification Program

This iPEC program is the most rigorous option, and you can expect weekly classes, webinars, workbooks, and study materials. 

By the end of the program, you’ll know how to help couples address obstacles, develop self-responsibility, learn to better connect, and more.

Format: Online or in-person

Price: $13,395

Get marriage coaching clients

Of course, you can’t have a marriage coaching business without a paying client.

Here are some of the easiest ways to do it find one:

Offer your services to your network. 

Your close circle of friends, family members, and coworkers already know you.

And they probably trust you, too.

Why not reach out to them and see if anyone needs your services?

Doing so might feel awkward at first, but trust me – it’s one of the easiest ways to land your first client.

Log on to social media.

Social media is full of communities with members who need your services.

Among them are r/MarriageAdvice on Reddit (46,000 followers) and Couples Coaching & Marriage Advice on Facebook (8,000 members).

When you join a community relevant to your niche, make sure not to offer your services right away. Instead, take part in conversations and offer value first.

Volunteer for guest posts and podcasts.

This is one of the easiest ways to position yourself as an expert marriage coach.

Take a few minutes to list a few publications or podcasts you’d like to get featured in and shoot them a pitch.

Note: Choose only one of these client acquisition strategies at first. You can always expand your reach when your client list begins to grow.

Learn more about marketing your marriage coaching services in this guide.

Create a marriage coaching package 

I know, figuring out what to charge for your services as a new marriage coach can feel nearly impossible. How do you avoid undervaluing yourself or overcharging your clients?

By finding a price that’s just right – not too low or too high.

You can learn about creating your package and setting prices in this guide, but I always recommend a $1,500 price point for a three-month package that includes two monthly calls and an extra way to reach you.

If you feel like that’s a bit low, remember that right now, you’re focusing on accessibility. This price point will help you land your first few clients, and you can always change it as your business grows. 

Check out this video to learn more about marriage coaching packages:

Hold the best marriage coaching sessions

Once you have your first clients, you need to figure out how to conduct the most effective coaching sessions. 

And believe it or not, you don’t have to plan them word-for-word. (Although if that helps you – go for it. I used to script out my first coaching calls for hours at a time because that helped me feel prepared for my sessions.)

Instead, focus on hosting a call that’s as structured and goal-oriented as possible. This is what will help each couple reach their overarching goal.

This is where sub-goals come in.

Sub-goals are smaller goals that work together to contribute to the overall goal. 

For instance, if a couple wanted to deepen their connection, their subgoals might include spending more time together or being more diligent with scheduling dates. 

The couple works on these sub-goals between sessions. In doing so, they provide the framework for your next call.

So, what kind of salary can you expect to earn as a marriage coach? Read on to find out.

How much can you earn as a marriage coach?

Relationship and marriage coaches earn an average of $63,251 per year with a total pay range from $69,000-$118,000– but those are salaries across all types of coaches (including employed ones). 

At the end of the day, your income all depends on you. A lot of factors, including things like your niche, the size of your client roster, and your package rate, will all determine what you earn. 

Get the Ultimate Guide

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Plenty of my students, including relationship coaches, earn six figures, multiple six figures, and beyond. 

And remember, you’re scaling your business, not stopping after you’ve helped one or two couples. 

That’s why your earning potential will increase as you build your skills and ramp up the number of clients you’re helping.

Next steps

There you have it! Everything you need to know about becoming a marriage coach.

Building a marriage coaching business is one of the most fulfilling businesses out there if you want to help people improve their relationships. Plus, a coaching business offers a lot of freedom and flexibility – including the possibility to work when and where you want.

But to do so, you need the right strategy.

Want to learn more?

Get my free PDF that shows you exactly what it takes to build a highly profitable coaching business: 

Want to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business So You Can Achieve More Freedom?

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When you sign up, you’ll also receive regular updates on building a successful online business.

Read more:

How to Become a Relationship Coach

What is Relationship Coaching?

How to Start a Successful Coaching Business

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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