Using the COACH Marital Intervention as Marriage Enhancement

Using the COACH Marital Intervention as Marriage Enhancement

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The COACH Marital Intervention (CMI) process is as follows: one at a time, each partner conducts the Game Planning technique as facilitator. Once each partner has a Game Plan, the couple discusses what activities can be collaborated on. Next, the couple schedules weekly meetings to discuss the progress of individual and collective activities. The couple continually adjusts contributions and discusses progress as work moves forward toward a product. A product is an item that can be developed for barter —we say barter to emphasize that the product can be developed for sale or for trade with others.

For example, a couple could develop a novel. They could share the novel only among friends or actively seek a publisher to distribute the book. The couple focuses on the development of a product as a demonstration of a common vision. All great collaborations must have a product to represent the union.

Spouse as Game Planning Facilitator

            The Game Planning technique can be difficult due to social barriers to which the couple may hold. Barriers to open communication may relate to a spouse attempting to maintain a certain opinion in the mind of the other. Potentially, this pressure is lessened when the facilitator is the spouse.

            In addition to the standard outcomes of the technique, the process may yield a surprising level of intimacy as a result of the knowledge gained as well as the “bare” experience of talking about oneself.  CMI with spouse as the facilitator integrates the last stage, Assignment, as a sharing process that personalizes the Game Planning technique for the couple. CMI provides an opportunity for couples to refocus on each other. Asking the questions, noting personality quirks, challenging surface answers, reminiscing about shared history, and more punctuates the Game Planning technique. With spouse as Game Planning facilitator, the emotional depth can support a deepening of the relationship. Importantly, CMI does not end with the emotion. It continues with intentional, structured support by discussing projects that can be collaborated on, once each spouse has a Game Plan in hand.