Fostering intimacy means deepening our most valued relationships. Humans rely on this level of connection, trust, and understanding to feel socially fulfilled.
But sometimes, developing intimacy is difficult due to fears of vulnerability or lack of practice. We might also have intimacy imbalances that skew relationship dynamics for the worse — or lead us to feel like we aren’t getting enough in return.
In any relationship — romantic, platonic, or familial — we need a foundation for intimacy. Without it, our relationships are more likely to create anxiety or stress in our lives.
An intimacy coach helps those dealing with physical and emotional intimacy issues. These coaches guide their clients toward enjoying healthy, comfortable, and satisfying relationships in every area of their lives.
Let’s review what an intimacy coach is, how they help clients, and how to become one.
Defining intimacy coaching
An intimacy coach, sometimes called an intimacy consultant or relationship coach, helps clients feel more comfortable and safe getting close to others. They work with people to find and remove any roadblocks to true, unencumbered physical or emotional intimacy.
A central part of intimacy coaching is helping clients identify barriers to intimacy, such as defensiveness, shyness, or trauma. They also help their clients:
- Increase emotional awareness
- Define what holds them back from having a certain level of emotional or physical intimacy with another person
- Build trust in themselves and their relationships
- Create and act on a plan for improve a sexless marriage or relationship
- Set boundaries
- Ask for what they want, including discussing kinks and other sexual desires with an intimate partner
- Address both emotional and physical attachment wounds from previous relationships
- Understand another person’s intimacy style better
- Reduce performance anxiety
It’s worth stressing that, while intimacy coaches often work closely with topics such as trauma and cognitive hindrances, they’re not therapists. Therapists are licensed and certified mental health professionals who help clients understand themselves and their past better. They’re highly trained in psychoanalysis and can identify and treat complex mental health concerns and disorders.
An intimacy coach helps clients understand their approach to all relationships better and motivates them to conquer scary steps, like communicating more openly with a parent or trying something new in the bedroom.
Becoming an intimacy coach
There are no intimacy coach certification or licensing requirements, but it never hurts to approach a new profession feeling prepared. You’ll be dealing with sensitive subjects, so understanding topics related to psychology like cognitive behavior therapy and physical manifestations of emotional hindrances is worthwhile. This education will give you a better grasp of your clients’ needs — and help you recognize when a patient requires a mental health professional’s help.
These institutions offer reputable intimacy coaching certifications:
We also recommend networking with other intimacy coaches in your area or online to get a feel for this kind of work. Developing relationships with coaches of all types will help you become more familiar with many job-related tasks like session creation, program pricing, and dealing with difficult clients. If you’re lucky, they’ll let you shadow their practice.
Intimacy coaches help clients embrace vulnerability and better understand their wants and needs to improve every relationship. To excel at this sort of work, we recommend practicing the following skills:
- Openness and acceptance: Clients will share deeply personal thoughts and experiences in your coaching sessions. You must foster a safe space that’s judgment free, open, and accepting. They need to feel comfortable enough to explore their concerns and make progress.
- Build a good rapport: Great intimacy coaches build valuable connections with their clients, forming trust and easing fear and apprehension. Our clients must know we’re on their side — that we’re advocates, not critics. This may include providing a way for your client to communicate with you outside of sessions. Providing the number to a work-dedicated phone is a great way to create work-life boundaries for yourself while also being accessible to your clients.
- Compassionate communication: Communication skills are a top priority for every type of coaching. We must actively listen to our clients, retain details, and create effective action plans to help them reach their goals. Because these clients share sensitive information, it’s crucial that we speak warmly and empathetically to ensure they feel safe and supported.
Once you’ve obtained certification, gained second-hand industry knowledge and experience, and practiced key skills necessary to excel at this job, it’s time to start your coaching business. Create a business plan that outlines your services and prices, finances and salary goals, and marketing plan. Do market research so you can include a realistic budget and package prices. This research will also help determine your target audience, making advertising your services easier.
Starting off strong
Increasing intimacy levels in our relationships is scary. It requires us to develop trust, be vulnerable, and share sensitive information about our physical and emotional feelings and experiences.
An intimacy coach helps clients take this scary leap, offering insight into the barriers that hold them back and motivating them to take on uncomfortable conversations and open up. The result is more valuable, satisfying relationships and a better understanding of how we tick.
Start strong as you kick off this fulfilling career by staying organized. A client relationship management (CRM) service allows you to communicate directly with your clients without missing a beat. You can also authorize payments and store important documents like client intake forms and coaching proposal templates — all in one place. Try it today.