couples coaching





Here at the Relationship Doctor, we specialize in helping you stay with the conversations that matter the most, helping you:   1. Relax tension patterns and stay more open to the true possibilities in every relational moment.   2Optimize your individual style strengths and learn to use the particular connection gifts of your personality type more consciously and effectively.   3. Expand your communication skills and response options in challenging moments.  4. Transform difficult moments with your significant other into powerful forward movement in the relationship.  5. Clear up blind spots with the life-enhancing practice of staying curious in the relational field and using the exciting, problem-solving  ”permanent beta” approach in your relationship.    6Move into the kind of mindful interpersonal action that can create success in every area of your life partnership.


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Couples Coaching with Ronna the Relationship Doctor

Understand the Strengths & Challenges that Each of Your Personality Styles Bring to This

Particular Part of Your Relationship Journey!

Your Enneagram Type & Wing?   Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger, or Peace-maker?  (The Riso-Hudson Insight Approach)

Your Top Needs?  Certainty, Variety, Significance, Connection, Growth, Contribution?  (The Robbins’-Madanes Work & The Madanes School Technique)

Your Conflict Resolution Style?  Positive Outlook, Emotional Intensity & Honesty, or Competency-Focused?  (The Enneagram Institute Harmonics)

Where Do You Like to Recharge?  Introversion (“I Need Alone Time”) or Extroversion (“I Need to Get Out and See People”)?  (MBTI I-E Scale)

How Do You Like to Make Decisions?  Thinking & Facts, or Feeling & Values?  (MBTI T-F Scale)

How Do You Like to Take in Information?  Your Five Senses (Concrete Data) or Intuition (the Possibilities)?  (MBTI S-N Scale)

What is Your Desire for Closure?   Not so Much (Staying Open & Perceiving);  Gotta Have it! (Finishing, Making a Judgment)?  (MBTI P-J Scale)

Your Instinctual Value Stack?  Self-Preservation (Homeostasis & Comfort), Sexual (Chemistry & Expansion), Social (Bonding & Community)?  (The Instinctual Variants of the Enneagram)

Students studying and learning at home with a laptop and notes

What Stage of Couple Life are You in, and What Does that Mean in Terms of Where You Most Need to Put Your Energy Right Now?  Bonding, Talking, Doing, Being, Teaming?  (The Bader-Pearson Developmental Stage Work for Couples)

What are Your Natural Life Management Skills?  Producing Results, Administrating for Efficiency, Entrepreneur-ing for Long-term Effectiveness, or Integrating for Unity?  (Madanes & Adizes PAEI Roles)

Optimizing Your Partnership Dynamics…

Couples!  Your ability to love, work, and/or play together well and be a high functioning team is MOST impacted by your Level of Development  –  BOTH your personal psychological and spiritual development AND your level of development as as a couple, as a team.  That kind of psycho-spiritual and relational progress is where we focus your work here at THE RELATIONSHIP DOCTOR.    Your best relational life is our goal:   using powerful coaching interventions that promote couple or dating fulfillment.    And those interventions are masterfully personalized with insights into your individual Enneagram of Personality Style growth work.

To create and maintain a high functioning partnership, it’s a good idea to understand your and your partner’s ways of being in the world (your personality styles)….that is, what each of you tend to do when you’re more healthy and relaxed as opposed to when you are more unhealthy and stressed. And it’s also helpful to know what stage of growth you two are in as a couple (your couple developmental stage), that is where the growing edges are in your relationship. Once you start living in more awareness of those two relational development markers, we can then focus on expanding your thinking, feeling, and action options through coaching and other activities proven to support and streamline the specific parts of your relational growth process you are facing.

The Benefits of Working with Ronna Compared to Working with Other “Couples” Counselors:

Psychologist discussing with a couple in trouble

A lot helping professionals do some form of marriage or couple counseling, however Dr. Ronna Phifer-Ritchie specializes in working with couples.  Her revolutionary approach to couples coaching integrates personality science, couple development theory, and the deep wisdom themes of scripture, in ways that create powerful forward movement and deeply satisfying results for clients in their relational growth journeys.

When choosing a coach or counselor to support your growth work as a couple, it is important to remember that most graduate programs in those fields do not include even one complete course on couples therapy.    In contrast, Ronna started her professional life as a psychotherapist and college professor who specialized in coaching and teaching couples who were heading into full-time ministry.   She has been coaching couples into healthier partnerships, and teaching the Couple Development Model, integrating that specialty with her work in personality, for almost three decades!    Today, Ronna continues in intense study in her specialization with two of the leading couples therapist in the world,  Dr. Ellyn Bader & Dr. Peter Pearson, authors of the Couple Development Model, in their “1 in 1,000” Master Mentorship program; as well as immersing herself in the work of other thought leaders in this exclusive circle of experts.    

Now, at the request of many of her colleagues in the field,  she and Michelle Wangler-Joy MA, MFT are adding their own theoretical voice to the couples counseling specialization circle, with their ground-breaking professional training for helping professionals who work with couples, integrating couple development with personality development using the Enneagram system.



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