- Words Toby Tannas Photography Lia Crowe
Jaime Morgan is someone who catches your eye in the bustle of a busy coffee shop. Her warm smile greets me as I approach. She exudes happiness, which is why I am beyond curious to hear about the new career that has her lit up from inside.
“I’m the relationship coach who’s divorced,” she says with a laugh.
That’s how the conversation begins! It’s a clue as to how Jaime operates as a relationship coach—direct and honest but with a keen sense of humour.
“I work with a lot of people who’ve been through divorce,” she says. “I’ve been there, I understand it and I know what helped me through that journey of being able to rise into myself and trust and know very clearly what I want for my future.”
Jaime is now happily married to partner Justin. Through the lens of social media their relationship looks fun, passionate and easy. It is all those things (most of the time), but, she shares, there is a lot of intentional work that goes on daily to maintain it.
“I really believe that, first of all, friendship is the foundation of all relationships. You have to foster that, you have to stay connected, you have to talk to each other, you have to like each other.”
Jaime credits The Gottman Method (TGM) for transforming her relationship with herself and then eventually with the man she loves. Simply put, TGM provides tools to build and maintain a healthy relationship. It was so beneficial to Jaime that she became certified as a Gottman coach.
“It’s an opportunity for me to combine my personal experience, my passion for helping people and my psychology education.”
TGM was developed from real people. Researchers studied the behaviors and actions of couples in successful relationships. Based on that, very specific guidelines were developed to show people how to shift their relationships.
“It doesn’t matter what’s happened in a relationship. If there are two people in it that want the relationship to work…it can work.”
Jaime breaks it down for clients into the three C’s: communication, conflict resolution and connection.
Starting with communication, Jaime teaches her clients that it’s about more than just talking. Listening, really hearing your partner and giving them a safe space to share how they feel are vital.
“If we were taught in school how to communicate in a really healthy way, just like we were taught math, I believe that every relationship in our lives would be different.”
When it comes to those inevitable arguments, Jaime coaches her clients to put conflicts into one of two categories.
“Some conflicts are solvable, but most are perpetual conflicts,” she explains. “These are rooted in the fundamental differences between you and your partner. They are the conflicts that keep coming up because you are two separate people.”
Because perpetual conflicts are ongoing, relationships become about managing them. Coaching a couple on how to effectively navigate arguments is extremely satisfying to Jaime.
“I really do believe that conflict can bring you closer together if you have the tools to do it in a way that fosters connection.”
Jaime’s coaching focuses on the here and now. Unlike other therapies, she doesn’t take a deep dive into the past.
“We look at where you are now and where you want to be in your future. We develop action steps to get you from A to B, whether it’s your own personal growth or a relationship.”
Jaime acknowledges that doing the work is tough, but says there are huge rewards when you choose to invest in yourself and your relationship. It often means taking a long, hard look in the mirror.
“How we show up in the relationship is what is going to transform it. We tend to think it’s all about what our partner does, but really, it’s how we show up. When we dial in to what we need to work on in ourselves, that’s when we will see the biggest shift.”
Alongside working with couples, Jaime has many personal-growth clients who aren’t currently in relationships but are doing the work on themselves.
“I’m working with a lot of women in particular, helping them establish a strong sense of self and confidence that creates the groundwork for attracting healthy relationships into their lives.”
Jaime is herself a shining example of TGM success. As she guides others through personal and relationship growth, she and her husband, Justin, are doing the work too.
“When you work on yourselves individually and then share that joy together, this can be a really exciting part of a relationship.”
As we wrap up our coffee shop conversation, I decide I can’t leave without asking for some free advice. Here are three things Jaime says you can start doing today to improve communication, manage conflict and foster connection in your relationship.
The daily check-in: You only need to dedicate a few minutes to daily open dialogue about the relationship, so schedule it in. This isn’t the time to talk about kids and schedules—this is about communicating where you’re at today and listening to your partner do the same. This ritual can ward off major fights by not letting un-communicated issues build up.
Take a time out: When a discussion or situation is getting heated, give yourself and your partner the gift of a break. Make it clear that you will re-visit the issue later. Nothing good happens when you are in fight or flight mode.
Own your stuff: Be able to recognize when you’re in that blame zone and you’re pointing a finger at your partner. Use that as a cue to look inward to see what you can do to make the situation better.
Find out more about Jaime Morgan Relationship and Personal Growth Coaching on Instagram @thejaimemorgan and at jaimemorgan.com