Love Coach

A love coach does what? My initial take on love coaching, if someone were to come to me, with my background in domestic violence psychoeducation and anger management counseling, would be to teach the thinking and physiological tools that create an affiliative and cooperative heart and brain.

And I would teach about the research of Helen Fisher,Ph.D., Robert Epstein,Ph.D., and John Gottman,Ph.D., all of whom have done very interesting research into marriage, love, and relationship, and Doc Childre and the Heartmath folks are the model I choose for the hearts role in all of this love coaching.

So love coaching starts with the internal, and then moves to the external where you interact with other folks.

Love Coach-Internal

The one thing that I do not see taught at all in the coaching business is that our physiology changes really fast, based on our interpretation of non-verbal communication.

So as a love coach, I might teach about Paul Ekman's work in regard to facial expressions.

Paul Ekman,Ph.D. has been working to categorize human facial expressions for perhaps 30 years now, and one of the things I teach my clients is that we respond to a facial expression of contempt in 1/25th second, which is about twice as fast as I can blink my eyes, and the response is usually one of hurt, then anger, which changes the hormonal bath in my body before I can create words.

So I may send that expression right back, which certainly will reduce any physiology of love or lust that other person might have for me. Is there an antidote? I think Heartmath is a great tool, but we should talk about lust first.

I say lust because Helen Fisher,Ph.D. in her work about those early wonderful, all consuming stages of love says that three brain systems are turned on, and she also says that we will have the best chance of love if we pick a compatible type to activate those brain systems with.

Fisher studied 'in-love and just out of love' brains by running those brains through a fMRI or functional magnetic imaging machine to look at which parts of the brain are activated when shown pictures of the beloved, for example.

The picture that emerged for Fisher, who is now the Chief Scientific Officer at, is that three very old parts of the brain are activated in those early days of love, and any love coach worth his or her salt would coach clients in ways to subtly activate those systems in the brains of folks who are in proximity and who match the Fisher types.

Those Fisher types are associated with hormones, and certain behaviors can bring those hormones to a bit of a raised level.

The first brain system Fisher speaks to is the one associated with lust, and is based on the hormone testosterone for both women and men.

Competitive sports elevate this hormone for both men and women, for example.

The second brain system that Fisher speaks about is the love brain system and the hormone associated with love is oxytocin, which can follow touch.

The third brain system activated is the love system and it is associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine. Novel behaviors trigger this neurotransmitter.

Love Coach-External

Robert Epstein,Ph.D. has looked at why arranged marriages are so successfull in India, where couples stay together and often grow in love. 95% of Indian marriages are successful meaning the couple stay together, while we are at a 50% divorce rate even with the intervention of the Fairy Godmother.

Epstein says that couples can engage in regular efforts to build love, and he argues that spending time doing these exercises can make our Western marriages more successful.

So your love coach should prescribe exercises like soul gazing, a two minute exercise of looking into each others eyes, guarenteed to impact your dopamine levels, and another is synchronizing heart beats.

Not sure if Epstein has heard of Heartmath, or heart rate variability biofeedback, but I have used Heartmath in just that way, to get folks involved in a relationship to access the brain in their heart, (yes, your heart has its own cooperative and affiliative nervous system) and attend to keeping the heart beat of the relationship coherent.

Your heart beat, and the heart beat of the relationship changes thought by thought. Depending on the thought, the relationship can become more coherent or less coherent, which is the bad news.

The good news is by changing the thought, the heart beat of the relationship can be made coherent again.

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