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Connectedness Is Your Birthright – Exclusive Interview With Bev Ehrlich

bev-ehrlich-rtl-coach Beverly Joy Ehrlich is a Relationship Coach.

Beverly Joy Ehrlich is a Relationship Coach. She lives in Israel with her husband, their children, and grandchildren. Beverly and her husband moved to Israel from Cape town, South Africa a year after getting married, almost 40 years ago.

Beverly loves the outdoors in Israel. She has participated in a 4 km charity swim in Lake Kinneret, has hiked part of the Israel trail with one of her daughters-in-law, and most recently begun playing a regular game of tennis and flying in a light aircraft with one of her sons who recently received his pilot's license.

Beverly has a background in teaching and psychology. About 10 years ago she became disillusioned with her job as an English teacher and began diving more deeply into the world of coaching. 

What was a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today?

About 4 years ago my coaching and personal life took a dramatic turn. I was participating in a retreat hosted by one of my mentors and spiritual teachers, Thomas Hubl when I received the news that my father was dying and I should come to South Africa pronto. The problem was that at the same time, my husband was suffering from a distressing and unrelenting depression. I could barely leave him alone for a few hours to participate in the retreat. How was I going to leave him and travel to Cape Town? Long story short, I flew off to be with my father in his final days and my husband joined me for part of that time.

On our return to Israel, in a frantic, frustrated, and very angry state, I began searching for couples' therapists who could 'deal" with my husband's lethargy, lack of initiative, and neediness. His "unacceptable" behavior was hurting his medical practice where he was a respected and loved physician, as well as destroying the family that he adored and for whom he had always shown tremendous generosity, kindness, and care.

As part of my desperate search for help for "him," I dragged him to 3 couples' therapists. Each in their turn would turn to him and ask why he couldn't get himself together. Each session would end with me in tears and feeling completely hopeless.

My anger and frustration simply grew more intense and desperate. I fired therapists left right and center! I felt so unheard! 

And then a name arose which was to change the trajectory of our lives and the work we both do in the caring professions. Terry Real, master family, and couple's therapist had written a book on male depression, and I Don't Want to Talk About It. My husband and I both devoured this book. It invites men to open their hearts and reconnect with themselves as well as others. We were now well on our way to relational healing and recovery. We immediately signed up for a workshop and I began my journey to becoming a fully certified RLT (Relational Life Therapy) Coach. RLT is a systematic method for bringing couples back into healthy connectedness.

None of the therapists with whom we had tried to work had recognized or acknowledged that my husband and I were in this together. We were a team and our full recovery meant both of us had to put in the work. What exactly is the work? It's a moment-to-moment practice. It's not sometimes or when I'm feeling happier or better or in the mood. It's at this moment right now. Will I choose openness, compassion, and kindness or will I choose to be contracted, closed, protected, and act out?

"Nothing is more important in our lives than our relationships. A great relationship boosts your immune system, opens your heart, and keeps you vital and creative."
Terry Real

As a Relational Life Coach, how do you help your clients?

When a couple comes to my therapy space, they are no longer living relationally with a respectful and loving connection. RLT has a powerful impact on couples by transforming and restoring their relational capacities.

Women today are asking for more emotional intimacy from their men. They're asking for more than traditional males are being raised to deliver. The essence of traditional masculinity is invulnerability, independence, strength, courage, leadership, and assertiveness. The more invulnerable you are, the more manly you are. And women are asking men to move into vulnerability, to move into their emotions, to open their hearts, to be less defensive, to be more sharing. In other words, to have a broader, repertoire of relational skills.

How can an individual heal in a relationship?

We are wired to live together. We co-regulate one another. Think how healing a hug feels. We heal, grow, and thrive when we collaborate, cooperate, create, and connect with each other.

From a relational perspective, the answer to the question of who's right and who's wrong is: who cares? What matters is how are we going to manage this problem in a way that works for both of us.

What would you say is the best thing about being a Relationship Coach?

Couples usually turn up, certain that things in their relationship would be so much better if only their partner would put in the work and make some changes. I am always so touched when they come to understand and take ownership for their part in their relationship struggles, and put in the work to make the changes that can bring them closer together. It's always beautiful for me to see a couple cherish one another and the deeper connection that blooms when they move into more full respect living.

You don't get everything you want in a partner. Ask yourself this, "Am I getting enough in this relationship to make grieving what I'm not getting, worth my while? Are you getting enough to make it worth your while staying? If the answer is yes, I can help. If the answer is no, I can help you separate in a less destructive way. If the answer is maybe, we agree to a 4-month trial period where you work with me and honestly give yourselves the best chance you can.

What advice do you have for people who are struggling in their current relationship?

Remember love! The reason you want your partner to stay happy is…You love them and you live with them! Get help by joining workshops. Hire a coach or a therapist who will really support you in having a better, happier, and more fulfilling relationship. If you don't feel you're getting the right support keep looking till you do.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about working with you?

Reach out and schedule a time to chat. That way you can tell me what your challenges are and I can see how best to support you. This may even mean a recommendation for a more suitable resource.

Here's a question that may be helpful for you to explore before you jump on the call. "Assume that your problem has been solved, what is different for you and your partner?"

Always remember, connectedness is your birthright!

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