Our lives are built on a number of relationships - relationships at home, at work, with friends and family, and the people we do business with. You can't survive without people - and as we rely more and more on technology to communicate, it seems our social skills are waning.
People experience difficulties in relating to others - and it's always someone else's fault! You will have heard people saying things like, "I never know what to say to Ed, he's just so touchy," or "I don't know what's the matter with Tracy, she seems to go out of her way to make life difficult." Then there's the personal relationship that seems to be too difficult. The problem is that we often don't know where to start. Enter the relationship doctor: Dr Jackie Black.
"Relationships are one of those areas that we are all 'supposed' to be naturally good at," says Dr Jackie, "but, it's a bit like parenting, nobody gives you a handbook or teaches you the skills that are essential, so many of us struggle - often in vain - to make relationships successful. Look at all the broken relationships, rifts in families, and friendships that have been destroyed by something someone has said or done, or hasn't said or hasn't done."
Dr Jackie Black is a relationship expert who has worked on a one-to-one basis as a coach to lots of people who have relationship problems. "People don't need to be in a bad relationship to need help; we all have problem areas that seem to keep reoccurring. All I do is help people learn how to use tools and strategies to deal with issues proactively rather than react emotionally."
So who uses a relationship coach? The people Dr Jackie coaches are from all sorts of backgrounds - from chief executives and managers to plumbers and electricians, from artists to housewives. Now and again we could all do with some help! Dr Jackie has been coaching people and teaching relationship skills for many years and is very well known throughout the USA and Canada, the U.K. and Australasia with her own Internet Radio Show.
Not only do people need help with their existing relationships, but, with so many marriages hitting the rocks, more and more singles are on the scene. In fact, sometimes we don't even know where to begin to meet Mr or Ms Right! "If you've been out of the dating game for a while, it's hardly surprising that you get 'rusty' at the whole business of flirting, dating and getting to know someone. Plus, if your last relationship had problems, there's always that little voice at the back of your head telling you that you must be mad to want to do all that again!" explains Dr Jackie.
It was when she realized that as one person she could only help so many people, that she started thinking about how to reach more people and help them. She started designing a series of eCourses on dating and relationships that can be done entirely through email. The idea was to offer more than just a workbook, but to add audio messages from Dr Jackie, and regular telephone 'clinics' to enable the people following the programme to talk directly to her.
"When people are having trouble with relationships I feel a bit like an auto-mechanic with a car that is not running properly. You listen carefully to find out what needs to be fixed or replaced. 'I don't have time for a relationship', is code for 'I don't have a clue how to date and feel daunted by the whole idea,' or 'I'm too nervous and scared that I will fail again!'" My mission is to challenge you to explore the old beliefs and expectations which can cause you pain; to awaken you to the new realities of relationships; to revitalize you," says Dr Jackie.
The Dating eCourse series is now completed, enabling Dr Jackie to fulfill one of her ambitions: to help more people "date smart" and develop successful relationships. There are seven eCourses, each with five 'lessons' - including 'Making Sense of the Dating Process,' 'Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say' and 'Internet Dating.' Dr Jackie makes her 'students' work for their results; it's not a quick fix or an easy option. The questions that students work through tend to dig deep...
"It's not just instructive; it isn't only a book, you really need to work at it - to do the writing and exercises - which makes it very experiential. Questions build on each other, so that, even done superficially, it will take people deep into what influences their relationships. After completing the Dating eCourse series you will have a clearer idea of what you have been doing, why it may not have been working, and what options and choices you have to make dating more enjoyable, effective and successful," says Dr Jackie.