Kamene Rose knew she kept making the same mistakes in her personal relationships, but didn’t understand why. As she found herself in the beginning of a new relationship, she was determined not to jeopardize it by repeating past behaviors.
Kamene sought out a professional coach to determine what wasn’t working for her and how to open up in this new relationship. Her partner referred her to Deziree Slusher, ACC, an ICF-credentialed coach based in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Working with Deziree, Kamene started a journey to change her behaviors and offer more of her true, authentic self in her relationship.
What led you to partner with a coach?
My significant other was getting into life coaching and had previously met Deziree at a workshop. He was the one who referred her to me when I started telling him what I found interesting about potentially being coached.
I’m working towards a career as a marriage and family therapist, and learning about this whole coaching side was completely new to me. I saw a lot of parallels and thought it could be useful to try so that my new romantic relationship could progress in the way we both wanted.
My coaching was really focused on the area of relationships, specifically romantic relationships. I wanted to learn some of my patterns and why I was getting into the same types of relationships, that all ended in the same way—something I was unhappy about. I wanted to learn how to break this cycle, and why it was even happening in the first place.
How long did you work with Deziree, and how did you work together?
We worked together for six months. During that time, we met once a week over the phone.
What was it like working with Deziree?
I’m the type of person that if I knew I was going to be having a conversation with someone, I would play that conversation out in my head a million times. “Okay, I’m going to say this. They might say this back. Then if they say that, I’m going to reply with this….”
Deziree would say, “Stop with the peanut gallery. Just turn it off.” We went deeper and asked, why do I do that? Where did that come from?
With her helping me dig through it, we found out that it was because when I was younger my mom would always be asking me, “Where are you going? Who are you with?” I felt I needed to prepare this whole speech before bringing anything up to my mom. I brought that into my adult life.
Deziree helped me realize that by preparing, having all this internal dialogue, I’m trying to make myself feel safe because I’d have all the bases covered. That helps me now, when I catch myself doing it. I remind myself that I’m not in a place where I need to be safe and have all the answers present.
Were there any specific exercises or tools that you found to be particularly helpful?
We did visualization exercises, like a confidence visualization and a grounding technique, that helped me prepare for whenever I was going to have a really big conversation with someone that I typically would have been nervous about.
You mentioned your initial motivation for coaching was based around improving your patterns in romantic relationships. Were you able to achieve those goals?
Yes! In fact, my significant other and I got engaged this past New Year’s Eve, and are looking forward to our wedding in June 2021.
Were there any results beyond your initial goals?
Deziree helped me make a lot of choices and actions by encouraging me to do what I felt was going to serve me the best.
Once I was able to learn and understand these things surrounding romantic relationships, those realizations naturally bled into me looking into my social and family relationships. I was able to get a lot of healing and confirmation of things that I went through growing up.
I came from a single-parent home and didn’t have a relationship with my father growing up. There were a lot of suppressed emotions that I wasn’t even aware of. Deziree helped me work through those processes and helped me move forward. I started rebuilding my relationship with my dad, and we’re a lot closer now. That’s a totally new aspect to my life.
During my coaching experience, my close-knit group of girlfriends was going through some challenging times. Deziree helped me navigate it and take steps that I wouldn’t have taken had I not been working with her.
Now, I am the one leading my group of friends through this tough situation. Deziree helped me make a lot of choices and actions by encouraging me to do what I felt was going to serve me the best.
Have other people noticed a change?
One of my girlfriends in that close-knit group I mentioned has known me since undergraduate school. She’s definitely seen me on both ends of the spectrum—before and after coaching—and she told me, “I can totally see the difference. You’re speaking up for yourself and making so much progress.”
It was very reaffirming for her to be saying those things. She even took action herself, reaching out to Deziree for coaching.
What would you say to someone who’s considering working with a coach?
If you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open, coaching can be life changing.
I would tell them to be completely open and honest and prepared to look at themselves. I would tell them to trust the coach and the coaching process. Your coach will guide you through things and help you understand why it’s happening, giving you the tools to move forward.
I think having the extra outside support system a coach provides is beneficial. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open, coaching can be life changing. I would say to someone thinking about coaching to do it, but to commit to doing it 100 percent.
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