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The Scoop: As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Suntia Smith has spent many years helping people overcome personal challenges, and she has seen that relationship challenges often cut the deepest. Suntia became a marriage counselor to ease the burden on clients who don’t know where their relationships are going wrong. She gives practical advice to empower her clients to change their negative mindsets and habits. Suntia’s compassionate coaching style encourages individuals and couples to honor each other’s differences and work together to strengthen their emotional bonds.
Suntia Smith used to work solely with women in her relationship coaching practice. She drew from her background as a social worker and counselor to deliver truthful insights on dating and relationships. She ran individual therapy sessions where women could feel safe opening up to her about their struggles to connect with their partners.
Suntia’s clients typically expressed frustration that their relationships didn’t meet their emotional needs, but they didn’t always know how to communicate those needs to their significant others and rebuild intimacy, trust, and love over time.
After awhile, Suntia realized she was working with one hand tied behind her back because she couldn’t talk to that partner, and she couldn’t heal the relationship’s wounds without addressing both sides of the issue. She realized she needed more than individual sessions to be an effective relationship coach — she needed to add couples therapy sessions to her repertoire.
“The lightbulb went off,” she recalled. “I saw that you need to bring in both individuals so that the relationship can grow and get healthy as the individuals grow and get healthy.”
After having this revelation, Suntia opened her coaching business up to individuals and couples who want to do the work to improve their relationships. And she never looked back. Today, Suntia works with men, women, and couples from all walks of life.
“We have to be healthy individuals before we can actually have a healthy relationship because how we show up in our lives every day is usually how we show up in love,” she told us. “That’s the core belief of my services.”
Suntia has adapted her relationship coaching business to take on individuals and couples because it takes effort from both to make a relationship work. Individuals have to get themselves in the right headspace and ensure they’re taking care of themselves in the relationship, and couples have to come together and find the middle ground where their love can blossom.
While Suntia’s offices are based in Greenville, South Carolina, she can take on clients from anywhere due her online coaching services. She can schedule in-person sessions in her office, or she can book a video counseling session for folks who live out of town.
In the coming years, Suntia said she hopes to build her coaching network on a global scale and assist clients who live all around the world.
Suntia has to be flexible to meet the needs of her diverse clientele. Her services can adapt to the situation and offer practical guidance through difficult times. Some clients need to see Suntia every week, while others come in once a month or so. It depends on where they are in their lives and their relationships. Every client is unique, so every coaching regimen is unique.
“I’m a solution focused therapist,” she said. “I’m trying to give my clients a solution that will help them because I don’t want my clients to be in therapy for two or three years. The goal is for them to face the challenges in their lives and pull through on their own.”
A majority of Suntia’s clients are between 25 and 40 years old. They come from different backgrounds, but they share a common impulse to find love and sustain a long-term relationship. Some are stuck in negative dating patterns, while others feel trapped in stagnant relationships, and they look to Suntia’s relationship coaching for answers.
“Usually when people come see me, they have exhausted all options, and they’re ready to hear another way of doing things,” Suntia told us. “I create a safe, warm, and loving environment where they can receive the truth.”
Suntia has to cover a lot of ground in her relationship coaching practice. She can address many different issues that arise in relationships — from poor communication skills to fear of commitment — and she tries to focus on the areas that cause the greatest difficulties for her clients.
Some couples have lost the spark in their relationship and need to learn how to make time for one another. Other couples don’t know how to express their frustrations without turning it into a fight. Some women spend so much of their energy taking care of their children and their husbands that they forget to take care of themselves.
In private sessions, Suntia identifies these pain points and proposes practical solutions for setting expectations, respecting boundaries, and expressing love and devotion every day.
Suntia also wrote a book about the emotional blocks that can stand in the way of healthy relationships. “Single Woman’s Wake-Up Call” speaks to the challenges everyone faces on the way to love.
“I want to make sure that people truly understand the importance of healing themselves in order to have a healthy relationship,” Suntia explained. “I see a lot of people who have been hurt by past relationships and they don’t realize how that affects their current relationships.”
Suntia accompanies her clients on a healing journey and inspires them to keep moving forward. Her insights can provide the stepping stones to major personal breakthroughs.
One couple was on the verge of calling off their wedding day when they came to see Suntia. Relationship coaching was their last resort before walking away for good. Fortunately, Suntia saw hope in the turmoil. They thought they were incompatible because they saw the world differently, but Suntia taught them to see those differences as strengths.
“We don’t want our partners to be just like us,” she told us. “That takes the fun and excitement out of it.”
The engaged couple ended up reinforcing their bond and going through with their wedding thanks to Suntia’s guidance. She said it was a joy for her to see them make progress and fall back in love with one another.
“It just feels bigger than you. Relationships are our biggest mirrors. Relationship are those places you can’t avoid,” she told us. “Seeing the process and the progress couples make is just a blessing. It keeps me going. Some days can definitely be long, but I enjoy what I do. ”
It takes two partners to make a healthy relationship work. One person can’t do all the heavy lifting on their own. Both individuals have to actively and compassionately engage with one another to keep those little annoyances from becoming relationship-ending conflicts. Suntia Smith can help couples on that journey.
Suntia’s honest approach to relationship coaching has made a significant impact on individuals and couples facing personal challenges. She sits down with her clients virtually and in person and then asks them to consider how they can be better in their relationships and in their lives. Her private counseling sessions can give people the space they need to work things out and strengthen their loving bonds.
“I give the truth, but I’m also very empathetic because I understand that truth is hard to hear,” she said. “I’m not the type of coach or therapist who says what they want to say without regard to how the other person is feeling. I know it’s hard to make changes in your life, and I don’t want to make it seem like it’s easy or an overnight type of thing.”