May 1, 2023

Communicating Needs in a Relationship with Juliette Karaman

happy couple in the park


How do you communicate needs in a relationship? In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews mind-body coach Juliette Karaman on she teaches her coaching clients to communicate their needs in relationships. ​


  • Introduction to Juliette Karaman 
  • The difference between counseling and coaching
  • The importance of communicating needs in a relationship 
  • How to communicate needs in a relationship
  • Specific tips for military couples
Old couple drinking coffee

Introduction to Juliette Karaman

Juliette Karaman, a mother of four kids, is a mind body coach and hypnotherapist who lives in the UK. She works with individuals and couples to help build up more emotional intelligence. In couples she helps build this emotional intelligence to help couples respond to each other versus reacting to each other. 

The difference between counseling and coaching

In Juliette’s understanding of the difference between therapists and coaches, she views therapists as holding space and helping you talk through what happens but not sharing about their own story as much. In contrast, she views coaches as using a lot of story telling and shareing a lot of personal stories to help clients. Juliette identifies as a trauma informed coach, and views coaching as similar to mentoring. Coaches have typically gone through a similar experience and they share about their own experience to help someone else going through a that experience. They teach the tools that they found helpful when they went through something similar. A thing to keep in mind is that coaching is not a regulated industry and so you may not end up working with a qualified person. Make sure to do your research so you can get a feel for them, their experience and qualifications, to make sure they can be helpful. It can be helpful to try to trust your gut and intuition when working with someone. 

The importance off communicating needs in a relationships

So often couples are reacting to each other instead of responding to each other. This has to do with emotional intelligence and being aware of what is happening for your emotionally. Each individual has to work on this themselves to start identifying their thoughts, emotions, and body sensation. When you don’t have an emotional intelligence skillset built up, your emotions feel chaotic on the inside and then reactiveness comes out in your verbal and nonverbal communication. The message about what you need is not very clear. However, when you can increase your emotional intelligence, you can increase your ability to  respond versus react, and to communicate in a clearer and more effective way. 

Perfect young couple

How to communicate needs in a relationship

When people are reacting in the moment it is usually from a place of lack where something is missing. This might sound like, “you never do the dishes” versus “I would love it if you would help me with the dishes when you are home because it helps me feel really included and know that we are both taking care of the house“. These two statements sound really different to the person hearing it. Often times our partners want to please us, but it’s very hard for them when you are throwing accusations. Things you can do to communicate your needs:

  • Focus on the outcome you want and share that instead of an accusation. 
  • Ask for what you want versus what you don’t want.
  • Thank each other for what you do for each other. 
  • Share about what you appreciate.  
  • Make a list of 10 things you love about your partner. 
  • Look for the positive things in your relationship. 
  • Make a request for a meeting to talk about things. Ask if they have the bandwidth to have a conversation about your needs in the relationship. 
  • Remember what brought you together and what you wanted out of life together. 
  • Be curious about your partner to keep learning about them. 
  • Do new things and practice exploring together and doing things you enjoy together. 
  • Calm yourself down and practice emotional awareness so you can communicate without reacting.  

Our brains are primed to look for the negative and we have to put in extra work to look for the positive.” — Elizabeth Polinsky

Tips for military couples

There are a lot of moving parts for military couples, but here are some tips: 

  • Save 15 minutes before bedtime to reconnect 
  • Ask each other: 1) tell me what you love about our relationship and 2) what do you want me to know about you that I don’t know 
  • Have two hours a week where you don’t talk about work or the kids. Keep the phones away!
  • Do new things for your dates that are not the same pattern of what you always do. 
  • Think about the things you loved to do as a kid and do those things with your spouse. 
  • Send text of gratitude to each other 
  • Ask permission in advance to vent and clarify that you don’t actually need something from your partner
  • Put a time limit on venting 
  • Set a timer for 90 seconds 3x per day and take that time for you, slow down and take a breath. Then focus on one part of your body and notice what is happening. Noticing whaat thoughts and feelings come up for you. This will help you build emotional awareness and help you be more present in the moment. 

​Working with ​Juliette Karaman

You can find Juliette at her website, or you can find her on Instagram and Facebook. She has a variety of coaching programs, group programs, communication courses, and free meditations.

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling, where marriage counselor Elizabeth “Liz” Polinsky provides online marriage counseling, weekend long marriage intensives, and therapist training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.   

Thanks for listening!


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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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