CAYA (Come As You Are)


A Coaching Model By Lichenyang Zhou, Intimate Relationship Coach, CHINA

CAYA (Come as You Are) Empowering Single Women in Their Early to Late 20s

CAYA Coaching Model Lichenyang ZhouThis coaching model is designed to serve single women in their early 20s to late 30s who would like to feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled in their intimate relationships.

In this sense, intimate relationship coaching is not necessarily coaching on an existing relationship, rather, it focuses on the client’s desire and goal in seeking a sustainable, healthy, and fulfilling intimate relationship. This separates single’s relationship coaching from couples coaching (Ives, 2012). The designed coaching model must support first an internal process of self-understanding, and then an external process of practicing and carrying out actions.

Through my personal coaching experience, I am learning that many clients see what they lack in an intimate relationship. This perceived lack can only be fulfilled by the other, which creates pressure, tension, and constant insecurity while being in an intimate relationship. While there are countless resources on dating, it is almost never about mastering a specific technique, but an in-depth understanding of oneself that leads to success in finding and maintaining a sustainable and healthy relationship.

As we know, the critical differentiation of coaching is that we are never telling our clients what to do, but help them see for themselves and design their own life paths (ICA Course Material). No matter how many thousands of copies a dating book has been sold, the methodology described in which may still not be suitable for a certain client. Thus, it is a crucial point to start with this coaching model that is aimed to help the client see themselves. See her own needs, values, and desires in an intimate relationship. See her own self-worth, fulfillment, and satisfaction in and out of an intimate relationship. The journey of seeking love shall only begin then.

CAYA Coaching Model in Details

Step 1. Clarify

  • Clients are first invited to participate in a meditation session led by the coach, where they first calm down, relax, and feel at ease in the space that’s their body, then during the peaceful moment, a few questions will be dropped like tiny raindrops into the sea.
  • These questions are:
    • Who are you?
    • How are you feeling now?
    • How would you like to feel in an intimate relationship?
    • What are you looking for in an intimate relationship?
    • What about this intimate relationship makes you the happiest?
    • Most fulfilled?
    • Completely yourself?
  • The client will be invited to not try to answer those questions, but simply observe whatever floats up to the surface of their conscious mind. This is a peaceful and slow way of establishing the coaching contract, where the clients are invited to lean more into their emotional feelings, rather than thoughts. (Because love is about how you feel, not what you think!)
  • After the meditation session, the coaching session begins, and the client and the coach will discuss what came up with those questions. Here we solidify the coaching goal and help the client sees where she will be after the course of our coaching sessions.

Step 2. Accept

  • Society portrays a certain way that women must be in order to be attractive, most of them are physical traits, and this culture created a biased view inside of each woman, that she has to conform to a certain standard in order to have true love. However, a successful relationship is rarely because of any physical traits – they fade away through the years. They create passion, but not compatibility or security. A study has found that men find women who are open, kind, and assertive more attractive (Viren, et. al., 2010). From personal experience, the most attractive women (or men, for that matter), if there is ever a thing, are those who already feel confident, secure, and fulfilled in their single lives, and they do not seek for what they lack in an initiate relationships.
  • Thus, the second step is built to help the client accept herself, just as she is. In essence, it is what the whole coaching model is built upon: Come As You Are. This phase is where we explore the underlying beliefs and values that either support or block the client from seeking their true happiness in intimate relationships.
  • Some questions asked during the second step of cultivating acceptance:
    • What is behind [a certain behavioral pattern]?
    • What is stopping you from feeling [the desired feeling established in the coaching contracting]?
    • How do you feel when you think that thought?
    • Who would you be without that thought (belief)?

Step 3. Yes To You

  • From acceptance comes confidence. In this step, the coach and the client establish new beliefs about the client and explore how the client is beautiful just the way she is.
  • Some of the questions asked during this step:
    • When do you feel [the desired feeling]?
    • Who, or what will help you feel that way?
    • What can you do when you are not feeling [the desired feeling]?
    • What are some challenges you see on the way?
    • How would you like to face them?
  • Again, combining meditation, we will be using the “metta” or loving-kindness meditation technique to help the client feel a sense of unconditional love towards herself and the world. This lights up a sense of warmth and love from within.
  • After the meditation practice, the client will be asked to share her feelings, and the coach will work with the client to reinforce the newly established self-beliefs:
    • I am worthy of love.
    • I am enough.
    • I am beautiful just the way I am.

Step 4. Activate

  • This is the most goal-oriented step. This is where the coach helps the client lay down concrete, executable action steps.
  • Clients are asked to solidify their learning about the situation, about themselves, and what they would like to do next.
  • This is also where we explore their resources where they could meet people, go on dates, and review their actions during dates or meetings to continue learning and moving towards having a happy, satisfying, and fulfilling intimate relationship.
  • Some questions asked during this step:
    • What would you like to do next?
    • How would you like to be when you do it?
    • What have you learned about the situation?
    • What have you learned about yourself?
    • What would you like to bring forward with you?
    • What would you like to put aside and leave behind?
    • How are you feeling now?

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
Read more about creating your coaching model


Yossi Ives, 2012, “What Is Relationship Coaching?” Tag Institute, London, U.K.
Viren Swami, Adrian Furnham, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Kanwal Akbar, Natalie Gordon, Tasha Harris, Jo Finch & Martin J. Tovée (2010) “More Than Just Skin Deep? Personality Information Influences Men’s Ratings of the Attractiveness of Women,” The Journal of Social Psychology

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