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Entrepreneurs Embrace Relationship Counseling

Nurturing Business Relationships: The Rise of Couples Therapy Among Startup Founders

In the fast-paced world of startups, the pressure to succeed can take a toll on even the most robust partnerships. A recent trend among entrepreneurs is turning heads – the adoption of couples therapy for the sake of their startups. In this article, we explore real-life experiences of startup founders who have sought the guidance of relationship coaches to navigate the challenges of co-founding a business.

 Addressing Workplace Explosions and Toxic Cycles

After a high-stakes pitch, Daniel Botcherby and his co-founders found themselves in a therapy session with a marriage counselor. A Slack message had ignited a destructive outburst, leading them to seek professional help. Botcherby emphasizes the importance of understanding boundaries, realizing that considering the startup as a “family” allowed toxic situations to persist. When faced with a repeating behavioral cycle, they made the tough decision to part ways with one co-founder, opting for duo coaching to prevent future conflicts.

 Setting Boundaries for a Healthy Business Relationship

Acknowledging the common portrayal of startups as families, Botcherby learned through coaching that this mindset can lead to forgiving toxic behaviors in a workplace environment. Emilia Theye and Celina Messner of clare&me also focus on boundaries in their coaching sessions, using empty chairs to symbolize the roles of co-founder, CEO, and friend. Clinical psychologist Gracie McLaven emphasizes the necessity of professional mediation to address unsaid issues, preventing discussions from spiraling out of control.

Revitalizing Personal Connections for Business Success

For Tatyana Eliseeva and Lilia Kruse of HealthCaters, the personal connection that fueled their startup began to wane as the company grew. Regular coaching sessions helped them address personal matters affecting their performance. These sessions not only repaired their personal connection but also revealed unexpected ways to streamline their startup by redistributing tasks based on individual preferences.

Support from Investors and the Business Community

Despite the potential stigma, venture capitalists recognize the benefits of couples coaching for founders. Suranga Chandratillake, partner at Balderton, notes that it helps founders understand each other’s processing and reactions, especially during transitional periods like rapid growth or fundraising. While the expense may deter some startups, McLaven argues that the investment pays off, creating lasting positive impacts on the company.


As startups continue to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship, the adoption of couples therapy among founders is proving to be a valuable resource. By proactively addressing interpersonal challenges, establishing


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