Last Monday night, the world was introduced to Melanie Mar on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH). As we all saw, she was giving life coaching advice to Taylor Armstrong and helping her through her marriage woes to her now late husband, Russell. We published an interview with Melanie the day after the episode aired, where she offered advice for both couples looking to strengthen their relationship and singles searching for Mr. Right. This week, Melanie shares insight with us that answers our burning questions about the Armstrong’s, what it was like to work with Taylor, and what type of counsel she gave to her over the past six months.
We loved watching you on the show. Can you tell us a little about your history with the Armstrong’s and how you came to be Taylor’s life coach?
I’ve known the Armstrong’s for about a year now. We met through mutual friends. Initially I was brought into the RHOBH to help resolve the marital problems of both Russell and Taylor. However prior to filming, Taylor privately disclosed personal details (since made public) within the marriagewhich made it unprofessional for me to counsel them as a couple on the show. It was my opinion and suggestion that I would be most beneficial as Taylor’s life coach.
How long have you been a coach to Taylor?
Our first session began in March. I found her to be very forthcoming and open. This is an incredibly important characteristic as it enables me to assist the person with understanding what they want and don’t want in their lives and relationships. Once I have established that, we can begin the process of putting in place the actions needed for change. Pain indicates change is needed or change is in progress.
What were you doing to help Taylor and her marriage? What were your sessions like?
As with all my clients, I begin with educating a different way to communicate within relationships. I teach the biological differences of men’s and women’s brains and why they think and feel things differently. Ultimately, if a relationship is beyond repair I then have to progress onto alternative options available for that individual or couple and help them to make the best rational, logical decision depending on their circumstances.
On the episode it appeared that you were trying to help Taylor with her marriage, not sway her to leave like the rest of the women were convincing her to do. Can you tell us more about that?
I work with what I have. If someone tells me they will do anything to make their marriage work, then I will do my utmost to give them all the tools, information and support necessary to make it possible. If someone tells me they want to leave their marriage, I will give them all the tools, information and support to make it possible. I cannot tell anyone what to do — they have to tell me what they want to do and my job then is to assist them in getting there.
According to reports, Taylor and Russell were also being counseled by psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy. Did you work with him?
I have not worked with Dr Charles Sophy. Unlike psychiatrists, I am not licensed to prescribe medication. What I teach is a form of cognitive behavior therapy. I am working with the left lobe of the brain responsible for making logical decisions. Most people regret something they have said or done when it has come from a state of being irrational, emotional or illogical. I help people deal with conflict in their life, whether it’s with loved ones, friends, co-workers or family, in a rational way.
What counsel do you provide someone who is not only having relationship and communication problems, but domestic violence issues as well?
My advice to anyway suffering from domestic violence is to contact the experts who specialize in domestic abuse cases.
How is Taylor now? Are you still her life coach?
I have not seen Taylor since the funeral, but she knows I am here for her when she is ready to talk privately.
What are some reasons a person would hire a life coach?
Everybody needs to talk to someone during trials — it is unhealthy to suffer in silence. However, most people, particularly women, who share their intimate problems do so with several people. This causes more confusion because everyone is giving different and uneducated advice. I am unbiased and am certified in what I do. My coaching is based on scientific studies. I teach specific tools to enable my clients to take control of their life, to get what they want by knowing what they don’t want.
If someone wanted to hire you to coach them in the same way you did Taylor, what would that look like? What’s the process?
My first session with a client starts with me explaining my qualifications, who I am and what I do. I give a brief background into the brain and why men and women do, say and behave in certain ways. I ask what their particular problem is and then begin teaching the behavior modification techniques. In each session after that, we continue working together on their issues, implementing the tools and following up on their progress. I end every session with a “contract” for that individual or couple, something that they are verbally agreeing to do or stick with.
What other services do you offer?
Other than coaching, I offer complete makeovers. As a former runway and photographic model, fashion and style are paramount to me. I am a big believer in the thought that when you look good, you feel good. I think first impressions do count and, whether you are on the market for a new relationship or a new job, making the best of yourself never is a bad thing. I garner great joy from helping others transform themselves and seeing their confidence soar.
Visit Melanie’s Mar’s Facebook page or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in learning more about she helps others in their lives and relationships. A complete overview of her services can be found at www.melaniemar.com.