Core Issues

Core issues arise when our core needs are not being fulfilled. Coaches help uncover your core needs and issues to provide you appropriate coaching for you and your situation. Often times core issues are created by having relationship models and self-defeating coping strategies.

Core Needs & Core Issues

As a human, you have a set of emotional needs that all need fulfillment. You have the ability to fulfill most of these needs on your own, while some may require assistance from others.

  • The universal

  • Affection (Verbal & Physical)

  • Intimacy

  • Attraction

  • Emotional Support / Validation

  • Cared for during negative emotional experiences

  • Status is validated and appreciated

  • Autonomy respected

  • Security

  • Trust partner to support & fulfill emotional needs reliably and consistently

  • Individual

  • Cultural expectations, upbringing, traumatic experiences and all their variations create individualized needs

  • Feeling masculine/feminine

  • Being a provider

  • Religion Compatible

Core issues are a false web of beliefs we have about ourselves and others that are the root cause of one or more personal or interpersonal problems. Removing or modifying these beliefs can help you overcome blockers and the pain points associated with them.


  • The beliefs we have about ourselves

  • “I am self-reliant”

  • “I don’t need people to feel happy”

  • “I’m a generous person”

  • “I’m a bad person”

  • The beliefs we have about others in regard to relationships

  • “They will cheat if you don’t make enough money”

  • “They’ll leave if they don’t find you physically attractive”

  • “They don’t love you if they broke up with you”

  • “They only want to be friends if they don’t want to have sex”

  • The beliefs about your partner

  • “They are too sensitive”

  • “They will leave me because I gained weight”

  • “They don’t get my humor”

Scenario Example

A boyfriend says a crude, offensive joke about a sensitive issue and his girlfriend is deeply offended by and calls him a uncaring jerk. He gets angry and says she’s overreacting.

An argument like this rarely turns into a discussion about which core beliefs/needs triggered it.

The core issue here might be that the girlfriend believed that he’d only make that joke if he had malicious intent or cared little enough about how she feels. And the boyfriend actually made the joke as an attempt to lift her spirits because he believes joking about sensitive issues helps people detach momentarily and calm down. He made the joke because he cared, and she got offended because she thought he didn’t care. The two are now hurt by one another and can’t come to a resolution because they’re unaware of why there’s a conflict.

Something about their belief systems is preventing them from gaining insight about their situation that would restore connection.

Sources of Core Issues

There are various sources of the beliefs that make up our core issues:

  • Core needs are not being fulfilled

  • Past trauma

  • Childhood conditioning

  • Influence of peers & society

  • Avoiding or suppressing painful feelings

When Core Issues Arise In Relationships

  • Partners don’t fulfill each other’s needs

  • Unaware of each other’s needs

  • Beliefs/values preventing partners from acknowledging or legitimizing their needs

  • Partners push each other to fulfill needs in ways that are counter-productive

  • Not knowing how to fulfill needs

  • Belief that they or their partner cannot provide for needs

  • Not communicating/expressing themselves effectively

  • Partners don’t know or don’t understand their core beliefs

  • Example: Boyfriend starts being more controlling with girlfriend after he loses his job. Girlfriend pushes his boundaries harder because she thinks he’s being a jerk. In reality the boyfriend believes she will leave him if he can’t provide her financially.

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