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Digital Seminar

Clinical Demonstration/Analysis of Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT)


Average Rating:
   234
Faculty:
Richard Simon, Ph.D. |  Terry Real, LICSW
Duration:
3 Hours 58 Minutes
Format:
Audio and Video
Copyright:
Jul 26, 2016
Product Code:
NOS095827
Media Type:
Digital Seminar


Description

This master class addresses the therapeutic challenges of working with couples on the brink of divorce. It covers definitions, characteristics, and approaches that are unique to RLT. This class illustrates the process with clips from a RLT clinical demo session accompanied by analysis from Terry Real and Rich Simon. There is also a Q&A session and a follow-up session where the couple featured in the clinical demo talk about their experience in the session and how they’ve maintained and enhanced their gains over the 9 months since the session.

Characteristics of couples on the brink:

  • Multiple years of therapy
  • Highly developed negative imagery about each other
  • Interactions characterized by self-protection, mistrust and skepticism
  • One or both partners are ready to give up on the relationship

Credit


* Credit Note - **

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after completing and passing the on-line post-test evaluation). 

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact cepesi@pesi.com or 800-844-8260 before the event.

 

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


Counselors - California Counselors

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE programs that are approved by other approval agencies, including several that approve PESI and its programs.  A full list of approval agencies accepted by the BBS can be found at www.bbs.ca.gov/licensees/cont_ed.html under “Where to find CE Courses.” This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Counselors - Florida Counselors

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider Number 50-399. This self-study course qualifies for 4.0 continuing education credits.


Counselors - Counselors

This self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.


Counselors - Montana Counselors

The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of instruction.


Counselors - New York Counselors

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department's (NYSED) State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Mental Health Counselors. #MHC-0033. This self-study activity will qualify for 4.75 contact hours. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. 


Counselors - Ohio Counselors

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board. Provider approval #:RCST071001. Full attendance in this self-study course meets the qualifications for 4.0 clock hours of continuing education credit. 


Counselors - Pennsylvania Counselors

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors accepts many national association CE approvals, several of which PESI offers. For a full list, please see your State Board regulations at https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/. This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Counselors - South Carolina Counselors

This self-study program has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Provider #4540.


Counselors - Texas Counselors

This self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors no longer approves programs or providers. PESI activities meet the continuing education requirements as listed in Title 22 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 681, Subchapter J, Section 681.142 Acceptable Continuing Education. Please retain the certificate of completion that you receive and use as proof of completion when required.


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PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2023 - January 27, 2026. Social workers completing this course receive 4.0 Clinical continuing education credits.

 

Course Level: Intermediate Format: Recorded asynchronous distance. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance.

 

Canadian Social Workers: Canadian provinces may accept activities approved by the ASWB for ongoing professional development.


Social Workers - California Social Workers

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE programs that are approved by other approval agencies, including several that approve PESI and its programs.  A full list of approval agencies accepted by the BBS can be found at www.bbs.ca.gov/licensees/cont_ed.html under “Where to find CE Courses.” This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Social Workers - Colorado Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Provider #1413. This self-study course has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours. 

 

COLORADO PARTICIPANTS ONLY: If you did not answer YES to be reported to the Colorado Chapter of the NASW on the evaluation, please contact cepesi@pesi.com and provide the full title of the webcast, speaker name, date of live broadcast, your name and your license number in the email.

 


Social Workers - Florida Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider Number 50-399. This self-study course qualifies for 4.0 continuing education credits. 


Social Workers - Illinois Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the State of Illinois, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation. License #: 159-000154. Successful completion of this self-study activity qualifies for 4.0 contact hours.


Social Workers - Kansas Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. Provider #14-006. This self-study course has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours.


Social Workers - Minnesota Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the State of Minnesota, Board of Social Work. Provider #: CEP-140. This self-study package has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours. This certificate has been issued upon successful completion of a post-test.


Social Workers - Montana Social Workers

The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of instruction.


Social Workers - New York Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department's (NYSED) State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0008. This self-study activity will qualify for 4.75 contact hours. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. 


Social Workers - Ohio Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board. Provider approval #:RCST071001. Full attendance in this self-study course meets the qualifications for 4.0 clock hours of continuing education credit. 


Social Workers - Pennsylvania Social Workers

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors accepts many national association CE approvals, several of which PESI offers. For a full list, please see your State Board regulations at https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/. This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Psychologists - Canadian Psychologists

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Psychologists - Florida Psychologists

PESI, Inc., is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Psychology.Provider Number #50-399.This product qualifies for 4.0 self-study continuing education credits.


Psychologists - Illinois Psychologists

PESI, Inc is an approved provider with the State of Illinois, Department of Professional Regulation. License #: 268.000102. Full attendance at this self-study course qualifies for 4.0 contact hours.


Psychologists - Kentucky Psychologists

PESI, Inc. is approved by the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology to offer continuing education for psychologists. PESI maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This self-study activity will qualify for 4.0 contact hours.


Psychologists - Ohio Psychologists

PESI, Inc. is approved by the Ohio Psychological Association, Provider #263896894, to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. PESI is offering this self-study activity for 4.0 Standard hours of continuing education credit.


Psychologists - Pennsylvania Psychologists

PESI, Inc. is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology to offer continuing education for psychologists. PESI maintains responsibility for the program(s). This self-study program qualifies for 4.0 continuing education hours.


Marriage & Family Therapists - Marriage & Family Therapists

This self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from this self-study activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements. 


Marriage & Family Therapists - California Marriage & Family Therapists

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE programs that are approved by other approval agencies, including several that approve PESI and its programs.  A full list of approval agencies accepted by the BBS can be found at www.bbs.ca.gov/licensees/cont_ed.html under “Where to find CE Courses.” This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Marriage & Family Therapists - Florida Marriage & Family Therapists

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider Number 50-399. This self-study course qualifies for 4.0 continuing education credits.


Marriage & Family Therapists - Illinois Marriage & Family Therapists

PESI, Inc. has been approved as a provider of continuing education by the State of Illinois, Department of Professional Regulation. Provider #:168-000156. Full attendance at this self-study activity qualifies for 4.0 credits.


Marriage & Family Therapists - Montana Marriage & Family Therapists

The Montana Board of Behavioral Health no longer pre-approves any courses or sponsors. Each licensee is responsible for taking courses which contribute to their competence and directly relate to their scope of practice as defined in board statute (MAR 24-219-32). Licensees must keep CE documentation for three years in case of an audit. This intermediate level self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of instruction.


Marriage & Family Therapists - New York Marriage & Family Therapists

PESI, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department's (NYSED) State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. #MFT-0024. This self-study activity will qualify for 4.75 contact hours. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. 


Marriage & Family Therapists - Ohio Marriage & Family Therapists

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board. Provider approval #:RCST071001. Full attendance in this self-study course meets the qualifications for 4.0 clock hours of continuing education credit. 


Marriage & Family Therapists - Pennsylvania Marriage & Family Therapists

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors accepts many national association CE approvals, several of which PESI offers. For a full list, please see your State Board regulations at https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions. This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Marriage & Family Therapists - South Carolina Marriage & Family Therapists

This self-study program has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Provider #4540.


Marriage & Family Therapists - Texas Marriage & Family Therapists

This self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists no longer approves programs or providers. PESI activities meet the continuing education requirements as listed in Title 22 of the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 801, Subchapter K, Section 801.264 Types of Acceptable Continuing Education. Please retain the certificate of completion that you receive and use as proof of completion when required.


Addiction Counselors - Addiction Counselors

NAADAC

This self-study course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 4.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.


Addiction Counselors - California Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the CCAPP-EI, Provider #: OS-03-036-1025. This activity meets the qualifications for 4.0 CEH's (continuing education hours).


Addiction Counselors - California Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (CADTP)

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the CADTP, Provider #: 201. This Category H activity meets the qualifications for 4.0 CEU's (continuing education hours).


Addiction Counselors - Connecticut Addiction Counselors

Provider #120924. This course has been approved as a CCB approved training and has been awarded 4.0 hours by the Connecticut Certification Board.


Nurses - Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists

This self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from this self-study activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.


Nurses - California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 4.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.


Nurses - Florida Nurses

CE Broker

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 4.0 self-study contact hours.


Nurses - Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 4.0 self-study contact hours. Please email cepesi@pesi.com with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.


Educators, Teachers & School Professionals - California Licensed Educational Psychologists

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE programs that are approved by other approval agencies, including several that approve PESI and its programs.  A full list of approval agencies accepted by the BBS can be found at www.bbs.ca.gov/licensees/cont_ed.html under “Where to find CE Courses.” This intermediate level, self-study activity consists of 4.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.


Educators, Teachers & School Professionals - South Carolina Psycho-Educational Specialists

This self-study program has been approved for 4.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Provider #4540.


Other Professionals

This self-study activity qualifies for 4.0 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



Handouts

Faculty

Richard Simon, Ph.D. Related seminars and products


Richard Simon, PhD, was a clinical psychologist and the late editor of Psychotherapy Networker, the most topical, timely, and widely read publication in the psychotherapy field. During his career, he received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award.

 

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Rich Simon is the President of Psychotherapy Networker, Inc. and the editor of Psychotherapy Networker magazine. He is a published author and receives royalties. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Rich Simon has no relevant non-financial relationships.
 


Terry Real, LICSW's Profile

Terry Real, LICSW Related seminars and products

Private Practice


Terry Real, LICSW, is an Internationally Recognized Family Therapist, Speaker and Author. Terry founded the Relational Life Institute (RLI), offering workshops for couples, individuals and parents around the country along with a professional training program for clinicians wanting to learn his RLT (Relational Life Therapy) methodology.

A family therapist and teacher for more than 25 years, Terry is the best-selling author of I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression (Scribner), the straight-talking How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women (Scribner), and most recently The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work (Random House). Terry knows how to lead couples on a step-by-step journey to greater intimacy – and greater personal fulfillment.

A senior faculty member of the Family Institute of Cambridge in Massachusetts and a retired Clinical Fellow of the Meadows Institute in Arizona, Terry has worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and fellow therapists. Through his books, the Institute, and workshops around the country, Terry helps women and men, parents and non-parents to create the connection they desire in their relationships.

Terry’s work, with its rigorous commonsense approach, speaks to both men and women. His ideas on men’s issues and on couple’s therapy have been celebrated in venues from “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” and “20/20,” to “Oprah” and The New York Times.

A proponent of “full-throttle marriage,” as described in The New Rules of Marriage, Terry has been called “the most innovative voice in thinking about and treating men and their relationships in the world today.”

The New York Times book review described Terry’s work as: “A critical contribution to feminist psychology (that) brings the Men’s movement a significant step forward.” Robert Bly hailed it as “moving onto new ground in both story and song. Exhilarating in its honesty.”

Terry’s Relational Life Institute grew out of his extensive and empathic experience. He teaches people how to make their relationships work by providing products and services designed to teach the principles of Relational Life™, so that everyone can enjoy full respect living and craft a healthy life legacy.​


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Terrence Real is the founder of Relational Life Institute. He receives royalties as a published author. Terry Real receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Terrence Real has no relevant non-financial disclosures.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive) Access never expires for this product.

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals

Objectives

Session 1: Intro to RLT

  1. Recognize the role of the therapist in Relational Life Therapy (RLT) and how it differs from that role in most couples therapy approaches.
Session 2: Demo & Analysis, Part 1
  1. Summarize the distinguishing characteristics of the therapeutic alliance in RLT and detail the steps for achieving it.
Session 3: Demo & Analysis, Part 2
  1. Differentiate the 3 inner parts of a client’s psyche that RLT recognizes and explain how to work with each to help clients move from first consciousness to second consciousness.
Session 4: Follow-up Interview with Couple
  1. Compare which of the therapist’s actions that are critical to positive outcomes in couples therapy.

Outline

SESSION 1: Introduction to Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT) Approach to Working with Couples on the Brink.
Terry Real LICSW and Richard Simon PhD

RLT is a unique approach to couples work
RLT creates palpable change in the partners’ interactions and/or a shift in their emotional fields in a short time-in the case of the clinical demo, a single intensive session.

A major difference between RLT and other approaches is the role of the therapist.
The RLT therapist is an activist, advocate, and coach-not neutral

  • Is confrontational, directive, and disclosing as needed
  • Takes sides to gain leverage for change
  • Takes sides with the latent, power-under partner when necessary-especially when there’s a blatant, grandiose, power-over partner
  • Speaks from his or her own experience
  • Educates the functional adult part of the client
  • Shifts from one therapeutic role to another as needed
  • Practices therapeutic intimacy-helping clients move into relationality by being relational with them

The RLT concept of stance-stance-dance
The stance or strategies of each partner combine to make up the dysfunctional dance. When the stance shifts, the dance shifts too.

Shifting the stance occurs during the 3 phases of RLT:

  • Waking up, joining through the truth
  • Inner child work, re-parenting the wounded self
  • Learning connection, teaching relationality
The 5 most common losing strategies/stances presented by partners in RLT are:
  • Being right
  • Controlling your partner
  • Unbridled self-expression
  • Retaliation
  • Withdrawal

Joining through the truth, a core practice of RLT, jumpstarts the therapeutic alliance. The RLT therapist begins by telling a client the difficult truths about him or herself early in the process. Presented in the context of You’re a good person whose done some bad things, the therapist is able to shape the strategic alliance against, not a person, but the potential loss the client will experience if the marriage fails or the ongoing misery if they continue without making major changes. During the information-gathering phase, the therapist looks for points of leverage to form this alliance.

The Key Steps for Joining through Truth

  • Therapist forms an alliance with the functional adult part of the Client-a coalition against continued misery or looming loss
  • Therapist creates cleavage between “I” of client and whatever trait keeps client locked in a dysfunctional stance:
    • Grandiosity
    • Contempt
    • Perfectionism
    • Black & white thinking
    • Rigidity
    • Judgmentalism
  • Therapist appeals to the functional adult: You are a decent person who’s been behaving indecently

3 goals of joining through the truth

Create cleavage between “I” of client and grandiosity by amplifying negative consequences of actions
  • Identify and amplify partner’s best self: You are a decent person who’s been behaving indecently
  • Help client develop an allergy to his own grandiosity or specific dysfunctional behavior
RLT focuses on 3 parts of the client’s psyche
  • Wounded child
  • Adaptive child
  • Functional adult
It is the knee-jerk reactions of the adaptive child which, when triggered, cause most of the problems in relationships. During the internal, individual work with a partner, the wounded child is recognized and re-parenting begins. The ultimate goal of the RLT process is to empower the functional adult to
  • Choose to change
  • Move from the adaptive child’s rigid, harsh, first consciousness to a more nuanced, realistic, warm and flexible second consciousness
  • Learn new strategies and behaviors to replace those of the adaptive child
  • Re-parent the wounded child-work that begins in the intensive session and continues as needed outside the clinical setting
To assess which part of the client’s psyche is at work, use these characteristics:
Adaptive child is:
  • Black & White
  • Perfectionistic
  • Relentless
  • Rigid
  • Harsh
  • Hard
  • Certain
  • Tight in body
Functional adult is:
  • Nuanced
  • Realistic
  • Forgiving
  • Flexible
  • Warm
  • Yielding
  • Humble
  • Relaxed in body
Waking up phase of RLT
Early in the process, the therapist works to wake the client up to the damage his or her adaptive child behavior causes in the relationship and also what the partner stands to lose if there’s no change. Primary RLT approaches for this phase are:
  • Data gathering including reports from both partners and therapist’s own observation
  • Joining through truth

Individual inner child work in RLT
RLT is unique in integrating this kind of internal, individual work with couples work. According to Terry Real, the best way to open a partner’s heart and stir compassion is for him or her to see the other partner engaged in deep, often painful work.

The focus of the inner child work is RLT is single-minded: identify the childhood wounds that led to the adaptive child behaviors. Once that is done, the therapist moves on to ask the functional adult to begin re-parenting the wounded child. The goal is to empower the functional adult to step in and be a parent to the wounded child whenever that’s called for.

Teaching relationality
Fully 1/3 of the RLT process is teaching and reinforcing new skills and behaviors. Once the therapist forms an alliance with the functional adult part of the client, there is a shift from first consciousness (adaptive child behaviors) to second consciousness (functional adult) and the client is free to learn new behaviors and strategies for living relationally

Couples can learn to be happy
These are some of the behaviors RLT teaches couples to practice

  • Positive communication
    • Respond to positive aspects of message
    • Meet positive with positive
    • Meet negative with neutrality
  • Cherishing behaviors
    • Generosity (appreciation)
    • Fun
    • Sex
    • Mutual growth

SESSION 2: Last chance for Nancy and Dan: Clinical Demo/Analysis, Part 1
Clinical Demonstration: Terry Real and Nancy and Dan in an intensive couples session. Analysis by Terry Real LICSW and Richard Simon PhD

THE RLT DATA GATHERING PROCESS ILLUSTRATED BY CLIP 1

  • Keep it positive. Terry Real focuses on hope not the problem: What do you want if we have success today?
  • Gather Data. Listen to their stories. Watch their behavior. Trust your own feelings. In this case Nancy and Dan agree on the problem
  • Taking the temperature of the relationship. Terry takes a position “You love her; you love him.” Dan says yes, Nancy says no. Terry recalibrates and focuses on Nancy. This goes on throughout the data gathering. The therapist asserts, sees what the response is. Terry dances with the answer; recalibrates if necessary.
  • Block and redirect. Excellent example of this strategy: when Nancy says “I don’t know how to be tender and gentle,” Terry calls her out. “Oh yes you do. I saw you do it with him just now.” (amplifying the good.)
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM ILLUSTRATED STEP BY STEP IN CLIP 2
This is the exploration of stance, stance, dance. Terry uses a mix of empathy and non-neutral tactics:
  • Summarizing their 2 ways of way of interacting-fighting or cold, withdrawn mode
  • Asking for details from each of them
  • Summarizing again: Sounds like you’re in a loop-you’re both passive-aggressive to each other, punishing, withholding…constipated ragers.
  • Translates their behavior, in an empathic tone that amplifies their pain as follows: You don’t feel loved or cared about and when that happens you do that to your partner.

The partners agreed that they are involved in the losing strategy of retaliation. The challenge is to get this couple to change their pattern. Terry Real points out that this is a symmetrical couple-there’s not a blatant and a latent-a more common situation in RLT.

When you have two blatants, you get your leverage from dealing with their misery. Notice how Terry does this: first he amplifies their feelings of hurt in an empathic tone. He then shifts to a more directive tone to reframe the situation and amplify the cost of their behavior: You are good people stuck in a bad pattern. And this pattern will eat all the emotion and the good stuff out of your marriage.

Terry then reframes their stories so they understand that they are both victims and perpetrators. Terry points out that the therapist must use precise language when reframing. The goal is to get client agreement: You really nailed it.

Discomfort is the beginning of the leverage for change.
Both partners feel the cost of the dance and feel bad about it All 3-the therapist and both partners-acknowledge the same problem-It’s you two and me against the dance. That’s when the clients “wake up” and join the therapeutic alliance.

BUILDING A THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE IN CLIP 3
Once each partner understands the part he or she plays in the destructive pattern and exactly what they stand to lose if the marriage ends, RLT moves on to deal with affect and emotion through deep internal experiential work. In this clip, Terry Real works individually with Dan in the presence of Nancy. This creates opportunities for Nancy’s open-hearted response to Dan and it reveals Dan as an extremely sensitive, feeling man who can talk about his feelings-something Nancy had come to hold as impossible in their relationship.

Notice the steps Terry follows to secure the therapeutic alliance with Dan.

  • Therapist identifies and speaks to the “nice person” whose been acting badly in the marriage.
  • Therapist invites: Will you let me extricate the real you from this mess you’re in the middle of?
  • Client accepts that invitation

SESSION 3: Fueling Compassion, Empowering the Functional Adult: Clinical Demo/Analysis, Part 2
Continued: Terry Real and Nancy and Dan in an intensive couples session. Analysis by Terry Real LICSW and Richard Simon PhD

MOVING FROM COMPLAINT TO VULNERABILITY IN CLIP 4
Getting partners to understand they are both victims and perpetrators. Dan admits to the fact that he walks on eggshells because Nancy is critical. She agrees that she is critical. Then Terry asks Dan if he says nice things to Nancy. Dan responds with a short, lame list. Terry amplifies Dan’s shortcomings in this area, pointing out that he hurts Nancy by withholding.

Data gathering: partners often use their problem behaviors in the session. : In the first 5 minutes of clip, Nancy illustrates her dysfunctional behavior. She tells a story about Dan following through on something she asked him to do. She immediately undercuts with criticism that he didn’t do more-a perfect example of her critical, complaining behavior with Dan.

Begin joining through truth with Nancy
Terry asks Nancy where this behavior comes from. Nancy traces it back to her family of origin-describing a common experience from her childhood-Even when I was doing something right, I wasn’t doing it right.

In the analysis, Terry points out that identifying the roots of her critical, complaining behavior is where Nancy begins to see some light between herself and her complaint stance. Terry moves into education, offering Nancy “request” as an alternative to complaint. He empathically addresses her concern that she might get hurt.
Notice how, throughout this clip, Terry Real seamlessly switches affect:

  • Empathic. TR to Dan, Go ahead and feel that
  • Challenging. TR to Nancy, Did you ask him to call you?
  • Instructive. TR to Nancy, That’s called the Cinderella Syndrome and Cinderella is dead….
  • Directive. TR to Nancy, Let me talk to you about complaint. You’re parked in complaint…That’s your relational stance-complaint. The thing about complaint is there’s no vulnerability.
  • Empathic. TR to Nancy, Make a request and you’re vulnerable. You might get hurt…. but it’s sustainable hurt…

ACCESSING THE INNER CHILD ILLUSTRATED IN CLIP 5
The focus on family of origin work in RLT is identifying the roots of dysfunctional behavior. Once Nancy has traced her behavior to her mother, Terry segues to inner work and invites her to do some experiential work with her wounded child. This almost immediately taps into an emotional place and Nancy cries. Terry empathizes and amplifies her emotion. Terry follows up by helping Nancy practice re-parenting her wounded, abandoned child with her functional adult part.

The benefit of doing deep individual work in the presence of a partner as a shortcut to compassion and understanding.
This is illustrated at the end of this clip when Terry says to Nancy: Now open your eyes I have something to show you. What Nancy sees is the compassion in her husband’s face and his tears for her experience. Terry encourages him to express his feelings in words.

CONNECTING WITH OPEN HEARTS STEP BY STEP IN CLIP 6
Now that both partners have responded compassionately to their partners, Terry Real moves into a send-off that affirms the compassionate opening both have experienced.

Notice how Terry has the partners turn their chairs to face each other. In the analysis, Terry points out that the common enemy in relationships like these is “more of the same.” He goes on to point out that they are now seated in their functional adult selves-not their adaptive child parts. They have had an experience in this session of what it feels like to interact relationally. Ongoing work with an RLT therapist will help them stay on track and make this their new normal.

SESSION 4: Nancy and Dan 9 Months Later: Follow-up Interview with Richard Simon PhD
This 45-minute follow-up session offers a unique perspective on the impact and effectiveness of RLT.

Notice how the session clarified their problem for both partners

  • Nancy reported that she didn’t realize how desperate she was until Terry asked her what would success for the session look like?
  • Neither partner realized how angry they were until the session:
    • Dan’s withdrawal and withholding was fueled by hurt and anger
    • Nan’s complaint stance was fueled by fear and anger
    • According to Nancy the turning point for her was when Terry pushed Dan to say he was angry. That was a first, according to Nancy and it was both scary and reassuring. Nancy reported that Dan would say he didn’t like this and that, but he’d never admit to anger.
Notice how both partners responded to Terry Real’s tone of voice and different approaches
  • Nancy reports a real shift when she experienced Terry being empathic first with her and then with her husband. She realized that was how she needed to be with her husband-empathic
  • Dan reports that Terry’s demeanor-both empathetic and incisive was compelling to him
  • Dan also valued Terry’s incisiveness: …like he was doing an autopsy on the dead relationship. He figured out the core thing…this sort of ongoing pattern.
  • In analyzing the dance and their 2 stances, Terry identifies Dan and Nancy as equally passive-aggressive constipated ragers. According to Dan, Terry got it right.
  • Terry tells you about hard things in a way that they can hear. He does this with an empathic tone.
  • Dan reports that one question from Terry really moved him: If those tears could talk, what would they say?
Notice how both partners experienced new levels of understanding and compassion for each other in the session
  • Nancy knew about Dan’s uncle, but hearing him talk about the relationship was the first time she understood Uncle John’s importance and emotional impact for Dan
  • As Dan began to show up emotionally in his internal work, Nancy visibly softened and turned to him. His work released compassion in Nancy
  • Nancy reports: Doing my own internal healing in front of Dan allowed him to understand me. Now (in the last 9 months) Dan understands who gets triggered when his wife gets triggered and he can say-oh I triggered you. Now I feel safe.
  • When Terry made Nan look at Dan crying, Dan reports feeling great because he knew his wife could see him as an empathic person.
Notice how the partners maintained their gains in the 9 months following the session
  • Dan: We began the practice of cherishing each other.
  • Dan: I felt sort of “imperfectly perfect” so the dance was between accepting imperfection and fighting it a little.
  • They report being euphoric for a while. They had been making it too hard for so long. Nan: I just didn’t want to go back.
  • They reported hitting some bumps, then taking a break and doing real forgiveness. We were shocked that we actually got through it.
  • Every time we hit a bump we’re able to resolve it more easily.
  • We’re happy and that makes it easier.
  • If we treat each other well we keep feeling good.

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