Terry Real

TERRY REAL is an internationally recognized family therapist, speaker, and author. He 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 bestselling author of I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, the straight-talking How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women, and The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work.
 
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 help create the connection they desire in their relationships. His ideas on men’s issues and on couple’s therapy have been celebrated in many venues, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, Oprah, and the New York Times. For more, visit terryreal.com.

Author photo © Hans Robertson

Also By Author

Soft Power: Moving from You and Me to Us

In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with “the relationship turnaround guy” and bestselling author Terry Real about: the origins of his two-day relationship intervention; the groundbreaking—and rule-breaking—approach of Relational Life Therapy; dealing with shame and grandiosity, and the contempt underlying both; the skill of “joining through the truth”; what healthy self-esteem looks like; why “there’s nothing that harshness does that loving firmness doesn’t do better”; speaking to and from the mature, wise adult instead of the adaptive, wounded child; relational mindfulness; recognizing your tendency toward “fight, flight, freeze, or fix”; our toxic culture of individualism and the shift to “soft power”; why an invitation works a lot better than a complaint; the essential rhythm of relationships: harmony, rupture, and repair; honoring the ecological system of your relationship while having your individual needs met; and more.

Fierce Intimacy

Terry Real is a family therapist, author, and founder of the Relational Life Institute, which hosts workshops on family and relationships throughout the country. He has written several books, including The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work. With Sounds True, he is the creator of Fierce Intimacy, an audio training in essential communication skills for couples. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks to Terry about the inherent challenges of being in relationship and the many approaches to addressing those challenges in couples therapy. Terry discusses how men and women relate to one another in different ways, as well as the steps necessary when couples are badly out of sync. Finally, Terry and Tami speak on the Relational Life approach to therapy and the skills we need to develop in order to take our interpersonal relationships up to “full throttle.”

Terry Real: Standing Up to One Another with Love

Terry Real is a family therapist, public speaker, and the founder of the Relational Life Institute. Terry’s written works include I Don’t Want to Talk About It, How Can I Get Through to You?, and The New Rules of Marriage. With Sounds True, he has created the audio program Fierce Intimacy: Standing Up to One Another with Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Terry about his somewhat unusual, do-or-divorce approach to couples therapy. They talk about deal breakers in relationships and why they don’t necessarily need to end a partnership. Terry explains what it means to hold a “core negative image” of a partner, why this is all too common, and why recognition of that core image can actually strengthen a relationship. Finally, Terry and Tami discuss what “fierce intimacy” truly entails and why canny relationship skills are the very same qualities that will help the human race rise to meet the challenges of the future. (64 minutes)

You Might Also Enjoy

5 Tools to Create More Space in Your Mind

Busyness, distraction, and stress have all led to the shrinking of the modern mind.

I realize that’s a strange thing to say. Most of us don’t think of our mind as something with space in it, as a thing that can either be big or small, expensive or claustrophobic.

But just think about the last time you felt overwhelmed, stressed, or out of control. Chances are, you might not even have to think that hard. You might be experiencing that state right now as you read these words.

What happens in these moments? 

First, our mind wanders. It spins through all sorts of random thoughts about the past and the future. As a result, we lose touch with the direct experience of present time.

Second, we lose perspective. We can’t see the big picture anymore. Instead, it’s like we’re viewing life through a long and narrow tunnel. We become blind to possibility, fixated on problems.

Put these two together and you’ve got the perfect recipe for eradicating space in the mind. The landscape of the mind begins to feel like a calendar jammed with so many meetings, events, and obligations that these neon colored boxes cover-up even the smallest slivers of white space. 

So it could be nice for our partner, for our kids, and, mostly, for our ourselves to consider: how can we create more space in the mind?

Here are five tools for creating mental space. If you want to go deeper, check out my new book with Sounds True on the topic called OPEN: Living With an Expansive Mind in a Distracted World.

1. Meditation.

You’ve no doubt heard about all of the scientifically validated benefits of this practice. It reduces stress. It boosts productivity. It enhances focus.

That is all true. But here is the real benefit of meditation: it creates more space in the mind. To get started, try it out for just a few minutes a day. Use an app or guided practice to help you.

2. Movement.

So, maybe you’re not the meditating type. That’s fine. You can still create space in the mind by setting aside time for undistracted movement.

The key word here is “undistracted.” For many of us, exercise and movement have become yet another time where our headspace gets covered over by texts, podcasts, or our favorite Netflix series. 

There’s nothing wrong with this. But it can be powerful to leave the earbuds behind every once in a while and allow the mind to rest while you walk, stretch, run, bike, swim, or practice yoga.

3. Relax.

When it comes to creating headspace, we moderns, with our smartphone-flooded, overly-stimulated, minds seem to inevitably encounter a problem: we’re often too stressed, amped, and agitated to open.

Relaxation – calming the nervous system – is perhaps the best way to counter this effect and create more fertile ground for opening. When we relax – the real kind, not the Netflix or TikTok kind –  the grip of difficult emotions loosens, the speed of our whirling thoughts slows, and, most important, the sense of space in our mind begins to expand.

How can you relax? Try yoga. Try extended exhale breathing, where you inhale four counts, exhale eight counts. Try yoga nidra. Or, just treat yourself to a nap.

4. See bigger.

When life gets crazy, the mind isn’t the only thing that shrinks. The size of our visual field also gets smaller. Our eyes strain. Our peripheral vision falls out of awareness.

What’s the antidote to this tunnel vision view? See bigger.

Try it right now. With a soft gaze, allow the edges of your visual field to slowly expand. Imagine you’re seeing whatever happens to be in front of you from the top of a vast mountain peak. Now bring this more expansive, panoramic, way of seeing with you for the rest of the day.

5. Do nothing.

Now for the most advanced practice. It’s advanced because it cuts against everything our culture believes in. In a world where everyone is trying desperately to get more done, one of the most radical acts is to not do — to do nothing.

Even just a few minutes of this paradoxical practice can help you experience an expansion of space in the mind.

Lie on the floor or outside on the grass. Close your eyes. Put on your favorite music if you want. Set an alarm for a few minutes so you don’t freak out too much. 

Then, stop. Drop the technique. Drop the effort. Just allow yourself to savor this rare experience of doing absolutely nothing.

Nate Klemp, PhD, is a philosopher, writer, and mindfulness entrepreneur. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Start Here and the New York Times critics’ pick The 80/80 Marriage. His work has been featured in the LA Times, Psychology Today, the Times of London, and more, and his appearances include Good Morning America and Talks at Google. He’s a cofounder of LifeXT and founding partner at Mindful. For more, visit nateklemp.com or @Nate_Klemp on Instagram.

Stefani Goerlich: Understanding Kink and Advocating fo...

You’re kinky but your partner is vanilla. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Perhaps you’ve always known; perhaps you just found out. So how do you talk about it? And what happens next? 

In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with “edge expert,” certified sex therapist, and master social worker Dr. Stefani Goerlich about her new book, With Sprinkles on Top: Everything Vanilla People and Their Kinky Partners Need to Know to Communicate, Explore, and Connect. Give a listen to this much-needed discussion about destigmatizing kink and expanding our definition of a healthy relationship, as Tami and Stefani discuss: reassessing our sexual attitudes; how kinky became taboo; bringing kink into the “cultural redemption arc”; the misconceptions about trauma and kink; the concept of authority exchange; surrender and relaxation; kink as a relational, not a sexual, behavior; moving from secrecy to shared knowledge; decorating and enhancing one’s “core vanilla-ness”; discovering your fantasies; the nature of fetishes; understanding your erotic map; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com

Thomas Hübl: Alchemizing Individual, Ancestral, and C...

Visionary teacher Thomas Hübl is leading the way toward a new era of trauma healing on the individual, ancestral, and collective levels. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Hübl about his new book, Attuned: Practicing Interdependence to Heal Our Trauma—and Our World, and his unique synthesis of mysticism, science, and the world’s wisdom traditions. 

Give a listen to this deeply inspiring, deep-end conversation exploring: Presence and the alchemy of the past in the now; the concept of relational coherence; post-traumatic learning; avoiding presence as a way to protect oneself; attunement versus numbness; our interconnected nervous systems; ethical development; privilege and responsibility; increasing our ability to remain grounded; the power of feeling met; global witnessing groups; bringing love to the edge of a conscious universe; the three-sync process for becoming more aware of your body, emotions, and mind; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

>