Fierce Intimacy

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June 15, 2021

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 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

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Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

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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)

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