Relationship: Creating True Closeness with Others with Terry Real

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“We are a social species, born to be relational. Relational connection is our birthright and it’s how we function best as a species…New research reports that the lack of social connection is the equivalent of smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day.” Here he shares how our relationships are our biospheres. We are not above them, we are in them, we breathe them. Also, relationships are not a zero-sum situation where one person wins and the other loses, one is right and the other is wrong. Terry teaches the practice of relational mindfulness. He gives us examples of how to conduct skillful and effective communication in order to get off the treadmill of repetitive fights with our partners. He shares, “Who’s right and who’s wrong becomes irrelevant…Once we start living relationally the language changes, the thinking changes, and even the tools change.” It is all about getting past our knee-jerk reactions and tapping into our wiser, more collaborative self. (hosted by Travis Glen Sebera)


Terry Real is a family therapist and author. He’s the founder of the Relational Life Institute, which offers Relational Life Therapy (RLT) courses online and in-person workshops for couples, individuals, parents, and professionals.

Terry Real is the author of:

  • I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression (Scribner 1998)
  • How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Gap Between Men and Women (Simon & Schuster 2002)
  • The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work (Ballantine Books)
  • Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship (Rodale Books 2022)

To learn more about the work of Terry Real go to:

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What was Terry’s history of growing up with an angry and violent father in a difficult family situation
  • What is the false polarity of masculine and feminine
  • How to be effective in the constant dance of disharmony and repair in relationship
  • How the culture of individualism and patriarchy negates the power of being accommodating which includes power with rather than power over
  • How patriarchy is based on stability rather than intimacy
  • What is soft power
  • What are some strategies in relating and healing the adaptive child syndrome
  • How can long-term maladaptive and automatic psychological responses be transformed
  • How may we cultivate our wise adult self as opposed to our reactive self
  • How there is no redeeming value in harshness. Loving firmness is a more effective response
  • How to bring relational mindfulness into the world

Host: Travis Glen Sebera   Interview Date: 2/14/2024   Program Number: 3808

Music Playlist

From Album: Chasing After Light
Artists: Michael Occhipinti & Creation Dream

Opening Essay: Track 01 Ballo Della Famiglia (Family Dance)
Music Break 1: Track 06 The Berlin Wall Of Hedges
Music Break 2: Track 07 Compulsive Talkers
Music Break 3: Track 10 All The Diamonds In The World