Through my training and 1000 + hours of experience working with couples, I have identified core skills and phases of relationship health that I call the relationship recovery model.
Core Skills of Relationship Recovery:
- Realize healthy relationship framework
- Take ownership of your side of the relationship house (your side of the relationship)
- Understand the origin of certain learned behaviors
- Appreciate the concept of relational mindfulness
- Identify and communicate your needs
- Establish healthy boundaries and limits
- Recognize healthy self-esteem
- Known when and how to ask for space
- Increase empathy for your partner and their needs
- Understand your partner’s fears and vulnerabilities
- Know what can alleviate those fears
- Become aware of your fears and take responsibility for your reflexes
- Experience the benefits of vulnerability
- Learn how to repair distress with vulnerability
- Experience connection
- Heal from past hurt
- Develop gratitude and appreciation for your partner
- Create a positive cycle
- Recover from an affair (if applicable)
Phases of relationship recovery:
Willingness to work on the relationship
In the beginning, let’s assess and address you and your partner’s degree of motivation in making the relationship better.
Healthy relationship framework
Let’s discuss your relationship goals and what can provide the foundation to achieve those goals.
Identifying the Predicament
The predicament is our negative cycle. It’s when we’re in a state of disconnection, frustration, and resentment. We get into the predicament when we try to reach our relationship goals or get what we want through non-collaborative strategies (aka the losing strategies). We will identify what’s keeping you stuck and how you can start taking care of your side of the relationship (aka your side of the house).
This is cultivating a new, learned response that will keep us out of the predicament. When you practice relational mindfulness, you can begin to experience the benefits. Once we know these, we are reminded to practice vulnerability, empathy, and accountability instead of anger and shame.
In every conversation, there needs to be a speaker and a listener otherwise it’s not a conversation. If one partner goes on too long, it’s a monologue. If you two are speaking at the same time, then it’s not a conversation. Healthy communication is an interactive conversation where there’s a speaker and a listener. This is especially important if we are giving and receiving feedback.
Understanding your partner’s pain points
It’s important to know you and your partner’s pain points and what you are saying or doing that may make them worse. The purpose is to develop empathy and understanding for each other’s fears, vulnerabilities, and attachment styles.
Helping your partner succeed
On understanding each other’s pain points, you will practice the antidote or what can alleviate them. This means learning and practicing what provides relief and healing — what enables your partner to be the best version of themselves.
Accepting your partner’s imperfections
If our partner is taking care of their side of the house, we need to accept them for who they are: perfectly imperfect. Otherwise, trying to get our partner to be something that they’re not creates a headache for everyone involved.
Relationship Recovery is ongoing
Connection is not going to happen on it’s own. We have to continue to put attention, time and effort into our relationship. The reason why we do this is because we benefit. This is called enlightened self-interest, which means that the more I put into the relationship the more I benefit.
I strongly encourage every couple to have a weekly date nights if possible and to create other rituals of connection.
Relationship Recovery can help with problems resulting from:
- Lack of connection
- Being new parents
- Extended or blended family issues
- Substance use
Q: How long and how frequent are the sessions?
A: Our first session is at least two hours long. This provides enough time to understand your goals, who you are as individuals and as a couple, and to highlight ways you can break your negative cycle and build a positive one. In the beginning, subsequent sessions are usually every other week or weekly for one and a half hours or for one hour.
- If you two wish to put more work in up front, or are on the brink of divorce, an initial three-hour session, or a couples intensive is recommended.
Feel free to call 720-272-9573 or set up a free fifteen-minute phone consultation to discuss any questions you may have.
Published in the PACT Institute
- In this PACT blog post, I write on how to repair with vulnerability.
- In this PACT blog post, I write on the importance of partner primacy in blended families.
Below are unsolicited testimonials that clients have taken the time to write.
“If you are looking for a marriage therapist, or just wanting a tune-up, I highly recommend Jason. We have seen other therapists before and none of them are as skilled as he is. His exercises he had us do, and his ability to get to the heart of issues is amazing. We didn’t get lost in the weeds. I wish we would have found him years ago! We are so grateful to have found him now and for the future.”
“Jason – you were incredible! Thanks for an extremely productive visit.”
“The approach was great.”
“Jason is highly trained in cutting-edge methods to guide couples who are struggling to keep their relationship together. Both of us were equally comfortable with his ability to listen to each of us with sensitivity. We were fortunate to find him at just the right time.”
“Jason I really like you and your approach and I will be happy to refer you in the future. Thank you for your help.”
“Thank you so much for all of your help, humor, and advice and we will definitely be in touch if we start reverting to our old habits or just feel the need for a tune up.”
“We really enjoyed meeting with you, and found it very helpful!”
“Good meeting tonight. Things are good, we’re moving in a really good direction. We both want to give you a huge thank you.”
“We have felt so much closer since working with you.”