Staying in Love:
The Art of Fierce Intimacy
Learn to assert your needs, comfortably navigate conflict, and get more of what you want in your relationships in this 6-module course from leading couples therapist, Terry Real
“Intimacy isn’t something you have, it’s something you do. It’s a minute-by-minute practice of connecting to others through empathy, vulnerability, and accountability.”
– Terry Real
Welcome to the passionate, deeply connected relationship you deserve
Thank you for being here. As a practicing couples therapist for over 30 years, author, and trainer, I want you to have a relationship that is nothing short of superb, alive, passionate, and happy. You deserve a relationship that can endure life’s many challenges while also celebrating one another with joy.
Over the last three decades, I have worked with couples from around the world and evolved a new model of how to do couples therapy, as well as a new way of living one’s life in relationship. We’ve never wanted more from our intimate relationships, but our skillset does not match our ambition. There is a relational technology, a clear set of interpersonal skills that work much better than what you learned from your family and culture at large.
With these skills, which you’ll learn inside this course, you will be able to:
- Stand up for yourself with love and cherish your partner in the same breath
- Speak your truth in a way that optimizes your chance of being heard
- Come into repair when the wheels fall off
- Cherish one another, appreciating the strengths you have and building on them
These skills work whether you are young or old, monogamous or polyamorous, gay or straight, non-binary, or single… They work whether your partner is using the same skills or not.
In our time together you will learn about fierce intimacy, taking one another on skillfully. Most partners stop dealing with each other. Issues don’t get confronted, tensions are swept under the rug, you tell yourself that you are accepting but the truth is you are settling. When couples stop telling the truth to each other, the first casualty is passion.
Come find out what it takes to keep your relationship juicy, alive, fun, and fulfilling
I want to transform your consciousness. I want you to truly understand and have healthy self-esteem, neither inferior nor superior to any other human being.
These are the same skills and tools that I use to stay connected with my wife, Belinda, and our two children. I know you can do it because I can do it. I have seen couple after couple transform, many on the verge of divorce.
I invite you to join our community and learn a new way of relationship and in your life.
“Sustaining relationships with others requires a good relationship with ourselves. Healthy self-esteem is an internal sense of worth that pulls one neither into ‘better than’ grandiosity nor ‘less than’ shame.”
― Terry Real
What’s holding you back from a better relationship?
To improve our relationships, we must first identify where we are holding ourselves back, our dysfunctional behavior.
There are three pillars of chronic dysfunctional behavior, which I learned from my mentor, Pia Mellody, while working on my own relationship.
Think about your response in moments of confrontation. Which of the below most resonates with you?
Denial: “I didn’t do it”
Minimalization: “I did it, but it’s not that bad.”
Rationalization: “I did it, but you have to understand.”
If we want to move past our dysfunctional behavior, we must step into responsibility instead of getting defensive, which requires some mastery of relational skills…
Essential Relationship Skills to Maximize Happiness
Here are some of the relational skills you’ll learn to reinvigorate your relationship…
How to be cherishing of your relationship and stand up for yourself at the same time
How to speak when the wheels fall off and you need to come back into repair
How to listen so your partner feels truly heard
How to respond with compassion and generosity rather than selfishness and defensiveness
How to digest disappointment in your relationship (knowing how to use the gift of discord)
What to do when you’re triggered, or when your partner is triggered, or when you’re both triggered at the same time
Here’s What You’ll Learn inside
Staying in Love
The Power of Us Consciousness
How many times have you promised yourself you won’t fly off the handle, shut down, raise your voice, or walk away? But, despite your best intentions, in the heat of the moment, you do. Why? Chances are you’ve been triggered.
When tensions are high, you forget love and become two adversaries: “you vs. me” in a win/lose struggle. The solution? Reaching for the Wise Adult part of you, literally a different part of your brain and nervous system, remembering the whole, the biosphere called your relationship, remembering “us.”
In this session, we’ll look at the characteristics of “us” consciousness and why it’s so crucial to understand—and manage—triggering (those moments when you stop being present with your partner because you’ve become reactive, taken over by past hurts injuries and failing coping strategies).
How your past and trauma created your reactions to triggering
The first skill you must learn before you work on your relationship
How to “Remember Love”
Examples of Triggering and how to respond with love
The Relationship Grid Part 1: Grandiosity & Shame
Discover where you fall on Terry’s Relationship Grid, which outlines your primary relationship response.
The vertical line on the grid measures your self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem is at the very center of that line. Above that, we see “Grandiosity,” characterized by entitlement, superiority, anger, retaliation, and revenge.
Below the healthy level of self-esteem is “Shame,” characterized by inferiority, defectiveness, and unlovability. In this session, we’ll look at issues of self-esteem and how they affect your relationships. Plus, you’ll discover how to “step off the contempt conveyor belt.”
Common traits of shame and grandiosity, inferiority and superiority
How to practice “Remedial Empathy”
The roots of both shame and grandiosity and how they are different from one another
The nature of healthy self-esteem and how to achieve it
The Relationship Grid Part 2: Boundaries
In this session, we will look at the horizontal line of the Relationship Grid, which represents your boundaries. We’ll talk briefly about physical boundaries specifically—sexual boundaries—before we focus on psychological ones.
Similar to self-esteem, healthy boundaries are in the middle. Your psychological boundary might be too open and porous, leaving you “thin-skinned” and reactive. Or it might be too dense, a wall, leaving you protected but disconnected.
Characteristics of “Boundaryless” and “Walled Off”
How to form healthy boundaries
Your relationship to love, as determined by where you fall on the boundary line
What a healthy boundary feels like
At the Crossroads
This session combines what we learned in sessions 2 and 3. When we put the two lines of the Relational Grid together, they form four distinctive quadrants. Each of the quadrants has its own unique characteristics, energy, and typical behaviors. In this session, we will explore each section of the grid and discuss what work is needed to heal for each specific quadrant.
How the quadrant helps you better understand yourself and your partner
What relationships look like when you pair different quadrants together
An exercise to familiarize yourself with your quadrant profile
Why knowing your quadrant profile can offer relief and creativity
The Essential Rhythm of Relationships
All relationships are an endless dance of harmony, disharmony, and repair—closeness, disruption, and a return to closeness.
In this session, we’ll look at all three phases and discuss how each evokes different parts of us, how our “you vs. me” consciousness takes over, and how to steer back toward repair with your partner by shifting your own reactivity. This session also includes a handout on the 10 commandments for taking a timeout to help you practice responsible distance-taking.
About our culture’s airbrushed vision of relationships
The five losing strategies of the Adaptive Child
How “objective reality” breeds trouble
What it means to offend from the victim position
The Repair Process and Beyond
The process of repair is not a two-way street. If your partner comes to you upset, your first priority is helping them move back into harmony with you.
In our final session, we’ll examine each step of the repair process for both the speaker and the listener. You’ll learn how to speak up with love, how to really listen, and how to respond non-defensively, with a generous heart. We’ll also look at how to build a relationship-cherishing subculture around you.
The four steps of the Feedback Wheel and the seven primary feelings
How to use “Relational Jiu-Jitsu” to disarm your partner
Why it doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough
The “Golden Rule” of relational living
“… I am happier in our relationship than I have been in many many years. I use the strategies you taught us with my partner as well as with my siblings and friends.They work! If we never found someone willing to be straight and honest we would not be together, that much I know. Your honesty about my partner allowed me to stand down. Now that I am able to stand down I am able to try to be the person I want to be in this relationship.”
— Daniella S
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Our Promise and Guarantee
We are confident you’ll be happy with Staying in Love. However, if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org within 10 days and we’ll give you a full refund.
About Terry Real
Terry Real, LICSW, is a leading couples and family therapist, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Having worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and fellow therapists, Terry knows how to lead people on a step-by-step journey to greater intimacy and personal fulfillment. His expertise has been featured in outlets such as Psychology Networker, Psychology Today, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Vogue, Forbes, Oprah, and The New York Times.
With 30+ years of clinical experience, Terry is a senior faculty member of the Family Institute of Cambridge in Massachusetts and a retired Clinical Fellow of the Meadows Institute in Arizona. He is the founder of the Relational Life Institute, which provides workshops for couples and individuals as well as a professional training program for clinicians wanting to learn his Relational Life Therapy (RLT) methodology.
RLT teaches people how to make their relationships work by equipping them with the relational skills they need to cultivate and sustain authentic connections—to themselves, each other, and the planet as whole.
“. . .the couples work that you do is so valuable — we are relating now in a wholly new and expansive way. It’s what each of us knew we were missing but could not have found on our own. Thank you so much!”
— Tod, Boston, MA
“After completing the Skills Workshop, we went home and spent an evening relaying everything we could recall with some dear friends. To this day – two years later – they still maintain that sharing our experience with them literally saved their marriage.”
— Lyn and David L.
“RLT teaches us all to stand up for relationship, to ask our partner what they need so they in turn can deliver us what will make us happy! And since it busts the hidden truths of patriarchy, it is the couples model of diversity and equality that adapts to change, as we learn to enrich the biosphere of the relationships that feed us.”
— Jac Palmer, London, UK
“Terry Real’s Boot Camp was life-changing for me and my husband. We’ve been together 30+ years so it’d be fair to wonder what would we possibly have to work on. My love-avoidant, grandiose man said this shifted our relationship to a deeper, more loving level; his love-dependent, grandiose wife agrees. The Boot Camp weekend opened up new ways to talk, to see ourselves and to love each other.”
— Sarah P, Portland, OR
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is this course pre-recorded?
Yes—you get instant access to all of the videos for each session (plus recordings from Q&A calls with Terry on each session topic) as soon as you sign up.
How long will I have access to the course?
Forever! As soon as you sign up, we give you logins to our learning platform, the RLT Community Hub, where you have lifetime access to all course materials.
I’m not sure my partner is interested in learning these skills. Can I still improve our relationship by learning them on my own?
Yes—this course will give you insight into how you are showing up in your relationship and provide the tools you need to begin changing how you relate to your partner, which can positively impact how they respond to you.
I’m not in a relationship right now. Will this course still help me?
Yes—relational skills are relational skills. As well as romantic relationships, these skills apply to your relationship with yourself, friendships, family, and coworkers. If you’re single, dating, and looking to enjoy more fulfilling relationships, these skills will prove immensely beneficial.
I’m a therapist – will the contents be relevant to my work with couples?
Yes—not only will you learn the essential relational skills Terry Real teaches his own couples therapy clients, but you will also learn how to apply these skills to your own relationships. One of the central principles of Terry’s Relational Life Therapy methodology is being a role model of relationality for your clients. By improving your own skills, you can help serve your clients better.
Is this course part of the RLT Certification?
Yes, Staying in Love: The Art of Fierce Intimacy is included in the RLT Certification program—the deepest training in the RLT model for therapists, coaches, and mental health professionals. Once you enroll in the certification, the fee for this course is covered. Additionally, if you wish to enroll at a later date, the price you pay for this course (and any other professional RLI training) will be deducted from the Certification fee (the maximum discount available is $4,000). For more information on the RLT Certification, including the full curriculum, pricing, and payment plans, download the free guide.
“Some of the things I love about Terry Real and his work are the practical steps, down-to-earth guidance and his model of having the courage and respect to be honest with couples when one partner is behaving in a way that needs to be addressed first.”
— R. M.
“After spending 100s of thousands of dollars and countless hours and years in intensive therapy all over NY, New Jersey and Manhattan -our relationship was deteriorating and we still had no conclusive diagnoses of what was getting in the way of our relationship and of true intimacy. Finally as a last resort, we took a chance and flew to Boston for an 80 min session with Terry Real who with laser-sharp focus immediately zeroed in on exactly what was going on and gave us a diagnosis for what was getting in our way. Sitting In his office was the first time EVER, I felt completely understood and validated!!!’
“Thank you for introducing me to the real Mark, and for introducing him to himself. I am happier in our relationship then I have been in many many years. I use the strategies you taught us with Mark as well as with my siblings and friends. They work! If we never found someone willing to be straight and honest we would not be together, that much I know. Your honesty about Mark allowed me to stand down. Now that I am able to stand down I am able to try to be the person I want to be in this relationship.”