RLT Certification - Relational Life Institute

Evolve Your Career With Relational Life Therapy

Join the thousands of therapists and coaches who have benefited from a whole new perspective on working with couples and individuals.

What Is The RLT Training?

Learn the proven skills to dramatically turn around relationships

With RLT, you will be able to not only help your clients heal, but to also teach them the lifelong skills they need to live relationally.

Derived from internationally recognized therapist Terry Real’s 40+ years of clinical experience, RLT combines the most effective aspects from multiple therapies—including systems therapy, feminist therapy, neurobiology, and current evidence-based modalities—to create a radically different approach to couples therapy. RLT allows you to go deep, quickly understand the negative patterns in relationships, and help clients make rapid and substantial changes.

You will learn how to take sides constructively and fearlessly, speak truth to power, and empower the disempowered to restore balance. You’ll acquire the skills to conduct specific, powerful interventions that can transform both individual characters and relationships.

Why train in RLT?

Work confidently with clients to catapult them toward new levels of closeness

Relationship therapists are in high demand right now. While most people know relationships are important, they haven’t been taught the skills to realize them. Without support, the result can be years of unhappy unions and unnecessary break-ups between couples who simply didn’t know how to forge real, intimate connections.

You can help clients fill in the gaps and learn the relational skills they need to bring relief, healing, and change to their relationships.

Certification in RLT as a coach or as a therapist will provide you with the confidence to sit comfortably with even the most challenging clients and with the skills to help couples move wholeheartedly into relational health and wellness.

What Training in RLT Could Do For You

Game-changing concepts you can use to amplify results

“After practicing RLT therapy for two years I am receiving numerous referrals for couples work from other therapists. I have withdrawn from all insurance panels and my income is up!”
— R.G., Madison, CT

Some of the benefits RLT therapists report include:

What Our RLT Graduates Are Saying

You could enjoy the same personal and professional transformation

“My work with Terry has greatly enriched me as a therapist. I’ve been in practice over 35 years and trained with many exceptional therapists. Training with Terry has pulled all this together and enabled my interventions to be more elegant and to the point, resulting in my client work being more focused and penetrating without sacrificing empathy or compassion”

— Yana Hoffman

“After 25 years of working as a Psychotherapist and Marriage Counselor I was ready to “hang it all up.” I was more than burnt out. Now, 6 months later, I am reinvested in my work and enjoying it in a brand new way. Renewed energy and enthusiasm for my work has replaced the negativity I was experiencing. Thanks so much RLT!”

— Roseanna Zoubek

“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.”

— Rachel M.

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Who Is The Training For?

Therapists and coaches can enhance their offering with RLT

Whether you already work with couples or are looking to add relationship therapy to your services, RLT will equip you with powerful skills to bring deep healing and swift changes that last.

This training is for clinicians who want to: 

Clinicians who train in RLT are often:

What You’ll Learn

Powerful methods to advance your practice and own relationality
The training will teach you to:

Effectively create rapid changes in the way clients relate to each other

Feel confident in your role as a therapist, mentor, and coach

Build trust and alliances with both partners for fast progress

Utilize proven strategies for navigating and repairing conflicts

Employ potent ways of working with individual trauma in a couple’s session

How The Training Works

Study when and where works best for you
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The RLT certification training is entirely flexible and online so that you can fit it around your busy schedule. The training is split into three levels and additional electives and experientials. All components must be completed to apply for certification.

RLT Levels 1-3

Each level consists of pre-recorded video trainings and virtual practical sessions. In the pre-recorded videos, Terry Real will introduce you to, and help you understand, the powerful RLT techniques. Once you’ve grasped the theory, you’re ready to move on to the practical element, where you will fine-tune your skills in small, supportive groups with your fellow trainees and the RLT faculty.

RLT Level 1

Establish a firm foundation in the RLT methodology, including the three phases of RLT, how to find and amplify leverage, and the critical characteristics of an RLT therapist.

Practicum

20 hours of online practical work in small groups focused on building your skills in RLT Phase One—dive deep into the diagnostic lenses, leverage, and therapeutic stances.

RLT Level 2

Build on your existing knowledge and feel more comfortable with what you learned in Level 1. Learn how to do deep work with one partner in the presence of the other, feel confident in how to move beyond the initial session with a couple, and create the right course of therapy.

Practicum

20 hours of online practical work in small groups focusing on RLT Phases Two and Three, inducing working with preconditions, intimacy styles, and trauma work.

RLT Level 3

Reinforce your learnings and fine-tune your skills from Levels 1 and 2 with new clinical demonstrations. You’ll also learn the historical and cultural context of the importance of RLT.

Mentoring

18 hours of virtual mentoring in groups of five to seven students to strengthen your skills and cement your confidence.

Additional Trainings

The Relational Brain: The Neurobiology of RLT and How it Works to Rewire Your Brain
Discover the RLT model’s grounding in neurobiology with Terry Real and interpersonal neurobiology expert, Juliane Taylor Shore.

RLT Couples Experiential Observation
Attend two of these powerful workshops with the unique opportunity to observe Terry Real working live with five different couples.

Electives
Select two electives (short online trainings) from a range of courses where Terry zeros in on specific topics such as working with men and grandiose women.

Real Life Membership
Join this ongoing learning community led by Terry Real for a minimum of 24 calls to explore the principles of the RLT model in practice.

Certification

When all training components are complete, you can apply for official certification as an RLT Certified Coach or RLT Certified Therapist.

Setting You Up For Success

Learn from the most senior RLT therapists and teachers

The RLT faculty possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise in couples therapy, the RLT model, and private practice. United by their passion for bringing full-respect living to a new generation of therapists and clients, they are committed to helping you become the best RLT therapist you can be.

RLT Certified

Anna Sterk, LMFT in Private Practice, St. Paul, Minnesota

Learning how to build and sustain healthy relationships has been the journey of my life, and not always an easy or straightforward path. It was life changing for me to build on the personal work I was doing when I started studying with Terry Real in 2012, and it is an honor for me to pass along what I have learned to clients and through teaching the relational skills in bootcamps, practicums, and mentoring.

RLT Certified

Bonny E. Slim, LMFT in Private Practice, West Hartford, Connecticut

I started training in RLT in 2012, and I have participated in most of the courses that Terry has offered since then. Through co-facilitating several Relational Bootcamps, I discovered how transformative the group experience can be. I anticipate the impact that the practicum groups have for participants will be equally valuable. My favorite aspect of RLT is the awareness that practicing relational skills in our own lives is essential to be able to authentically share/teach these skills to others.

RLT Certified

Cathy Hill, Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice, Vancouver, Canada

I began training in RLT in 2010 and after my first bootcamp experience was determined that Terry teach others how to do it. I hassled him until he let me help him set up advanced training for his senior therapists, which led eventually into the role of Director of Training. I am trained in the ‘scientist-practitioner’ model, and very keen on getting RLT ‘evidence-based,’ which requires excellence in training in order to translate into excellence in practice.

RLT Certified

Desirae Ysasi, LPC-S in Private Practice, San Antonio, TX

I have been a licensed therapist since 2006 and a certified Relational Life Therapist since 2018. The road to RLT certification began as a desire to learn more about my passion for couples work and ended as a completely transformative experience for myself and my own relationship. I am thrilled to enter into this relational revolution with my fellow faculty members bringing full-respect living to a whole new generation of therapists and clients.

RLT Certified

Juliane Taylor Shore, LMFT, LPC, SEP in Private Practice, Austin, TX

I have been supervising and teaching therapists since 2009. I love teaching therapists because I love being with others who are committed to growing in their personal and professional journeys. When I found Terry real’s work, I went through another big leap in my growth and I am so thrilled to be part of bringing his work to more therapists. I specialize in teaching therapists Interpersonal Neurobiology and bridging scientific research and clinical work. I have spoken internationally and have several ongoing training groups and online courses and I am also on the faculty of the Coherence Institute.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What certification do I get?

Trainees who have completed all components of the training may apply for official certification as an RLT Certified Coach or RLT Certified Therapist.

Q: How long does it take to complete the training?

Because courses and other training components are taken at your convenience, there’s no set time for completing the training. The full certification package is generally completed over a two-year period, but it’s possible to complete all components within one year.

Q: How is the training structured?

Each level is a blend of self-paced online learning via pre-recorded sessions from Terry, plus virtual practicums or mentoring groups with the RLT faculty.

Q: Who is Terry Real?

Terry Real is the creator of RLT. An internationally recognized family therapist, speaker, teacher, and best-selling author, Terry founded the Relational Life Institute, offering workshops for couples, individuals, and parents around the country along with a professional training program for clinicians wanting to learn his RLT methodology. Drawing on three decades of experience, Terry knows how to lead couples on a step-by-step journey to greater intimacy—and greater personal fulfillment.

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. Terry’s ideas on men’s issues and couple’s therapy have been celebrated in venues from Good Morning America, The Today Show, and 20/20 to Oprah and The New York Times.

Q: How is RLT different from traditional couples therapy?

RLT breaks many of the rules of traditional therapy to deliver lasting change. The RLT model is different in many ways, including:

    • We take sides: Often, therapists remain neutral, but in RLT, we explicitly side with the disempowered partner to restore balance in the relationship.
    • We heal trauma in the presence of the partner: In traditional therapy, trauma work is done individually. But opening up such levels of vulnerability in their partner’s presence helps people go much deeper for more remarkable transformations.
    • Therapists and clients are equal: Therapists aren’t above clients as experts, nor are we simply facilitators. We’re right there in the thick of it with them, sharing our own experiences of relational living to inspire, motivate, and build trust. 
  • We’re direct (but compassionate): We’re upfront in telling clients what they’re doing to harm their relationships. We tell them what to do in certain situations so they can have a corrective emotional experience with their partner over and over. 
  • We educate: The nurture that traditional therapy offers isn’t sufficient on its own to provoke lasting change. We focus on educating our clients so they can continue forging authentic connections for life.

Q: Is there an assessment?

You will work closely with the RLT faculty throughout each level of the training to practice and fine-tune your skills. When you apply for certification, you will need to include a short written case conceptualization and a recording of a therapy session. Applicants can, if they desire, request additional time with their mentor to help them put together their application.

Q: How do I apply?

It all starts with a simple application form. Then you’ll be invited to book a call with us to discuss your application in more detail. On the call, we’ll discuss your experience and aspirations and decide together whether the RLT training is the right fit for you. 

Q: Why do I need to apply and book a call?

It’s important to us that we speak to every prospective applicant before they enroll. This is so we can get to know you better, understand what you’re hoping to achieve with the training, and provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you have. Together, we can determine if RLT is the right path to help you achieve your goals.

Ready to Get Started on Your RLT Path?

Click below to apply now or download the brochure to learn more about the training.

Become an RLT Therapist

RLT can be transformational for your practice

Working with couples can be challenging, especially when clients hit a wall. Seeing your clients struggling to make progress can leave you feeling lost, overwhelmed, or burnt out. In RLT, we move fast, and we make things happen. Your confidence and love for your work will soar when you master and teach the powerful RLT tools to help your clients undergo profound transformations.

Heal Your Relationship With RLT

Reconnect with your partnerand yourself

Heal the distance between you and your partner and reconnect on a deeper level. Restore balance, respect, and intimacy as you uncover why your relationship is struggling and how to repair it. Working with an RLT therapist, you and your partner will learn to open up, be vulnerable, and hold yourselves accountable so you can continue strengthening and evolving your relationship for years to come.

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What is Relational Life Therapy?

Discover the integrative approach to couples therapy created by distinguished therapist Terry Real that equips people with the lifelong skills to forge more authentic, honest, and intimate connections.

As human beings, we crave connection, community, and closeness. Yet, we’ve never lived in a world that’s been more disconnected or individualistic.

We’re in the midst of a disconnection epidemic: we yearn for meaningful relationships, but we don’t have the skills to realize them. At no time in history has it been more apparent that intimacy is life’s holy grail.

As therapists, we can help people forge the intimate connections they so deeply desire. We can bring deep relief, healing, and change to relationships that are “on the brink,” catapulting couples to new levels of closeness.

When you train in Relational Life Therapy (RLT), you’ll learn the cutting-edge tools to transform relationships, help individuals heal from long-held trauma, and equip them with the skills to live relational, fulfilling lives—accountability, vulnerability, empathy.

And you know what else? These skills can profoundly affect your own relationships, allowing you to enjoy deeper, richer interactions with your partner, family, and friends.

RLT is a powerful method that, once mastered, can transform your life both professionally and personally.

Shall we begin?

Cutting-edge tools to transform relationships

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Transforming the Face
of Couples Therapy

Learn the lifelong skills to cultivate more authentic, honest, and intimate connections with Relational Life Therapy.

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What Is Relational Life Therapy?

There’s a new way we can relate

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Many people want to have great relationships, but society hasn’t taught them how. In a world that’s more disconnected than ever, we desperately need to shift into a relational, connection-building cultureand that starts in the therapy room. 

Changing how we see ourselves in relation to our partner. It involves changing some fundamental aspects of our identity, even changing how we think of ourselves to begin with, but doing this is vital to creating meaningful connections with others. 

Building deeper, more intimate connections with ourselves and others is at the heart of Relational Life Therapy. Created by renowned couples therapist Terry Real, this unique, integrative therapy can profoundly and permanently transform individuals by helping them forge fiercely intimate connections in their relationships. RLT educates as much as it heals to equip people with the lifelong tools to live fully-connected, fearlessly authentic lives.

RLT breaks many of the rules of traditional therapy to go deep quickly and help clients make rapid and significant changes. RLT therapists are real, open, and honest. We set the bar high for our clients. We expect rapid, dramatic change, and to a remarkable degree, we get it.

How RLT Works

Catapulting couples to new levels of closeness, trust, and solidarity

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Using a range of powerful diagnostic and transformative tools, RLT helps people to first reconnect to themselves—their feelings, needs, and desires—to build a stronger, more intimate connection with their partner.

Step 1: Waking Up

RLT therapists use loving confrontation to wake clients up to their negative behaviors in a direct but compassionate way. We show clients the difficult truths about how they are harming their relationships in a way that builds trust rather than resistance.

Step 2: Healing & Transformation

Swiftly get to the root of negative behaviors, understand them, and overcome them. Unique to RLT, deep trauma and inner child work is done in the presence of the partner. This allows individuals to go deeper and couples to grow closer.

Step 3: Relational Skills For Life

RLT equips people with the powerful tools they need to continue building authentic, healthy relationships long after their time in therapy is over—the key to creating change that lasts.

Interested To Know More About the Power of RLT?

Sign up to receive a complimentary brochure

RLT Is Perfect For:

Therapists & Coaches Looking to Expand Their Offering

Learn how to work effectively with couples and utilize your clients’ relationships as a crucible for individual transformation.

Therapists & Coaches Looking to Expand Their Offering

Learn how to work effectively with couples and utilize your clients’ relationships as a crucible for individual transformation.

Therapists & Coaches Looking to Expand Their Offering

Learn how to work effectively with couples and utilize your clients’ relationships as a crucible for individual transformation.

Therapists & Coaches Looking to Expand Their Offering

Learn how to work effectively with couples and utilize your clients’ relationships as a crucible for individual transformation.

Therapists & Coaches Looking to Expand Their Offering

Learn how to work effectively with couples and utilize your clients’ relationships as a crucible for individual transformation.

What Our Graduates
Have To Say

“Before RLT I felt like something was missing as a therapist.

The things I was taught in school were not practical and I felt stuck in my practice. I’m so grateful for the experiences I have had with the RLT training. I now see relationships in a way that finally makes sense to me and I have more confidence working with couples because I have something that is realistic and I believe works and more importantly my clients are able to grasp and practice.”

-James C.

“Before RLT I felt like something was missing as a therapist.

The things I was taught in school were not practical and I felt stuck in my practice. I’m so grateful for the experiences I have had with the RLT training. I now see relationships in a way that finally makes sense to me and I have more confidence working with couples because I have something that is realistic and I believe works and more importantly my clients are able to grasp and practice.”
-James C.

“Before RLT I felt like something was missing as a therapist.

The things I was taught in school were not practical and I felt stuck in my practice. I’m so grateful for the experiences I have had with the RLT training. I now see relationships in a way that finally makes sense to me and I have more confidence working with couples because I have something that is realistic and I believe works and more importantly my clients are able to grasp and practice.”

-James C.

Learn the Practical, Sophisticated Skills to Transform Relationships and Individuals Profoundly and Permanently

Master RLT for…

Your Career

Your Relationship

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