RLT Certification - Relational Life Institute

Evolve Your Career With Relational Life Therapy

Become an RLT Certified Therapist or Practitioner to elevate your work with couples. 

What is the RLT Certification?

Master Powerful Tools to Quickly and Dramatically Turn Around Relationships

The RLT Certification will empower you to build trust, find leverage, and get faster results in your couples sessions. Delivered entirely online through a blend of live practice and on-demand video trainings, you will benefit from more than 200 hours of high-quality education (+ an additional 100 hours in bonus trainings), in-depth support, a thriving community of like-minded professionals, and the flexibility to fit your study around your lifestyle. 

Upon successful completion of all components, you receive certification as an RLT Certified Therapist or RLT Certified Practitioner.

Learn More About the RLT Certification

Why Choose the RLT Certification?

Elevate Your Skillset. Cement Your Confidence. Transform Your Clients

Our most comprehensive training program, the RLT Certification, was created by internationally renowned therapist Terry Real following his 30+ years of clinical experience. 

This certification will give you in-depth knowledge and understanding of the RLT model to advance your work with couples.

When you certify in RLT, you unlock:

  • Effective ways of creating quick changes in couple therapy
  • Confidence in your role as a therapist, coach, and mentor
  • Powerful methods for dealing with resistance
  • Proven skills for repairing conflicts
  • A network of like-minded therapists for ongoing support
  • A listing on the Relational Life therapist directory to increase your referral base
  • Priority for advanced training and teaching opportunities

And so much more…

How Does The RLT Certification Work?

Study Entirely Online with On-Demand Training and LIVE Practice
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The RLT certification training is 100 percent online and completely flexible so that you can fit it around your busy schedule. You will benefit from a mix of on-demand video trainings to watch at your convenience and over 70 hours of invaluable LIVE practical coaching with our faculty. 

The certification is split into four pillars:

1. RLT Core Curriculum

Build your understanding of the RLT techniques and cultural context via 30 hours of on-demand video trainings from Terry Real, spread across three levels:
RLT Level 1 Establish a strong foundation in RLT, including how it differs from traditional therapy and the three RLT phases.
RLT Level 2 Learn how to move beyond the initial session and create the right course of therapy.
RLT Level 3 Explore the cultural context of RLT and how to work with some of the most challenging situations in couples therapy.

2. Special Topic Courses

Complete three short online courses to enhance your learning in specialist areas. The Relational Brain is compulsory, and you choose two more from our wide selection, with topics including grandiose women and multi-generational trauma.

3. LIVE Case Work with Terry Real

Learn directly from Terry Real through LIVE observations and interactive calls:

24 Hours of Continuous Education Calls Join Terry’s Real Life membership for 24 interactive calls where you can directly ask him questions, review real cases, and connect with other RLT therapists.
Couples Experiential Observation Join two of these powerful two-day online workshops to observe Terry working with real couples live, with space for Q&A with Terry.

4. LIVE Practice and Integration

Refine your skills working in small groups facilitated by the RLT faculty in a supportive and non-judgmental learning environment.

Practicum Level 1 Explore RLT Phase 1 techniques, including diagnostic lenses and therapeutic stances.
Practicum Level 2 Focus on RLT Phases Two and Three, including intimacy styles and trauma work.
Mentoring Level 3 Explore the cultural context of RLT and how to work with some of the most challenging situations in couples therapy.
Case Review Submit a recording of a client session for faculty review to receive your certification.

All components must be successfully completed to qualify for certification.

All components must be successfully completed to qualify for certification.

Setting You Up For Success

Coaching and Support From Senior RLT Therapists and Teachers

You will benefit from more than 70 hours of small group teaching and coaching facilitated by the RLT  faculty. The 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. The faculty also hold weekly office hours where you can seek additional guidance and support should you need it.

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

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

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.

What Other Therapists Say About the Training

Get A Feel For How Becoming an RLT Certified Therapist Can Advance Your Career

“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

“The practical and positive approach of RLT has helped my clients see change almost immediately. By weaving past trauma and its impact on relationships and by building new skills together, my clients have expressed new deep and meaningful connections. RLT is not just a training program, it is a community that works in unity to offer ongoing support to therapists as well as clients.”

—  Clare Mézes, MSc, RP, Toronto, Canada

“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.

“Before learning Terry Real’s model I would work with couples to problem solve their dilemmas of the day.  I always had misgivings about the long-term potential of my work because although I was aware I was working mostly on the content level with my clients, I did not know how to move in deeper to address with them their relational processes.  Now, having Terry’s model for teaching clients healthy relating, I have guidelines to help them perform the modest miracle of personal transformation on a permanent process level, no matter what the content.  It’s really tremendous to be instrumental in people achieving that.”

— R.D., Massachusetts

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.

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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