RLT Level 1 - Online Training
Learn to harness powerful Relational Life Therapy techniques to set couples on the path to reconnection. Discover how to swiftly get to the root of the problem in couples therapy, build trust with your clients, and help them make rapid and substantive changes.
A 10.5-hour live online training including real-time couples therapy demonstrations with Terry Real and the RLI faculty.
“Family dysfunction rolls down from generation to generation, like a fire in the woods, taking down everything in its path until one person in one generation has the courage to turn and face the flames. That person brings peace to their ancestors and spares the children that follow.”
— Terry Real, Creator of Relational Life Therapy
A Note From Terry Real
Connection has never felt more precious or critical. We have never wanted more from our relationships, not just our romantic relationships but friends, family, and children. At no time in history has it been more clear that intimacy is life’s grail.
Yet divorce attorneys have never been busier. Perhaps this is because we all have lived in an anti-relational, addictive, narcissistic culture that may give lip service to the importance of relationships but has not taught us the skills to realize them.
As therapists, we can fill in those gaps. There is a world of relational technology that can be taught and mastered once we open to the need for it. We can give our clients those tools. This is the basis of Relational Life Therapy (RLT)—my life’s work.
Developing my approach has been a thirty-year project. When I first got into the reality of practice, the couples who came to me were suffering, and the tools I had were inadequate for the task. So I made it my mission to figure out a way to bring relief, healing, and change to my clients.
After teaching RLT workshops all over the U.S., I created this online course to make the material available to more people. I designed RLT Level 1 to give you an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of the RLT model. It is also the first step toward RLT certification and will prepare you for the Level 2 & 3 trainings.
I have seen this model help thousands of therapists get faster and more effective results for their clients. In the kinds of cases I see, it can be quite detrimental to let therapy drag on. RLT allows you to go deep and understand the negative patterns in the relationship quickly to help clients make rapid and substantive changes.
I will give you the fruit of my life’s work in this training.
And this is likely the last time I will be running RLT Level 1 LIVE, so I encourage you to join me and my terrific faculty for 10.5 hours of live training. You’ll join myself and Cathy Hill (Director of the RLT Training School) for 5 90-minute classes starting July 6, which will be packed full of real case demonstrations so you can see how the techniques translate into practice. To enhance your learning, you’ll also benefit from 3 60-minute Q&A calls from senior RLT therapists and teachers.
I look forward to seeing you in the training and sharing the transformative power of RLT with you.
P.S. I’ve put my heart into the Level 1 training we are about to start together—to make it exactly the training I wish I could have received myself. As you get deeper into it, you’ll see that there are many refinements and subtleties to the RLT model.
What's included in RLT Level 1:
01. Core Modules
Over 7 hours of live calls
5 LIVE 90-minute Classes with Terry Real
In these interactive live calls, Terry and Cathy Hill, Director of the RLT Training School, will teach you all the core foundational material that forms the basis of the RLT model. (Don’t worry if you can’t attend all of the live calls as they’ll be recorded.)
Class 1: An Introduction to Relational Life Therapy
Thursday, July 6, 12–1:30pm ET
Class 2: Data Gathering and RLT Lenses 1-5
Thursday, July 13, 12–1:30pm ET
Class 3: Data Gathering and RLT Lenses 6-7
Tuesday, July 18, 12–1:30pm ET
Class 4: Finding Leverage
Tuesday, July 25, 12–1:30pm ET
Class 5: Recap & Common Mistakes
Thursday, July 27, 12–1:30pm ET
02. Q&A Calls
3 hours of live calls
3 LIVE 60-minute Q&A Calls with RLT Faculty
Join senior RLT therapists and teachers to deepen your understanding of the course material. This is you chance to ask any questions you may have and get crystal clear on how to apply RLT Phase 1 in your client sessions.
Q&A 1 with Desirae Ysasi, LPC-S
Monday, July 17, 11am–12pm ET
Q&A 2 with Julie Rudiger, LCSW
Thursday, July 20, 11am–12pm ET
Q&A 3 with Anna Sterk, LMFT
Wednesday, July 26, 10-11 am ET
Bonus: RLT Demonstration
Private Membership Site With Lifetime Access to All Training Materials
You’ll receive access to our private membership site, the RLT Community Hub, where all call recordings will be stored so you can refer back to them as often as you need. You also access a discussion forum to connect with your fellow students and share your experiences.
Here’s what you’ll learn inside each class:
Content types included in this module:
An Introduction to Relational Life Therapy
The differences between RLT and traditional psychodynamic therapy are explored. Also considered are the stances of “one-down shame” and “one-up grandiosity” in couples; according to RLT, true intimacy can only happen when partners are “same-as” with each other. RLT is about action and swift results, helping people to make major changes to the negative parts of their character, and the critical role and stance of the therapist is described.
Presented also are the concepts of Relational Mindfulness, Joining Through the Truth, and psychological patriarchy.
- Explain the 3 Phases of RLT and how RLT differs from traditional therapy
- Understand the RLT view of power imbalances in couples, of psychological patriarchy, and how these are addressed through therapy
- Describe the role and approach of the therapist in RLT
- Explain Relational Mindfulness and the “fight, flight, fix” responses
Content types included in this module:
DATA GATHERING AND RLT LENSES 1-5
The reasons why, in RLT, data must be gathered as a first stage of therapy. Also laid out are the seven diagnostic lenses of RLT, and the first first explored in depth. The “stance, stance, dance” dynamic is explained, tools are given to describe each partner’s pattern and the dance that results, and the goal of therapy in working with this entire dynamic is expressed. Losing strategies, preconditions, and blatant/latent stances are explored.
- List the seven lenses
- Explain the role of data gathering
- Understand how preconditions are addressed in RLT
- Differentiate the various losing strategies clients employ
- Explain the difference between blatant and latent stances
Content types included in this module:
DATA GATHERING & LENSES 6-7
Relational trauma and its impact on adult relationships is explored. The three major family of origin roles are discussed, and advice is given on how to work with grandiose partners. The Relationship Grid diagnostic tool is laid out as a tool to help you identify each partner’s relational stance. You will also explore the two kinds of boundaries and self-esteem, with advice on how to work with grandiosity.
- Explain the relational grid and track losing strategies against it
- Describe the two kinds of boundaries
- Outline the major family of origin roles and how they play with stances
- Understand effective approaches to working with grandiose women as well as grandiose men
Content types included in this module:
We move from diagnosis to treatment. Here, you will learn how to use the RLT approach of Joining Through the Truth to lovingly confront clients and engage them in the therapeutic process. The concept of leverage is explored: what it is, why it’s necessary, and how it can be used. Advice is given on empowering latent people, and the concept of the “relational champion” is presented.
- Understand the concept of leverage and how to use it
- Describe strategies for latent people
- Understand that RLT requires that the latent person be a “relational champion” in therapy
Content types included in this module:
RECAP & COMMON MISTAKES
In this module, we consolidate all of your learnings from the previous modules as we fill in the gaps. Some common therapeutic mistakes are described to help you fine-tune your understanding of how to apply the RLT Phases 1 techniques in client sessions. We will preview RLT Phases 2 and 3 to outline how the therapy deepens as we begin inner child work and teaching relational skills.
- Identify the common therapeutic mistakes and how to avoid them
- Explain how RLT Phase 1 techniques can be applied to get to the root of the presenting problem
- Understand how RLT Phases 2 and 3 take this work deeper to create profound change in relationships
Richard Schwartz, originator of Internal Family Systems
8 Ways RLT is Different From Traditional Therapy
A tip: “Don’t get out ahead of your client. They’re the ones to assert the leverage, not you. You go too far when you act as if you have more leverage than you have. You go too far if you take on the offender of the blatant, rather than have the latent take on the blatant, generally.”
What Others Say About RLT
— Edward Hallowell, M.D., author of Crazy Busy
— Jeanne O.
“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.
— David Feder, MSW, RSW, CSAT, Close Connections, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
— Claire O
The Shift from Individualistic to Relational Thinking
by Terry Real
Objective vs. Subjective Reality
“He won’t listen!” cries Lucy, flinging open her arms, as she sits on the edge of the couch, as if to implore me.
“I don’t get her,” says Stan, sinking his face in his hands, beleaguered, exhausted, as if to say, “No matter what I do…”
And then there’s me, watching, listening. Couples on the brink fly in to see me. Together we spend one or two full days working, at the end of which time we agree that you’re either back on track or divorcing. One way or another, this is the last stop. Lucy and Stan are on the edge of dissolution, have been for over a year. This past weekend was a disaster.
“So, what happened?” I ask.
Stan snorts. “This whole thing is ridiculous,” he declares, one leg pumping, impatient, annoyed.
Lucy cuts him off, taking charge. “We took two cars, for a weekend alone at our house on the Cape. Both were loaded with groceries. So, I can’t see out the back. Already I’m nervous. I don’t like driving at night. I ask Stan to stay by me, in case I… I don’t know, get lost, take a wrong turn, whatever.”
“She wanted me to keep an eye on her,” Stan tells me, wanting to hurry the story along. “Which I did.”
“Which you didn’t!” says Lucy.
“Which is exactly what I did. Look,” Stan turns to me, the arbiter. “I was winding my way through the traffic. I’m about two cars up ahead of her…”
“But I can’t see him,” Lucy interjects.
“I’ve got her square in my rearview mirror.” I look at Stan’s harried expression. I’m already sensing where this going. “She calls me, panicked, out of her mind. ‘You said you wouldn’t leave me!’ Already, she’s like screaming at me.”
“But you left me! After you said…”
“Okay,” I interrupt. “I think I’ve got it.” Stan and Lucy were caught in a typical who’s right / who’s wrong battle – hinging on their slightly different definitions of what it meant to “be there for” Lucy. To Lucy, “being there” meant being right by her side. For Stan, it meant keeping an eye on her. Who was objectively right?
That’s a trick question. In marital relationships it’s never a matter of landing on the one true reality, but rather two people in need of negotiating differing subjective realities.
Between the two, I sided with Lucy – a difference between RLT and other therapies. We take sides. Stan was factually correct but relationally incorrect. Was he, as promised, looking after Lucy to make sure she was alright? Yes, absolutely. And if Stan had been the one to make the request, he would have been fine. But Stan wasn’t married to Stan. Lucy wanted the comfort of Stan by her side, in sight of her. It wasn’t his aid she was after, but the reassurance of his company. In this instance – as in so many others just like it, Lucy assured me, Stan didn’t “get it.” He missed the point because he wasn’t thinking relationally.
Even though on the brink of divorce, Stan wasn’t a bad guy. What he argued so vehemently for, the point he got so defensive about was, in fact right – in the linear, individualistic, Newtonian world we all live in. But I have a saying, “You can be right, or you can be married. What’s more important to you?”
Repair & Reconnection
I turn to Stan: “In this moment, right now, ask yourself, would you rather make the case that you’re right or would you rather make peace with your wife and help her feel better?”
“Meaning?” he says, tentative but listening.
“Turn to your wife right now and tell her something from the heart,” I coach him.
And, bless him, with a little encouragement, he tries it.
“Lucy,” he takes her hand. “I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry if you felt so abandoned that day.”
“And you’re sorry you didn’t hear her,” I add.
“I am,” he says. “Really. No BS. I wish I could have listened better.” Stan looks at his wife’s tearful face.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for years,” she says, crying, her body straining toward him.
“Wanna hug from the guy?” I ask her and she lurches forward, reaching for him.
“Take your time,” I tell them, as Stan rocks her gently. “Take all the time you need.”
Stan’s well-meaning but misguided loyalty to “sorting things out,” that is, determining the one right reality about it, deprived them both of moments like the one they had now in my office. Moments of repair. When Stan stopped defending himself and instead tended to his wife’s bruised feelings, she felt heard, the chasm between them was bridged, and everyone could breathe again.
Once Again, Here’s Everything You’ll Receive:
Relational Life Therapy Level One Training
Plus, these special bonuses:
Bonus #1 – Making Love Work Digital CD Set [VALUE: $40]
Bonus #2 – Working With Infidelity in Couples Therapy [VALUE $65]
How Much Does Level 1 Cost?
The deepest training in the RLT model.
Did you know...
This course is part of the RLT Certification program
To learn more, get the free guide
We’re confident you’ll be happy with the Relational Life Therapy Level 1 Training. However, if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, simply contact us at email@example.com within 14 days of the first live call (July 6, 2023), and we’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I access the live calls?
All live calls take place online over Zoom. All Zoom links will be listed in your private learning platform (which you will receive log ins for when you enroll). We will also send you 24-hour reminder emails ahead of each call with the Zoom link.
Q: When are the live calls?
The live calls take place on the following dates:
Training calls with Terry Real & Cathy Hill
- Module 1: Thursday, July 6, 12–1:30pm ET
- Module 2: Thursday, July 13, 12–1:30pm ET
- Module 3: Tuesday, July 18, 12–1:30pm ET
- Module 4: Tuesday, July 25, 12–1:30pm ET
- Module 5: Thursday, July 27, 12–1:30pm ET
Q&A Calls with RLT Faculty
- Monday, July 17, 11am–12pm ET (Desirae Ysasi)
- Thursday, July 20, 11am–12pm ET (Julie Rudiger)
- Wednesday, July 26, 10-11 am ET (Anna Sterk)
Q: What if I can’t make all of the call dates?
Don’t worry, all calls will be recorded and you will have lifetime access to the replays to watch back as often as you wish. (Please note: CEUs are only available if you attend all aspects live.)
Q: How long will I have access to the course?
Forever! All course materials, including the call recordings, will be stored in your private learning platform (the RLT Community Hub) for you to review at your convenience.
Q: Are CEs available for this course?
Q: Is RLT Level 1 part of the RLT Certification?
Yes—when you enroll in the RLT Certification (our deepest, richest couples therapy training), you automatically receive access to RLT Level 1. Find more information on the RLT Certification download the free guide.
Meet Your Teachers
Terry Real, creator of Relational Life Therapy
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 former 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.
Cathy Hill, Director of the RLT Training School
A licensed psychologist in private practice, Cathay is located in Vancouver, Canada. She began training in RLT in 2010 and after her first bootcamp experience was determined that Terry teach others how to do it. She hassled him until he enlisted her help in setting up advanced training for his senior therapists, which led eventually into the role of Director of Training.
Cathy is 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.
Anna Sterk, LMFT & Senior RLT Therapist
Learning how to build and sustain healthy relationships has been the journey of Anna’s life, and not always an easy or straightforward path. It was life changing for Anna to build on the personal work she was doing when she 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.
Desirae Ysasi, LPC-S & Senior RLT Therapist
Desirae has 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 her passion for couples work and ended as a completely transformative experience for herself and her own relationship. Desirae is thrilled to enter into this relational revolution with her fellow faculty members bringing full-respect living to a whole new generation of therapists and clients.
Julie Rudiger, LCSW & Senior RLT Therapist
Julie has been a licensed therapist since 1993 and was introduced to Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy in 2008. She became certified in 2010, and since then, her practice and personal life has transformed.
Julie loves the value of Full Respect Living, which is the tenant of RLT. Teaching clients and therapists the model remains the central focus of her practice. She loves the role of “coach” in teaching the skills. She believes most couples and individuals just need the education and tools to better care for themselves and their partners and families. Julie is also co-leader of the Relationship Boot Camp in Denver, which helps individuals and couples learn the skills in 2-day intensive workshops.