Thanks for listening to my interview on The Relationship School podcast, where Jayson and I discussed so many issues to help partners have better relationships.

A major theme was creating a stronger team as a couple. Because it takes two strong individuals to create a strong team, Jayson volunteered to let me walk him through an exercise.

He identified something his wife did that triggered him in ways he did not want to experience.

After a handful of minutes, he felt relaxed and energized instead of tense and constricted. We then talked about how he and his wife could use this tool to work together and be a stronger team.

We also covered the challenges of being married to an entrepreneur.

Please feel free to share the podcast and resources below.

  1. This first link is to an article I wrote in 2002. The purpose of this document is to give couples an idea of what creates a flourishing relationship. Perhaps the most important element of relationship growth is the attitude and motivation for change.Teaching new skills and tools doesn't mean much if the attitude of one or both partners is, “My partner is the problem and the solution is for my partner to do most of the changing.”

    The most important goals for growth do not start with what to change, but why we should change.

    Change without a strong purpose will never last. Motivation precedes skill development.

    I have found this is a good document even for people who I am not going to coach. At the end of this document are three questions for couples who are interested in beginning the process of becoming a strong team as they go through life.

  2. Click here for Super Negotiation for Couples. Good negotiation is much more complex than having each person say what they want and then both compromise on something they hold important for the sake of peace.

I hope you found the podcast and these resources helpful.
Peter Pearson

If you'd like more relationship or couples therapy training information, feel free to signup here.

You might also be interested in the following resources:

Initiating Calm Discussions
Did you know your brain complicates communication when the stakes are high? Learn how this happens, and how to bring up a tough topic while encouraging your partner to talk it through with you, in Initiating Calm Discussions.

Another resource you might be interested in is Beyond I Messages. Using a unique structure to guide you through your toughest topics, you can start discussing difficulties without triggering defensive reflexes in each other. You’ll learn individual steps for initiating difficult discussions. You will also hear a live demonstration of a couple practicing this process. And we’re teaching things that can help you even if your partner chooses not to listen!


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A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.