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Individual and Couples Counselling in Calgary

  • Writer's pictureRovena Magidin

Insights from Terry Real's Couples Therapy Training


Couples Therapist Terry Real

I recently had the privilege of attending the 2-Day Couples Therapy Training "Getting Started with Relational Life Therapy" workshop led by Terry Real himself. I love learning new approaches to Couples Therapy and I love learning new tools that help couples build healthier, more fulfilling relationships.


Who is Terry Real?

Terry Real is a pioneering family therapist and the founder of the Relational Life Institute. His innovative approach, known as Relational Life Therapy (RLT), focuses on helping individuals and couples break free from destructive patterns and cultivate genuine intimacy and connection.


Key Concepts in Relational Life Therapy


  1. Authenticity and Connection: At the heart of RLT is the belief that true intimacy can only be achieved through emotional honesty and vulnerability. Terry Real emphasizes the importance of being genuine with our partners and ourselves.

  2. Grandiosity and Boundaries: Narcissism became a hot topic in the last few years. Instead of narcissism, Terry focuses on Grandiosity. One of the fundamental aspects of Real’s relationship assessment is understanding how grandiosity can distort our perception of boundaries. Grandiosity often leads to overestimating one's importance or capabilities, which can result in neglecting a partner's needs. By recognizing and addressing grandiosity, couples can establish healthier, more balanced boundaries.

  3. The Power of Accountability: Real teaches that taking responsibility for one's actions and emotions is crucial in maintaining a healthy relationship. Accountability fosters trust and respect, allowing couples to navigate conflicts constructively.


Recommended YouTube Videos

To further explore Terry Real's insights, I recommend watching the following YouTube videos:

  1. On Grandiosity and Shame - Esther Perel & Terry Real - a very short video (only 3 minutes) highlighting some very important concepts "Shame is contempt turned inward, grandiosity is contempt turned outward."



Breaking the Secret Cycle of Anger, Shame and Depression. Such an important conversation. Real explores the issue of male depression, providing valuable insights and strategies for addressing this critical topic.


Expert Advice on Your Relationship Problems - If you want to see Terry "in action", in this video Terry and his wife Belinda Real, Expert relationship therapist, answer your questions on love, marriage, and dating.


Books by Terry Real

  1. "I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression": This groundbreaking book addresses the often-hidden issue of male depression, offering deep insights and practical strategies for healing.

  2. "The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work": In this essential guide, Real provides actionable advice for couples to build and sustain loving, balanced partnerships.


A Tip for Couples and Individuals

Take the Relationship Health Quiz: Terry Real offers a super helpful relationship health quiz that can provide valuable insights into your relational dynamics. It's a great starting point for identifying areas that may need attention.


Terry Real's Relationship Grid


Final Thoughts

I am excited to incorporate these insights into my practice and continue helping my clients build strong, loving connections. As always, the moment I learn something, I want to share it with others.


For more information or to discuss how these concepts can be applied to your relationship, feel free to reach out to me here.

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