The Four Stages of Relationship
Each of these stages is normal, sequential, and builds on what has gone before, and each stage broadens our view of ourselves, our partner, and the world, just as when we climb a hill or a mountain, the higher we climb, the more inclusive and expansive our view.

Red Alert: Understanding and Working with The Triggered State
Why do we get so upset and out of control, and so quickly--especially with those we love??  And what can we do to work with it and to stop it?
TIME-OUT/CPR  (Time-Out with a Caring Plan to Reconnect) 
Work out a way with your partner to keep things safe and respectful.

Two Truths of Relationships
There are two truths, always, in a Relationship—and that is part of the beauty and richness that Relationships can offer. 

The Three Gardens of Relationship
In a Relationship, Separateness is as important as Connection, and Boundaries are as important as Bridges.  The “Three Garden” metaphor is a simple and clear way to look at Boundaries in Relationships, and to understand the ebb and flow of Connection and Separateness.

Boundaries and Bridges:  The Basis of Self-Care in Relationship
Connection and Separateness need to co-exist in a working Relationship, and finding that balance means both setting Boundaries and building Bridges with our partner.
Self Care in Relationship
As we honor our own truth, and also our partner’s, we begin to respect each other’s boundaries, each other’s separate gardens.  We begin to create a space for each of us to have a sense of our own autonomous selves within the container that is our relationship.

Satisfying Communication
Part 1: Stumbling Blocks,
Part 2: Building Blocks, and
Part 3: Strategies for Removing Blocks and Building Satisfying Communication

                   
Autonomy and Connection in Relationship
When couples figure out that their joy in relationship doesn’t come from focusing only on the ways we are connected, but equally on the ways we are separate, new possibilities and a new sense of ease and comfort can result.  Imagine two people, who respect and like themselves, trust themselves, are confident, use their creativity, and take responsibility for their own well being.  Put two people like that in a relationship, and they will likely foster and nurture, exponentially, their own and each other’s growth, well-being, possibility, and happiness.
The Nurturing of Connection and Collaboration in Relationship
When two people’s lives are so intertwined that their future, their plans, and their wishes, hopes and dreams depend on each other, it takes more than acting together: it takes sharing everyday thoughts and feelings, noticing each other, tuning into each other periodically, respecting each other, and developing the feeling that they “have each other’s back.”


Beyond Power Struggles and Into Collaborative Partnership
If partners actually implement this notion of one person talks at a time, while the other listens receptively, that there are two truths that need to be expressed, heard and respected (but not necessarily agreed with), then the seeds are planted for coming together as a team, a partnership, a unit, that has the best interests and well being of each person and the relationship at heart.



RELATIONSHIP TOOLS
by David A. Yeats LCSW 
(Many of the concepts and terms used in these posts have been conceived of and developed by David A. Yeats, including "The Four Stages of Relationship," "Triggered State," "Time-Out/CPR," "Two Truths." "Three Gardens," "Boundaries and Bridges,"  among others.  If you are using the terms and ideas in these posts, please acknowledge authorship.  Thank you.)
Trauma Issues in Relationship
Our goal is to point out some of the ways that traumatic experience can impact a partnership, perhaps some ways of understanding how to address it, and, in a general way, to acknowledge the role of trauma as it affects our developmental course in relationships.
Parenting Issues in Relationship
Having and raising children turns out to be among the most rewarding, challenging, sometimes difficult and heart rending, and growth inducing experiences that humans can have. There are challenges and hurdles at every stage of parenting, and it is through these challenges and hurdles that we are impelled to grow through the stages of human development as individuals, and through the stages of relationship as partners.

Blended Families
Blended families are another complexity in partner relationships that deserves a mention, since many partner relationships will establish families that include in them children from previous relationships.
Family Alliances
Alliances are a somewhat invisible, and complex dynamic that often exists between family members, and it is a dynamic that can have many and significant ramifications for us.