The healthiest relationships require mental health and emotional intelligence. Review all of the other tools on this site before attempting this section. Too much stress, anxiety, depression or addiction, harms relationships. Manage and heal your relationship with yourself before attempting to involve others.
Tool #1 Understand Yourself, Understand Others
Using your logic mind, you can more easily navigate the confusing landscape of dealing with others if you first notice how their mind works.
No longer intending to change others, instead, seek to understand.
As you will note, personality types will respond differently to the tools on this website. Some will cooperate with healthier relationships, some will sabotage, tantrum or even sever ties. You can only be your best self, then detach from outcome.
Tool #2 Know Your 27 Rights, Respect Other's Rights
Simple rules create healthy relationships. These 27 Rights are the building blocks to a better relationship with yourself and with others. 3 page PDF.
"Good to know" leads to "reasonable expectations".
Tired of getting irritated, disappointed and fooled --again?
Taking everything personally?
These tools help you transition from emotional, dramatic reactions and unrealistic expectations into more logical, rational and reasonable thoughts.
Tool#5 Relationship Boundary Tool
It's not about being right, it's about having the right.
Do you set boundaries?
Do you protect your own boundaries?
Do you honor other's people's boundaries?
What are boundaries?
2 page PDF
tool #6: Passive, Assertive or Aggressive, 7 pages
In this 7 page tool kit you will learn:
Tool #7 Twelve Fair Fight Rules Improve Communication
Afraid to say anything because you know it will start a fight? Tired of arguing about the same thing over and over? Try these ground rules for "fair fighting"...which are really communication tools that allow you to maintain dignity and trust during conflicts.
Tool #8 When to stay, walk away, or RUN!
Deciding when to stay and when to go is so much easier said than done. If there are children involved, the decision is much more complicated.
This material compliments the Couple's Pre-test Tool #9
Boundary TOol: Detach With Love
This tried and true gem from Al-Anon 12-step programs compliments healthy boundaries and puts an end to the dysfunctional relationship patterns learned in families with addiction, mental illness, trauma and violence.
Couple’s Counseling Pre-test
John Gottman says the success of a relationship may be predicted with over 90% accuracy. Unfortunately, without proper screening, couple’s therapy is the least successful of all treatment modalities. The failure rate is largely due to the fact that many therapists offer couple's treatment without adequately screening for the appropriateness of that treatment choice. For couple’s therapy to be successful, several conditions apply. Use the test below to determine whether or not couples therapy is your best treatment fit. You may also download a copy of the test to discuss with the healthcare provider of your choice.
Below is a list of questions for each person in the partnership to answer.
1. Are either of you distressed, upset, angry or frustrated with your own, or your partner's alcohol or drug use? (Are some of your arguments about alcohol/drug use or are arguments arising while impaired/intoxicated?)
2. Do either of you fear emotional or physical abuse in this relationship? (Any history of anger outbursts, tantrums, name-calling, screaming, intimidation, bullying, rage, threats of violence or acts of violence?)
3. Is an unstable mood ( jealousy, anxiety, worry, anger depression or paranoia) disturbing your ability to control your behavior or blocking your feelings of love or joy?
4. Are either of you interested in using couples therapy as a forum to blame, complain or tattle about your partner? (Desire to use the therapist to make your partner change or to referee your fight?)
5. Are either of you engaged in self-destructive or secretive activities that violate the trust in this relationship? (Excessive lying, gossiping, spending, shopping or gambling problems, porn addiction or illegal activity?)
6. Do either of you have a third party involved in this relationship? (Overly involved in-laws, an unresolved former relationship, inappropriate texting internet relationships or a current affair?)
7. Have either of you already decided to end the relationship rather than repair it? (ie; separation or divorce pending or filed? Wanting to attend couples therapy so you can say that you tried before you follow through with your plan to split?)
Scoring: “No” answers from each partner on every question indicates couple’s therapy is appropriate, assuming the couple has a shared, mutual goal for treatment.
“Yes” answers to any question indicates the recommendation of individual therapy until able to achieve “No” answers to all questions.
For couple’s therapy to be successful, several conditions apply. Use the test below to determine whether or not couples therapy is your best choice. Print your test results and discuss your results with the health care provider of your choice.
4. Khan Academy for free help with education and learning.
5. TrailsToWellness.org is a website with free materials, manuals and worksheets anyone may use to address fear, anxiety, depression at appropriate age levels
Family Talk ® is a fun, portable conversation game designed to keep today’s busy families connected. The game includes 100 conversation questions.
Greenwood E. (2018) Simple way to understand emotion: My Mixed Emotions. Help your kids handle their feelings
McCloud C. (2011) Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Book by Carol McCloud -
McCloud C. Buckets, Dippers and Lids
Damour, L (2016) Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood Hardcover – Ballentine
Cline, F W. & Fay, J. Parenting With Love And Logic
Wade, Cleo (2021) What the Road Said
Need safety and protection from relationship violence?
Lansing Women's Shelter Eve's House
Telka's tools, resources and recommendations are not a substitute for mental health treatment or intended to be used as medical care. This site is not intended to diagnose or treat psychiatric or medical conditions. Always consult your own health care professional for the treatment of mental illness.