Grandiosity and Shame with Terry Real

Apr 05, 2020

In this month’s interview, Terry Real joins the community. Terry is one of Esther’s closest colleagues and the person whom she has collaborated most in teaching, lecturing, and consulting with couples. His collaborative spirit and desire to engage with people of different perspectives is an excellent example of our goals for the Sessions community.  

Within his practice, Terry breaks almost all the rules we often learn. As a fellow rulebreaker herself, Esther was drawn to his style of work. Through his rebelliousness, he successfully created Relational Life Therapy (RLT). RLT focuses on teaching people how to live a relational life centered on authentic connection, first with yourself and then to the people you love. 

Terry walks us through the three phases and describes how they work together, and their unique approach to working with shame and grandiosity:

  1. Waking up the client through loving confrontation
  2. Identifying the trauma
  3. Educating them on alternative actions to take

He shares the revolution of RLT is that it invites individuals and couples to step off the contempt conveyor belt and practice mindfulness to begin to stand up to their internal voices. To take responsibility through loving confrontation without giving in to the shame. Most clients need to learn how to deal with negative self-talk and develop healthy self-esteem. 

As Esther’s go-to person for questions around gender and grandiosity and shame, these terms wove themselves into every corner of their discussion. Terry shares how the revelation that these emotions are two sides of the same coin has changed his work. They also explore how a patriarchal society has created gendered differences in grandiosity and hindered the creation of intimacy within couples. 

Learn more about these themes and Terry and Esther’s different perspectives by signing up for your free two-week trial of Sessions.


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