The Skills Needed for a Healthy, Adult Relationship

by Steven Kessler, MFT,  EFT Expert & Trainer

This list is designed to give you a general map of the territory covered on this journey. It is not exhaustive. The order is indicative only of a general sense of direction, as there is a great deal of overlap. Especially in the second group, many of these things will be happening at the same time.


Self-awareness skills

  1. 1
    .  Develop the Inner Witness
  2. 2
    .  Learn to track your own inner state
  3. 3
    .  Discover that your reactivity is an opportunity to learn about yourself
  4. 4
    .  Shift your relationship with your Inner Critic
  • Recognize that it as not your own voice
  • Learn to recognize its attacks
  • Learn to defend yourself from its attacks
  • Reclaim for yourself the energy that has been feeding it
  • Dis-identify from it
  1. 5
    .  Make the Turn from avoiding pain to seeking truths
  2. 6
    .  Learn to accept your current inner state and inquire into it with lighthearted curiosity
  3. 7
    .  Practice being deeply intimate with your own experience, no matter what it is

Healing the past and growing up

  1. 1
    .  Develop the basic energetic skills: ground, core, edge, me/not me
  2. 2
    .  Develop healthy psychological boundaries
  3. 3
    .  Learn to self-reference without self-judgment
  4. 4
    .  Heal the core traumas that have shaped and organized you. Recognize your own conditioning, contradict it, and heal what drives it. Learn to look forward to the increased sense of freedom and power each time you reclaim a disowned piece of yourself.
  5. 5
    .  Learn to recognize when you shift from adult to child states
  6. 6
    .  Learn to shift yourself back to an adult state
  7. 7
    .  Develop a relationship with your own inner child, listen to it's needs, and be the parent who makes arrangements to get those needs met
  8. 8
    .  Learn healthy skills for communication, disagreement, inquiry, and joint decision making
  9. 9
    .  Learn to measure and anticipate your own needs and limitations
  10. 10
    .  Learn to measure and anticipate the needs and limitations of others