4810 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN, 55419


Life Love Healing Wellness Center works with individuals, couples and families in the Minneapolis, MN area including these counseling service areas: couples counseling, love addiction, sex addiction, codependency, Enneagram, healthy relationships, other addictions and more. 


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Filtering by Tag: terry real

Emotional Moderation

leslie root

 Individuals and couples who struggle with moderation express their reality at one extreme or another making it difficult for partners and others to relate to them. People who struggle with emotional moderation don’t appear to understand what a moderate reality is. They are totally involved or totally detached, totally happy or absolutely miserable. People who lack emotional moderation believe a moderate response to a situation isn’t enough, only too much is enough. This symptom manifests in different ways:


The Body:

- Hiding the body with baggy clothes,

- Bland colors that fade into the woodwork.

- Flamboyant attire that everyone notices

- Or skimpy, tight clothing that’s revealing

- Physical extremes may also include how large or thin people become

- Compulsively neat or sloppy grooming habits are.



- Black and White thinking,

- Right or Wrong

- Good or Bad

- There are few gray areas. Only one right answer, “if you don’t agree with me completely you are totally against me.”

-Solutions to problems are extreme; doing a total cut off or reacting in a way that is not in proportion to the situation or transgression.



-Difficulty knowing feelings

-Difficulty sharing feelings

-Difficulty experiencing feelings

-Little to no emotion or explosive/agonizing emotions

-Taking on other peoples feelings



-Trusting everyone or no one at all

-Allowing anyone to touch them or no one

-Discipline with children may look severe or not at all

-Exaggerated behavior responses to perceived threat

The bad news is our immoderate responses are highly unlikely to change without a therapeutic intervention. The good news is, interventions work! With a good therapist and the correct tools I have seen couples change very quickly. When couples are able to trust that their partner will respond with moderation, their whole relationship can change. Walls come down and intimacy comes in. A well trained therapist or coach can help couples see their current ability to respond moderately in other situations and support clients with utilizing the skill set in their current relationship. It is important to have an outside supporter to identify the benefits and costs of not changing. We are not good at fully acknowledging or knowing the consequences of our behaviors and their impact on generations to come.



Couples Core Negative Image Stepping Out of your "Bad Deal"

leslie root

Core Negative Image or CNI is our vision of our partners in their most difficult, irrational and least loving moments. When we move into "you always" or "you never" with our partner we are no longer arguing with each other but rather our caricatured version of our partner. When we move into this space with our partners we are in fact living out our early childhood wounding or false empowerment. This "Bad Deal" argument we consistently/continuously have with our partners represents a fight we never finished in childhood and that we didn't get growing up. 

Without fail, each one of us chooses a mate who fits our unresolved issues. As Terry Real author of "The New Rules of Marriage" informs us that we all marry our "unfinished business."You may think the relationship does not bring up every hurt and anger you've ever carried inside, but it does. Doing so allows us to re-create the old struggle, to attempt to be heard, appreciated and most important to get the outcome that we never got as children. The hoax is in believing this will actually happen. As a result of our screwed up thinking in relationships, humans tend to see their partners through a lens of distortion. We attribute characteristics to our partners that set them up for failure through the manifestation of a core negative image. One benefit to couples knowing this is that they can start to use this information for good rather than what it is generally used for. Your Partners CNI can serve as your relationship compass, it will always point out the opposite direction from your goal. 

The Following are five strategies outlined by Terry Real to help couples do this:

1. Make each other's CNI's explicit

2. Acknowledge the truth in each other's CNI's 

3. Identify CNI-busting behaviors

4. Use CNI's as your compass

5. Set up dead-stop contracts. 

These are strategies designed to be used and integrated in couples therapy. More to come in next weeks post!