Building Better Relationships: Short Essays on Learning to Relate

Building Better Relationships: Short Essays on Learning to Relate

by Julie Roberts


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Relating to other people provides the basic foundation for our lives. Our instincts propel us into connection with others, and our personalities emerge through the responses we receive and give. Relating is so embedded in our social experience that we do not think about it, we just do it. How we relate is learned in early formative experiences and we carry those with us into our adult relational lives. Unfortunately we do not learn about what we are doing; basically, we have to wing it.

The book is part of a larger endeavor to bring more awareness to how we learn to relate and how our learned relational styles impact our relationships. It is hypothesized that conflict grows out of lack of awareness of our relational needs. We include detailed information on what relational needs are and how learning to communicate them brings mutuality and connection.

As a therapist, I was struck by how difficult it was for either person in a relationship to turn their attention to the other persons' experience. In the presence of the other, most people were so involved with asserting their own experience and trying to get it validated, that there seemed to be no room or interest in what was happening to the other person. This is not relating.

Developing a process whereby each person could express and get feedback for their own experience and then do the same for the other person, seemed to help couples get back into connection with each other. The CLEAR relational process was developed to do this. The process mimics some basic communication styles of a parent and child; fundamentally, how each person needs their experience related to and mirrored back and how two members need to learn to negotiate with each other to stay connected in a positive relationship.

The collection of essays is organized so that it serves as an outline for a mini-course on relationship process. The book is divided into eight sections. The first six are on relationships and conflict and the last two explain how to use the relational process on the web.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466376816
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/12/2011
Pages: 110
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Julie Roberts grew up in Washington D.C. While parenting her three children, including a disabled son, she was active in the socialist, feminist and anti-war movements. She pursued her interests in early childhood education and psychology, and obtained her elementary school teaching credential at San Francisco State University and her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Ms. Roberts started a non-profit, counseling center in San Francisco in l990. Her counseling training was supplemented by 10 years of participation in a psychoanalytically oriented study group. She also became certified in the Rosen Method, a bodywork therapy developed by Marion Rosen. Meditation and Yoga have been integral to her own personal development.

In collaboration with ARRICA Design, Ms. Roberts has focused her experience as a parent, teacher, social activist, and seasoned therapist on the design and development of an educational project called The purpose of the project is to improve how people relate to each other through providing more information on relationship and offering the experience of a structured, on-line communication process.

This publication, Building Better Relationships, is to serve as a handbook for the TruceWorks on-line process. The short essays throw light on the impact of relating and the formation of relationship on human development. They explain and give guidance for using the CLEAR process, a form of structured communication. Education is provided to enable understanding and resolution of persistent and all too common interpersonal conflicts.

Ms. Robert's idea that digital technology could be used to improve interpersonal communication grew from interactions in which couples displayed seriously challenged relational skills. She observed that people often did not have the mental/emotional space to listen without reacting.

She hypothesized that engaging on-line with another person in a bi-directional communication process utilizing structured feedback would teach, through experience, basic elements of a more relational interaction. This thesis drove the development of and its handbook, Building Better Relationships, both of which have emerged as an integration of Ms. Roberts' life and professional interests.

Julie lives in San Francisco and Petaluma, California and East Calais, Vermont. She has a private practice in San Francisco.

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