Terrence Real on Depression, Self-Esteem & The Relationship Grid

Film clip courtesy of Changing Our Minds, a film about depression.

I keep looking for Terrence Real videos with little success. This one, an excerpt from Changing Our Minds, a film about depression, is by far the best, though much too brief. (I believe the only way to see the film in its entirely is to purchase a copy on DVD.)

I’ve often mentioned Real’s fine book on depression in men, I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression.

He followed that with two books about marriage: How Can I Get Through to You? Closing the Intimacy Gap Between Men and Women
and The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work.

Drawing on his own practice as a therapist, he fills these books with stories that dramatize the struggles of men and women trying to free themselves from the pain of relationships in crisis. His approach to therapy has a dual focus. One is to undo the damage and distortions caused by internalizing the conventional cultural roles for men and women – the man as the rational bread-winner, the woman as the care-taker mother. The other challenges myth that personal growth is entirely a matter of individual fulfillment outside of relationships. Instead, he sees growth taking place in the fuller context of connection with others. Each of the powerful stories Real narrates the emotional breakthroughs that occur by facing the crises in close relationships.

He’s developed a diagram, the Relationship Grid, to help people place themselves at a stage of growth toward balance and health. It consists of the intersecting dimensions of individual growth away from the extremes of shame and grandiosity and relational growth away from the extremes of avoiding love by walling off feeling and dependency of love by dropping all boundaries.