Multiple ways to use this toolkit
Wondering how to save your marriage, fix or improve your relationship? Explore this game's multiple uses: transform and heal relationship challenges with others, or use by yourself as your own relationship coach.
The conflict resolution techniques, relationship help tools, and effective communication skills provided in the Relationship Repair Game can be utilized in multiple ways . . .
The skills and tools are applicable to any conflict, and the more you practice and integrate the skills, the more you will improve relationships with all people in your life. The card deck is generally used in three ways: individually for guidance and reflection, using it in dialogue to work through relationship challenges with others, or using the images as an art therapy tool.
Guidance Mode - Using the card deck by yourself for reflection, divination, or conflict coaching:
Find deeper insights, transform emotions, clarify values, and prepare for a difficult conversation. We can resolve many conflicts without the other person actively participating, by processing and doing work on ourselves, then, if needed coming to the other person with a simple request. Some methods include:
Reflection - Selecting and sitting quietly with one of the card's images, without any agenda, simply observing the thoughts and emotions that are evoked, then asking yourself questions. How does this image relate to my relationship difficulty? What do I notice about it? What guidance does it have?
Divination - With eyes closed or unfocused, repeating your intention and allowing your body to select a card which holds specific meaning for you right now. Study and contemplate either the image or described skill for direction on how to apply this in your relationship or life.
Conflict Coaching - Choosing one card or multiple cards in a structured three or five card spread, then using either insights from the art images or the cards' described tools and awareness to determine the best way to address the relationship difficulty.
Dialogue Mode - Using the deck to practice or "play through" relationship conflicts with others:
Playing Through / Amidst the Conflict - Players are dealt seven cards. Taking turns, each player chooses one card to set down and "play", although they may need to pick additional cards from the deck to find one they can do at that moment. The other play sets a timer (two minutes are recommended). The person playing a card gives a sincere effort to follow the cards instructions (say or do the described tool) as it relates to the current conflict or issue, for the duration of the timer. The game ends either when one person "plays" all the cards in their hand, or by a preset mutual agreement of total playing time.
Practicing Together - Build each person's skills and capacity to play with more challenging matters by regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) using the card deck or dialogue processes with easier issues, and catching issues before they grow larger.
Practicing with a Substitute - When the issue or relationship is highly contentious, or the other person won’t engage, you can practice with a substitute who “stands in,” pretending to be and responding as if they are the person you are in conflict with.
Other Dialogue Structures - The instruction booklet describes other structures for navigating difficult conversations without actively using the card deck, but instead using the tools from some of the cards.
Using the Deck as a Professional
If you are a counselor, mediator, therapist, social worker, or relationship coach, you might use the relationship repair game to teach clients skills and support their growth between sessions. Use the images (art) to for assessment or to spark reflection about the clients relationships. Use the card text to teach and practice new relationship skills. Read ideas for Art Therapy Interventions, and learn about our Affiliate Program.
Each way that the card deck is used becomes a fractal; a different or smaller representation of the whole, the entire process of learning interdependence skills.