The Relationship Coach that Fits in your Hand!
Need an on-call Relationship Coach? Explore this multiple ways to use the Relationship Repair Game with others or by yourself. Every time you use the card deck you will be building skills that improve all of your relationships!
A Relationship Coach in the palm of your hand...
The conflict resolution strategies, relationship repair tools, and effective communication skills provided in the Relationship Repair Game can be utilized in multiple ways. These skills and tools are applicable to any conflict, and each time you practice you will build and integrate the skills, thereby improving the quality of all relationships. The card deck becomes your personal, on-call relationship coach.
The card deck is generally used in three ways: individually for guidance and reflection, using it in dialogue to work through relationship difficulties 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 by using tools from some of the cards instead of the entire deck.
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 Activities, 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.