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Relationship Skills in the Toolkit

Relationship skills included in the Relationship Repair Game; a DIY toolkit which will improve the quality, ease, connection and trust in all relationships.

What Relationship Skills, Tools and Tips are in the Relationship Repair Game?

The relationship challenges, wounds and opportunities for growth live in the body, mind and spirit. The Relationship Repair Game engages each of these realms: Users are guided in a range of responses to relationship conflict, including internal inquiry and reflection, feeling and sensing, verbal communication, nonverbal expression, writing, drawing, music, movement, meditation, moving energy, and practical tasks.

The relationship skills contained in many self-help and personal growth books and cards have inspirational cues such as "Speak your Truth" and "Develop Compassion"; yet are unclear about how and what we actually do. We have designed the Relationship Repair Game to be directly applicable, with options you can tailor to your own relationship.


  • Active Listening Exercises
  • Validating Emotions
  • Authenticity without Blame
  • Utilizing Intentions/Goals
  • Empathic Listening
  • Transforming Anger / Guilt
  • Approaching as a Team
  • Using a Peace Pause
  • Do No Harm Commitments
  • Making Specific, Direct Requests
  • Developing Forgiveness
  • Embracing the Shadow
  • Separating Intent from Impact
  • Discerning Past Resentments

Where did these relationship skills come from?

  • Setting Clear Boundaries
  • Developing Acceptance
  • Healing Attachment Issues
  • Taking Accountability
  • Re-writing the Story
  • Releasing Energy in the Body
  • Confronting Cognitive Distortions
  • Surrendering Control
  • Challenging Core Beliefs
  • Transforming Triangulation
  • Interrupting Argument Cycles
  • Healing Childhood Wounds
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Self-Soothing/Calming Techniques

Gratitude and Acknowledgements

"Interrupt the Pattern" - A relationship skill from the deck

"Interrupt the Pattern" - A relationship skill from the deck

I would like to thank the teachers and pioneers whose dedication to creating healing within and between people inspired many of the relationship skills and tools adapted for this card deck. These include:

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg and “The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Dr. Ellen Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson and “The Couple’s Institute

Dr. Harville Hendrix and “Imago Relationships

Dr. Jeffrey Young and “Schema Therapy

Dr. Sue Johnson and “Emotionally Focused Therapy

Dr. David Schnarch and “Crucible Therapy

Dr. Stan Tatkin and “The PACT Institute

Dr. Aaron Beck and “Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Dr Peter Levine and “Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute

Drs. John and Julie Gottman and “The Gottman Institute

I am grateful for the supportive friends and family who encouraged and believed in this endeavor, and for the loving guidance and medicines of the plants.

Stuart Watson
Family Mediator; Portland, Oregon
Author of the Relationship Repair Game