Get out of the Relationship Death Cycle & Improve Connection

Learn that patterns of behavior that unravel connection and key steps to repair the damage of the broken relationship.
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  • Lectures 8
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

This course explores the way in which couples find themselves disconnected in their relationship. It is based on 30 years of research by Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. The course takes a look at how couples engage in similar patterns of behavior when they are emotionally wounded as a way of coping with how they feel. Often times, these patterns lead to disconnection rather than desired closeness.

The course will take a few hours to complete. Students will be given handouts along with the course that they can use to discuss the principles taught with their partner.

The course contains a collection of short educational videos that outline ways to build deeper connection and the barriers to connection.

If you or a loved one is affected by addiction in your relationship, this course will help you to have a better understanding of steps that can be taken to begin the healing process.

What are the requirements?

  • Although not manditory, students would benefit from taking the other courses dealing with addiction offered by Udemy by this instructor.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the difference between codepedent behaviors and effective dependency
  • See how wounds from the past led to building walls of protection that led to prisons of defensiveness
  • Determine which games you and your partner play in the relationship death spiral
  • Identify key steps for getting out of the spiral safely
  • Increase awareness of barriers to connecting at a deeper level
  • Use empathic vulnerability as a way of deepening connection with your loved one

What is the target audience?

  • This course was created for couples who are struggling disconnection in part because one (or both) of the partners are battling addiction. However, the principles in the course can be applicable to any couple who is seeking deeper connection. The course covers a basic overview of the traps and patterns that couples find themselves in that undermine connection. It also covers ways to step out of the pattern. This course is not a substitute for couples counseling.
  • Individuals who are looking at understanding patterns of disconnection and looking for tools to improve their relationship will find value in this course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Understanding Attachment Wounds and Defenses

Students will understand how attachment wounds can lead to behaviors that disrupt connection. Students will observe how there are typically two ways of dealing with the pain - pulling away or going on the attack.

Students will also learn how defense mechanisms that originally were built as a way of protection lead to entrapment in pain. Students are asked to consider what some of their defenses have been and how they still use today.


Students will learn that being dependent on others is not necessarily a bad thing depending on how it is done.

Students will see that co-dependent behaviors are based on not taking any personal ownership for ones own feelings and behaviors. They will also see that Effective Dependency is different in that the person takes ownership for their own feelings and behaviors and then seeks for healthy ways to share these with others.

3 questions

Show understanding of the difference between the two.

Section 2: The Games We Play in the Death Spiral

Students will learn about the four styles of behavior that leads to disconnection:

  1. District Attorney - Blaming, Attacking, Finding the Bad Guy
  2. Union President - Playing the Victim, going on strike
  3. Fire Chief - Trying to rescue the other person, trying to fix things, telling people what to do
  4. Escape Artist - Finding a way out of the situation

Students will see how when one person in the relationship starts to play dress up, the other the person tends to start playing dress up too.


Students will learn keep steps to getting out of the cycle. Students will see that the other person in the relationship is not the enemy.

  1. See that we are in the spiral, calling it out, and stopping it
  2. Identify which games you were just playing
  3. Own which emotions are present that led to playing dress up in the first place
  4. Share the core emotions
  5. Ask for what you need

Students will explore the process of going deeper into emotion with one's partner and the fear that may arise in doing so. Students will see that naming the emotion instead of hiding it provides power to move towards connection.


Students will see how empathy is crucial to encouraging intimacy. Students will learn the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Codependency and Effective Dependency
3 questions
Section 3: Growing up

Students will explore some of the barriers that make it harder to be vulnerable. Students will learn that there are tools and resources that can help overcome the barriers.


Based on the work of Mary Pipher, PhD, students will explore the 12 skills of the adult self. Students will rate themselves on how well they have mastered these skills. Students are encouraged to download the rating form prior to viewing this video.

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Instructor Biography

Troy L. Love, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Troy serves as the President and Clinical Director of Courageous Journeys Counseling and Consulting Services. He has over 17 years of experience in the mental health field. Troy received his Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, PA in 2000 and much of his training has focused on addiction recovery. Troy has also been trained in Emotionally Focused Couples therapy (EFT), the only research verified couples counseling model in existence. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements while participating in EFT.

Troy specializing in working with individuals trauma related concerns, couples struggling in their relationships, and individuals who numb their pain through compulsive or addictive behaviors. Troy also helps couples and individuals who are experiencing sexual issues that reduce the ability for physical intimacy.

Troy's clinical focus is to help individuals make the changes in their lives that they want to make while helping them remove the barriers, traumatic emotional responses, and belief systems that keep them stuck.

Troy is currently the Lead facilitator of the LifeStar Network, a sexual addictions program. Troy is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona Western College for over eight years. In addition, Troy is certified as a Human Resources Professional and has over six years of experience as a Leadership Consultant providing leadership coaching, conflict mediation, and strategic planning.

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