#262 Skills for a Relational Life w/Kristy and Jerry

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This week on the WW podcast I interviewed Jerry Sanders and Kristy Gainsford.  

Jerry and Kristy Gainsford are both Licensed couples therapists who specialize in a distinct and effective form of couples therapy called Relational Life Therapy.     

Relational Life Therapy, or RLT as it is referred to, is a form of couples counseling that helps couples reduce conflict by focusing on communication, personal responsibility, and placing the relationship first.

Jerry and Kristy each have their own RLT counseling practice, hers in Salt Lake City and his in New York City, yet they co-host RLT workshops throughout the year. 

Their shared commitment to RLT and their years of partnership make this an episode you (and your adaptive child) will definitely want to hear! You’ll learn more about your adaptive child when you listen!

Questions I asked Christy and Jerry:

  • How much does our childhood play into our adult romantic relationships? 
  • Tell us about the “Timeout”
  • What is the Adaptive Child you refer to? 
  • Is there a skill to Repair after conflict? 
  • What percentage of relationships do you think are healthy? 
  • What do you see most often that’s the big issue in a relationship?

How is Relational Life Therapy different from traditional couples counseling?


Relational life therapy places the relationship at the center, that the health of the relationship is a focus, and it acknowledges that the work is less about the relationship or the other partner, but the work is on oneself. Each person’s job is to work on their own self esteem and learn how to deal with issues they carry from childhood.


In RLT, we take sides. We speak the truth. We don’t believe that every problem is 50/50. One partner may be causing 90% of the problems and the 10% the other partner causes is because they’re still there and are putting up with it. We will call this out by lovingly telling the truth. We will tell one partner this is what you are doing that’s damaging the relationship. I don’t blame you, but if you don’t stop, you are going to lose the relationship. And we not only tell them what looks wrong, but also how they could do it better.

How to get in touch with Kristy and Jerry:

Relationship Workshop

Kristy & Jerry’s Website

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