Restorative Relationship Conversations
A Process to Heal Your Past and Resolve Relationship Conflict
by 

David Cooley

When conflict happens between partners, it's vital for the health of the relationship that it gets acknowledged and worked through in order to prevent the accumulation of toxic emotions and resentment. Past relationship ruptures, unresolved fights, or even small misunderstandings can create disconnection, distrust, and the loss of safety together.

Many partners struggle with how to move forward from regrettable events because talking about them usually just makes it worse. Because each individual can have a different relationship to conflict, as well as different ideas about how to handle it, it's important to have support from a coherent and structured approach to managing interpersonal conflict.

What are Restorative Relationship Conversations?

  • Inspired by Restorative Justice, RRC offers a unique model for addressing conflict and unresolved past events, creating a safe space in which individuals can have difficult conversations.

     

  • Restorative Relationship Conversations are facilitated by a trained professional, following very specific guidelines that are designed to keep everyone in the process feeling heard and respected.

  • The goal of the process is to give everybody the chance to talk about how they have been affected by a particular situation and, ultimately, agree on what needs to be done to repair any harm caused and how to move forward.

  • One of the major benefits of this style of addressing conflict is that it can be modified to meet the needs of your relationship’s unique culture and circumstances. In other words, the process of a Restorative Conversation can be integrated and normalized so that individuals can skillfully navigate conflict when it arises again.

Who Is This Process For?

  • RRC is for individuals in relationship that struggle to work through unresolved conflict on their own. They recognize that they need help and are looking for a practical means of transforming their conflict into deeper intimacy and self-growth.

     

  • RRC is not meant to be a long term therapeutic process. The majority of individuals are able to get their needs met within one to two sessions because the practice focuses on very specific events or issues from the past that still need to get worked through. The process ends with the creation of a tangible agreement between partners about what specifically needs to be done to heal the harm and move forward in the relationship.

 

How Does It Work?

  • After making initial contact with me, I will reach out to interested parties in order to schedule a pre-process conversation. This conversation lasts an hour, takes place via Zoom, and has the purpose of giving us a chance to get to know each other a bit, share details about the issue we'll be dealing with in-session, as well as give me the opportunity to explain exactly what you can expect during the Restorative Relationship Conversation.

     

  • Next we will find a date for the actual Restorative Relationship Conversation, which is scheduled for 2 hours. In some cases, individuals don't need the whole time to reach an agreement and sometimes another session is necessary, depending on the severity of the situation.

What Is The Commitment?

The total investment for a single RRC process, is $425 for two sessions

  • Session One: 1 hour Consultation ($175)

  • Session Two: 2 hour Restorative Relationship Conversation ($250)

About
David Cooley

My journey towards developing the Restorative Relationship Conversation model began working in the field of Restorative Justice. This is a modality that falls under the larger umbrella of Restorative Practices, which is an emerging field revolutionizing the way we think about and handle conflict. As a professional Restorative Circle facilitator and trainer, I was continuously struck by the power of dialogue, within a safe and structured container, to radically transform conflict into a tremendously healing process. In particular, I noticed that what ultimately brought people to our process was inevitably the need to repair some kind of relationship rupture.

 

After my marriage of 10 years ended in divorce, I experienced a personal crisis that left me in desperate need of deep self-exploration. I realized there were still many things I personally needed to work on and develop in terms of my ability to communicate and manage my own triggers in relationship. My personal process eventually led to the field of Attachment Theory, which inspired me to examine the role attachment issues play in relationship conflict, deepening my understanding of the way unresolved conflicts inevitably resurface and undermine our connections with our partners. This new clarity inspired me to return to the restorative conflict model I had previously used and re-image it as an important tool for helping individuals with lingering relationship wounds to find resolution. Through the Restorative Relationship Conversation model, I am privileged to share my passion for facilitating new and healthier models of conflict resolution that offer legitimate means of reconciliation, particularly in the context of intimate relationships.