My personal and professional advocacy for “Relish” started during a search for tools to maximize couples’ results in therapy. I was looking for something that kept clients engaged in the process of achieving their goals and fostering more connection and positivity in their relationship. The search was inspired by evidence-based research from relationship expert, Dr. John Gottman. Relish was the best resource I found hands down, and was actually created based on Gottman’s principles, in addition to other therapeutic modalities I noticed in the app.
“The difference between happy and unhappy couples is the balance between positive and negative interactions during conflict. For every negative interaction, there should be five positive interactions. If a couple can revive and express admiration and respect for each other, they are more likely to approach conflict resolution as a team, and the growth of their sense of “we-ness” will keep them as connected and increase relationship satisfaction.” DR. John gottman, relationship expert
How Does it Work?!
When you sign up for Relish, you take multiple quizzes to determine your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. It also collects information to determine your love language and attachment style (this can be really helpful for couples therapy!) The quizzes are great start to build insight and awareness into how you and your partner mutually impact the relationship. Then, you unlock your weekly plan.
What’s in the Plan?
Glad you asked! This is my favorite and most important part of the app.
First, it gives you a short activity to do independently based on your goals. It’s great because these activities are quick, simple, reflective, and helpful. (Disclosure, I signed up and participate weekly as well! I think that Relish is great for me to use as well to monitor and maintain the health of my own relationship!) My activity this week was to text my partner something fun and flirty. Additionally, it provided me with prompts to make the process easier, but still remain personal and authentic. Then boom, sent it right through the app!
Next, you’re given a relevant, educational, and simplified article to help shed some light on the issue you’re dealing with. These lessons are packed with useful and credible information. Relish does a great job at taking relationship research from therapy superstars like Ester Perel and condensing it into easily digestible content for all it’s users.
A deeper analysis is included, but optional (and soo worth doing!) I was really impressed with the content!
A final activity is given, then you are given the opportunity to reflect about what you just learned and did. (Fun fact, reflection improves retention of the lesson😜!) Relish allows you to keep these reflections private or share them with your partner. This is a great ‘in session’ opportunity for couples in therapy to discuss reflections in session to cultivate mutual insight, compassion, and empathy.
Other features: Customized date night plan per week, access to a library of entertaining and interesting articles to improve your relationship, date night generator, access to a community of relish users for support, quizzes to help you establish things to work on, gives you both your love languages and how to incorporate that into your relationship, attachment style activities with tips for how to manage the similarities and differences you may experience, a chat feature with a relationship coach, and more!
Is a relationship coach the same thing as a couples therapist? No. That’s why I think that this is great to use in conjunction with couples therapy. I really love how Relish has a real staff of relationship coaches on the team, which contrasts most apps who use robots to simulate a personal experience. However, the coaches are there to help assign you lessons based off of your messages together. The interactions are brief, completed via text message, and not intended to provide you with the same experience you get in couples therapy. The support is still valuable though, especially for couples who do not meet the criteria for couples therapy.
Why I Love Couples Therapy and the Relish App in Combination
Relish gives couples fun, meaningful activities to implement what they’re learning in their daily routine
It’s not about “homework,” instead it’s daily gentle reminders, weekly goals and quality, therapist-approved content
24/7 access to content including tools needed to cope with relationship issues arising in between sessions
An opportunity for regular self-reflection for both partners
Relish activities can be used to implement positive behavior changes and gives opportunities for therapists to provide feedback on the process.
Relish gives couples an opportunity to learn about each other, which can prompt important conversations about growth and progress in couples therapy.
Clients will have a place to journal their thoughts, and share them with their partner or with their therapist.
Relish can make the work more effective. Clients will have an opportunity to self-reflect between sessions and be better educated in terms of self and partner awareness, potentially reducing the time it takes to get to the “root” of the issues.
It reinforces what clients learn in session, with the reassurance of a consistency of approach.
It can open clients up to discussing new ideas and approaches. This may inspire clients be more curious, ask richer questions, and to learn more overall.
It encourages regular connection between the couple, which can often be an underlying and undetected issue.
Relish normalizes couples’ struggles and empowers them to seek solutions, potentially easing clients who battle shame/guilt around relationship conflict and encouraging them to embrace vulnerability.
Relish truly aligns with both my clinical and personal values, which is the most important thing to me when choosing services to advocate.
Ask your therapist if utilizing Relish is right for you!
How I Got Involved with Relish
As a therapist, my number one goal is to ensure that I’m providing my clients with a space to achieve their therapeutic goals. Relationships are one of the most complex aspects of our lives. I believe that challenges individuals and couples bring into therapy could be “common challenges”, but addressing their unique experiences, personalities, and actions is the key to accomplishing the long term success they desire. This belief guides my clinical practice!
Why is this important?? Great “client centered” therapy thats most effective requires flexibility and collaboration on behalf of the therapist. I try to understand my clients’ world and provide interventions specific to suit them best. I’m constantly reviewing new research, experimenting with therapeutic tools, and evaluating new strategies to ensure I‘m pulling from a rich+diverse therapeutic toolset.
During my research a few months ago, I came across Relish and immediately connected with the content and mission of the service. After testing the app myself, I reached out to the company to see if there was a way I could get involved. My goal is to support the work they are doing to spread healthy relationship knowledge and incorporate it into my clinical work. click here to download relish now!