Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships | Joanne Davila | TEDxSBU

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People may know what a healthy romantic relationship looks like, but most don’t know how to get one. Psychologist and researcher Joanne Davila describes how you can create the things that lead to healthy relationships and reduce the things that lead to unhealthy ones using three evidence-based skills – insight, mutuality, and emotion regulation. Share this with everyone who wants to have a healthy relationship.

Dr. Joanne Davila is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA.
Dr. Davila’s expertise is in the area of romantic relationships and mental health in adolescents and adults, and she has published widely in this area. Her current research focuses on romantic competence among youth and emerging adults, the development of relationship education programs, the interpersonal causes and consequences of depression and anxiety, and well-being and relationship functioning among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.
Dr. Davila is a Fellow in the Association for Psychological Science and the Incoming Editor (2016-2022) for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Davila also is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in evidence-based interventions for relationship problems, depression, and anxiety.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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32 COMMENTS

  1. Communication is key to any relationship blossoming both on the same page and understand on each others feelings and empathy very important I feel too. these are great on top of the other ones I have heard. Thank u. 😀

  2. im in a 2 year relationship with my girlfriend im still learning and trying to understand how she believes and acts

  3. Hence why the role of a parent or parenting is the most important thing there is because it’s the beginning of all relationships a person is going to have in life. This a very vital role tht ppl must take with the grain of salt. Take it very seriously. Be intentional, conscientious of your role as a parent bc tht relationship is the foundation for how we do relationships for the rest of our lives. And if the relationship is dysfunctional, lawd it it going to take a lot of work to get it bk to normal

  4. People should be talking about this and teaching this kind of things during junior high or high school. This was simply the best advice I’ve got so far regarding this topic! This really is an idea worth sharing.

  5. – Know what you want and need in a relationship
    – Selecting the right person
    – Using the right skills from the absolute beginning
    – Insight, mutuality and emotion regulation form the basis for romantic competence
    – Ability to function adaptively
    – Figuring out what you need
    – Finding the right person
    – Building a right relationship
    – Getting out of unhealthy relationships
    – Insight is about awareness and understanding and learning
    – Better idea of who you are, what you want, what you need, why you do the things you do
    – Let you know your partner better
    – Anticipate positive and negative consequences of behavior
    – Learn from mistakes and allow yourself to behave differently in the future
    – Better understanding of what’s really right for you
    – Mutuality is about knowing that both people have needs and both needs matter
    – Able to convey own needs in a clear and direct fashion that increases the likelihood you’ll get them met
    – Willing to meet partners needs
    – Willing to support partner in their needs
    – Factor both peoples needs into decisions you make about your relationship
    – Emotion regulation is about regulating your feelings in response to things that happen in your relationship
    – You’ll be able to keep your emotions calm and keep things that happen in perspective
    – You’ll be able to tolerate uncomfortable feelings and not act out on them impulsively and be able to think through decisions more clearly
    – Maintain a sense of self respect and commitment to your needs even when bad things happen in your relationship
    – Ability to use these skills on a daily basis to have a healthy relationship
    – Stop making your partner read your mind. That doesn’t work. Say what you want
    – Girls who are more romantically competent felt more secure. Have better mental health. More optimistic about relationships. Engage in typical behavior in dating. Engage in fewer atypical or risky behaviors
    – In 18-25 year old men and women feel more secure and they can make better decisions and see the warning signs and make conscious decisions with confidence also better at seeking and providing support to their partners and ask for what they need and use what their partners give them and better at providing helpful support when needed
    – More satisfied, happier. Fewer depressive symptoms, fewer anxiety symptoms
    – Overall, being romantically competent at a young age is associated with greater relationship functioning and greater individual well being

  6. So. Insight is more like a behavior reflection, mutuality is communication and understanding, and emotion regulation is about how you control from within.

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  8. I would recommend anyone who is watching this and wanting to learn more on the subject, watch the videos of John Gottman & his wife!! Both PhD’s and I feel (with no disrespect) that they approach this subject in a much more information-rich, didactic, and competent way. As always I am still going to continue watching all info I can on the subject, but I can’t recommend the Gottman’s enough. Like if you went and watched and it helped!! I want people to find this info just like I NEEDED to find it!

  9. Healthy relationship require having a relationship.
    It is hard when all you feel is insecure.
    It is hard when you don’t feel like you deserve love.
    Knowing is easier than feeling.
    We all know what to do, how to feel but we don’t feel it the same way we know it.

  10. If you want to clone your partners phone and get all their messages and know who they text just contact hackiprince411@gmailcom ..

  11. I was graduated from the SBU, I missed the opportunity to take her romantic competence workshops. Kinda feeling regret

  12. Real Love comes with some sanity and purity. That's why I teach on "Puriting in Dating and Relationship" that you can follow as well. Best of Love!

  13. emotion regulation is the most difficult one. Words doesn't help, you actually get it from your parents if you are lucky enough.. Otherwise, psychotherapy for several years.. and there is no garantee you will ever be able to acheive the sense of security and self soothe, as someone with healthy upbringing would.

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