Recovering Intimacy Course Syllabus

In the Recovering Intimacy in Your Relationship course, Melissa Orlov will introduce you to the key elements of partnership intimacy, and help you develop the relationship skills to feel - and express - more affection and love.

Session 1 – Understanding Intimacy and Self Intimacy

  • What is intimacy?
  • An intimacy model that works
  • The four stages of most relationships
  • How intimacy is impacted by the everyday context of your relationship
  • How ADHD adds complexity to sustaining intimacy
  • Developing emotional self-awareness (self-intimacy, or SI)
  • The importance of accepting your own feelings, and how to do so
  • Examples of 'typical' interactions - anger, 'not good enough for you' and how SI helps stop them
  • Exercises for building SI skills

Session 2 – Preparing for Successful Conflict Intimacy

  • The 4 most common conflict styles
  • Identifying your own conflict style
  • Conflict style habits that are probably getting you in trouble
  • Validation is a tool that help you be more conversationally intimate and trustworthy
  • More tools - two types of structured conversations to get you started
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Seeking the positives in your partner and your life
  • Exercises for understanding your conflict style in more depth

Session 3 – Conflict Intimacy In-Depth

  • What is conflict intimacy? (CI)
  • Approaching difficult topics with CI
  • Power and control dynamics - how they interfere, and what to do about it
  • The 'AAA-rated relationship'
  • Five steps to identifying a mutually respectful CI process
  • Exercises - starting to develop your conflict intimacy skills

Session 4 - Improving Your Conversations - Right Now

  • The qualities of good conversations
  • Relationship scripts and emotional filters and how they can get in your way
  • Exploring whether a 'relationship reset' is right for you
  • Exercises to help you explore your own relationship scripts
  • Questions designed to introduce intimacy in your relationship

Session 5 – Affection Intimacy - Getting Going

  • Affection intimacy - getting started
  • How to use forgiveness to your advantage
  • Seeking the positive
  • Creating joy in your relationship
  • How CI promotes renewed love
  • How to make romance feel 'natural' again
  • One more physiological tool - mirror neurons
  • Exercises to explore affection intimacy and become friends again

Session 6 - Sex and Desire

  • Affection intimacy in the sexual realm
  • Sexual response, and arousal - a way to approach desire that really works
  • The importance of attachment styles - and exploring your own
  • Upping the desire quotient in your sex life
  • Sex positive contexts in ADHD-impacted relationships
  • Thinking about how you think about sex (i.e. meta-emotions) and why this matters
  • Some basic tactics for having more fun with sex

Session 7 - Review

  • Session 7 reviews all of the material and pulls it together


Return to Recovering Intimacy overview page for more information


This syllabus last updated on 3/20/16.