1st Edition

Resilient Relationships Techniques for Surviving Hyper-individualism, Social Isolation, and a Mental Health Crisis

By Christian Heim, Caroline Heim Copyright 2023
    280 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    "Christian and Caroline Heim have written a wise and valuable book on how to make marriages last." - Roy Baumeister, President of International Positive Psychology Association

    Designed to be used as a companion to couple therapy, this book is based on a trailblazing study of over 1400 individuals. It presents over 75 techniques to help relationships thrive in the long-term and provides insights into the challenges faced by contemporary couples.

    Through in-depth interviews, this book takes pertinent questions from young couples and puts them to couples who have been together for decades. The time-tested secrets of thriving couples are presented in a new guise for a new generation. Capturing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the study includes people from 52 countries and is the largest cross-sectional, multi-national study on long-term relationships to date. It highlights the dynamic and protective factors that lead to relationship longevity, as well as societal pressures, to guide therapists on how to manage these with their clients. The authors uncover how long-term relationships promote resilience, emotional, mental, and physical health, and protect against loneliness and harmful behaviours.

    Therapists and couples need to know what goes right in long-lasting relationships. Providing essential data and practical skills for psychologists, counsellors and other professionals, this book is a must-read for anyone working with couples to explore and understand what leads to resilient relationships in a harsh, complex world.

    Introduction Part I: The context 1. Resilient relationships versus hyper-individualism: selfish genes, altruism and attachment 2. Resilient relationships and mental health: attachment underlying both 3. Resilient relationships versus social isolation: effects of screen technology, atomization and distancing Part II: Our study 4. Survey findings: couples surviving COVID-19 5. Interview and survey findings: couples thriving 40+ years Part II: The techniques 6. Techniques to build pro-relational values 7. Techniques to build resilient relationships


    Christian Heim, FRANZCP, PhD, is Clinical Director of Tasmania North Mental Health Services, a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland, and a Churchill Fellow who gives keynotes internationally on preventative mental health. In private psychiatry, he subspecialized in war-related and severe childhood sexual trauma, and couple therapy where mental illness is prominent.

    Caroline Heim, PhD, is an associate professor at Queensland University of Technology. She has published two books in theatre studies. Caroline gives keynotes internationally, and her numerous articles cover various topics from global audiences to the mental health of her university students. Caroline is a certified Lifeline crisis counsellor and facilitator.

    “All three parts of the book offer insights for clinicians, researchers, and people interested in understanding and helping couples achieve relationship quality and longevity. Although the book is written with some mental health professional jargon, the way it is written still affords lay readers and real-life couples valuable wisdom.”

    Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

    Christian and Caroline Heim have written a wise and valuable book on how to make marriages last. Their insights are strongly grounded in evidence, including interviews with hundreds of individuals and special emphasis on couples who remain happy together after 40 years of marriage. In this era of longer lives and shorter relationships, how to achieve a resilient romantic relationship is a vital key to happiness, and this book offers plenty of specific and helpful advice. Anyone looking for a long-lasting relationship will find something useful in these pages.

    Professor Roy Baumeister, President of International Positive Psychology Association, Harvard University