This course explores the nature of intimate relationships from a family systems perspective as well as a psychological perspective. The family systems perspective provides students with a better understanding of the varied relationship patterns (triangles, cut-off, conflict, etc.) that couples and families inherit as relationship templates from prior generations, as well as the process of changing these patterns. Addionally, due to the variety of stresses families are forced to cope with (addictions, divorce, spouse and child abuse, etc.), this course also explores the impact of trauma and addiction on intimate relationships, the healing process that helps transform victims into survivors (a prerequisite to healthier relationships), and the nature of healthy intimate relationships.