About the 10 Keys

Buried in piles of professional literature, we have uncovered the 10 Keys—the common factors or essential threads that are needed to build successful and lasting relationships.

Research has demonstrated that successful families can achieve the task of raising children who live independently and establish stable and harmonious relationships. Using the principles we teach in our book How’s Your Family, families can create a sense of closeness, a positive sense of family identity, provide support and encouragement through times of stress, and allow for the uniqueness of their members.

What are the 10 Keys?

Our work draws from extensive new brain research to highlight 10 essential keys that define successful families. These 10 Keys are:

  • Key #1: Talking and Listening
  • Key #2: Expressing Feelings
  • Key #3: Adapting to Change
  • Key #4: Sharing Time Together
  • Key #5: Who’s in Charge?
  • Key #6: Balancing Closeness
  • Key #7: Accepting Differences
  • Key #8: Seeing the Positive
  • Key #9: Effective Problem-Solving
  • Key #10: Parenting Together

The inspiration for creating the 10 Keys came from the thousands of families that reached out to us for help over the last 35 years. We have been asked the same question over and over: “Why didn’t we learn this information in school?” We’ve been able to uncover and synthesize the essential characteristics of healthy families to apply them in our practice, teaching, training of therapists, and in our own family. This is the course that we all wish had been offered in high school or college. Imagine the mistakes that could have been avoided had anyone taught us the essentials of healthy relating…

Learn more about the 10 Keys and how to implement them into your own family by reading our guidebook…


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