ERP 245: How To Build More Rapport in Your Relationship with Richard Bolstad

By Posted in - Podcast December 8th, 2020 0 Comments

Richard Bolstad has devoted his time to running workshops with his wife Julia and has authored many books on coaching and cooperative relationships. In this episode, we talk about how he became interested in couples therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and how this type of process can become a “User’s Manual for the brain.” We not only discuss NLP in detail but give vital examples of the elements of NLP.

He speaks about connection cues and why these are more important than conflict cues, and how connection cues turn into bids for a partner’s attention. Partners who pick up on this bid for attention connect and build rapport within the relationship. Breathing, body positions, and brain waves start to synchronize between the couple. When one partner ignores the other partner’s bid for attention, the relationship can start to break.

Couples aren’t willing to do the work until they feel like they are heard and seen. This process builds goodwill and reinforces their bond. Unless these components are part of a relationship, it’s hard to find a significant bond between two people.

Listen in to our conversation about the Japanese cultural art of Aikido is used as a metaphor for building relationships and aligning with someone else, the importance of self-soothing, and how partners can have negative responses toward each other during a conversation.

(Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear explanations, stories, and examples.)


A member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists, Richard runs training world-wide, both singly and with his wife, Julia Kurusheva. He is the author of many books on NLP, coaching, and cooperative relationships, published in 10 languages, including Transforming Communication and The Rapport Based Family. Instructors teach his “Transforming Communication” cooperative relationships course in more than 14 languages. Richard also runs training on conflict resolution in war zones and after major disaster events.

In this episode, Richard and Dr. Jessica Higgins discuss: 

  • How NLP can be used to guide couples relationships
  • Examples of NLP framework in action
  • Why cues and bids for attention are important inside a relationship
  • How to people can build rapport amongst each other
  • The physical effects building rapport causes inside a relationship
  • Engines that drive the verbal and nonverbal responses towards a partner

“What people usually call thinking is made up of the things they picture visually inside their head, what they say to themselves and listen to, and what they pay attention to.” By Richard Bolstad

  • How to enrich your couples experience by paying attention to your inputs
  • The ability and exercise of how to create an emotional anchor for yourself
  • Differences in sensory systems between two people
  • How to reinforce the bond between you and your partner

“Instead of manipulating or doing things to influence someone else, find elements that will co-create a relationship.” By Richard Bolstad



ERP 245: How to Build More Rapport in Your Relationship, an Interview With Richard Bolstad

Connect with  Richard Bolstad

Visit Richard on the web

Find out more about Neurolinguistic Programming

Richard Bolstad on Linkedin

Connect with Dr. Jessica Higgins:  






Twitter: @DrJessHiggins 


Email: [email protected]

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Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication.

Stop the criticism loop, learn new ways to communicate
and strengthen the connection with your partner.


Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching