Our Story

Where It All Began

In 2010, Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LeKelly Hunt, Ph.D., met with a group of their friends and colleagues who were fellow relationship scientists, counselors, and advocates. The group discussed ways to make relationship education available to the public, not limited to a therapy clinic, so people would have access to teachable skills before they had relationships in crisis.

The group charged Harville and Helen to begin the project with their process called Safe Conversations®. Dallas was selected as the location to begin the social experiment, and the initial workshops were received with wild success. Soon after, the organization was established, and a Leader Training Program was developed. Now, Safe Conversations has Trained Leaders around the world offering workshops and sharing the proven process in communities everywhere.

The Original Collaborative

Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt
John & Julie Gottman
Jeff Zeig
Dan Siegel
Caroline Welch
Scott & Joanie Kriens
Stan Tatkin & Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin
Scott & Theresa Beck
Douglas Abrams & Rachel Carlton Abrams
Doug & Judy Anderson
Peter Pearson & Ellyn Bader

Community Partners

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the many organizations and companies that have joined our mission. Our partners learn Safe Conversations, practice it among their teams, and pass it on to their communities and audiences.

Our History

What began as a social experiment has become a full-fledged entity organized for one purpose: to help bring about a relational culture in which relationship is the primary value, equality is universal, difference is celebrated, and all conversations are safe and collaborative.

2010: First Think Tank

Top relationship scientists first met in August 2010 to find a way to get the relational sciences out of the therapy office and into the culture

2011: Adopted Two-Fold Mission

The think tank met twice a year and decided to:
1) Impact the culture with the value of healthy relationships.
2) Be a repository for state-of-the art relational information/research.

2012: Beyond Couples

The think tank agreed that being in relationship is our fundamental essence. Relationships are not limited to couples, and the organization wouldn't be either.

2013: An Official Nonprofit

The organization was named Relationships First and became a 501(c)(3) on November 7, 2013 with a board of directors and working committees.

2014: Selected Dallas to Begin

The need in Dallas was partly defined by the divorce rates in Dallas ranking among the top 10 cities across the nation.

2015: Engaged the Community

Workshops began. 2,400 adults and 500 children attended. 60 mental health providers and 150 community members volunteered. 100+ city organizations and churches partnered. Research about the impact began.

2016: International Stage

Safe Conversations streamed a live event February 11, 2016. 2,100 parents and kids attended. 15,000 watched online in 38 countries.

2017: Growth of Programs

Drs. Hendrix and Hunt published The Space Between. Workshops continued and became available digitally. The Leader Training Program grew.

2018: Focus Areas Identified

Five key areas to work with were identified: couples, communities, centers of faith, classrooms, and corporations. Materials were translated into 10 languages.

2019: Corporate Workshops Began

The first corporate workshop was held in New York City at Vice Media. 100% of participants said they would use SC when talking with their coworkers.

2020: For the Public Benefit

Safe Conversations formed as a for-profit public benefit corporation to better meet the needs of those all over the globe seeking relationship support.

Join Us

We can't do it alone. Please join our mission. Attend a workshop to learn Safe Conversations for yourself. Be trained to lead workshops in your community. Or contact us about bringing Safe Conversations to your company, school, or group.