Public event

We are very excited to be able to invite you to our Pluralogue CPD event, Understanding the Eternal Triangle.

With: Susan Quilliam

Date: Sunday 23 February 2020

Venue: Room 2, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London SE1 7NQ

See map

About the topic

When an intimate partnership shifts to include another person – or more than one other person – this is often called an ‘Eternal Triangle’.

This triangle has occurred throughout history – from Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot through to the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky, from the Canterbury Tales through to Downton Abbey. The triangle typically brings with it feelings of extreme joy, extreme pain. Individuals on all sides of the triangle may suffer. Yet, many continue to be drawn back to such complicated relationships.

This theme has always intrigued me – and for my book The Eternal Triangle (1990), I interviewed 50 partners from all sides of the dynamic. Over the subsequent three decades, I’ve considered the issue further through my writing, teaching and coaching; have watched while society has struggled with the issues; and have learned how professional therapeutic support for triangular issues has become ever more informed, supportive and helpful.

In this Pluralogue, I’m offering the opportunity to increase our understanding of Eternal Triangles from a professional perspective, while bearing in mind how our own attitudes to triangular relationships have a bearing on our practice.

Susan Quilliam

What’s included

The focus during this Pluralogue will be on the exploration and understanding of Eternal Triangles, in order that participants may then go on to integrate their own therapeutic models when working with clients. And although this particular workshop will not ‘teach’ theoretical application as such, no doubt our shared professional experiences/knowledge may naturally weave such models into our discussions.

The afternoon will be interactive rather than presentational, and will include facilitated reflection, paired and small group exercises and much opportunity for exchanging views.

The aim is to understand for ourselves and to support client understanding by considering topics which include the following:

  • what are triangular relationships in intimate partnership?
  • what are the problems and opportunities of triangles?
  • why are triangles so distressing?
  • what explanations do we currently have about why triangles are so pervasive?
  • what do our clients experience in the early stages of distressful triangles?
  • what do our clients need in order to cope with the long-term fall out of triangles?
  • what do we need our clients to understand about triangles?

PLEASE NOTE: For this Pluralogue you’ll be asked to prepare in advance by reflecting on your views and personal/professional experiences of triangular relationships of all kinds. There will be opportunity to share your reflections during the workshop – but absolutely no requirement to do so!

About Susan Quilliam

Susan is a coach, writer and facilitator specialising in the issue of intimate relationships. Her books include two for Relate – How to Stay Together and Stop Arguing Start Talking – and a reworking of The Joy of Sex (2008).

Her interest in what happens when partners ‘look outside’ their relationship began in 1990 when she wrote her interview-based book The Eternal Triangle (PanMacmillan).

Susan serves on the Council for Sexuality and Sexual Health at the Royal Society of Medicine, is the Patron of the Outsiders charity, and is an Ambassador for Relate Cambridge.

Susan has previously delivered an expanded version of this Pluralogue to counsellors from Relate Cambridge, Relate Scotland and Grayrock Health Training.

About the Pluralogue

For those new to this event, the Pluralogue is a space where we get together to both learn and socialise, meet some new colleagues and find out what others are up to, as well as enjoy some food and drink whilst digesting new ideas.

The term ‘Pluralogue’ was coined by Doron many years ago, to depict moving beyond monologue to dialogue: to pluralogue (the conversation of many). We hope to learn together and from each other in the form of a learning community in a friendly atmosphere with the added fun of dining together.

The added bonus is that we structure it as a CPD event so you will be able to count it as CPD hours (a CPD certificate will be provided as well).


1pm–2pm: Lunch

2pm–3.15pm: Part 1

3.15pm–3.45pm: Tea break

3.45pm–5pm: Part 2

Booking information

Places cost:

  • £35 for Relational Spaces members
  • £45 for non-members

To confirm your booking please email us at and we will reply with details of how to pay.

Please use your name + PL28 as reference.

Cancellation policy

Please note we do not offer refunds for our Pluralogue events. However, if you ask to cancel your booking more than 7 days before the event, you’ll receive a one-time use (no-cancellation) credit for a future event.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Warm regards,

Darren, Dianne, Doron and Cressy

07848 013 328
07426 336 322

Image by Doron Levene.