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August 21, 2020 | Andrew Hurst 

Tulsa, Oklahoma


With billions of views from audiences around the world, TEDx Talks has experienced tremendous growth since its founding in 1984. The organization, now a regular household and professional resource, is fostering today's ideals of self-improvement and continued learning. In 18 minutes or less, viewers can learn about a wide variety of subjects through insight shared by renowned thought leaders and industry experts.

For Brad Robinson, LMFT, a Marriage and Family Therapist based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the opportunity to present for TEDx Talks was a milestone and a crowning achievement for his counseling practice. As an international influencer in couple's therapy, Robinson presented his topic, "What Makes Love Last" in April of this year. 

Robinson began his presentation by posing thought-provoking yet straightforward questions:

"Why do people stop loving each other? What makes a relationship stand the test of time?"

From there, he expressed his life's biggest "aha" moments-personal revelations that shaped his understanding of relationships and would also direct his practice specifically in helping to restore broken trust within marriages.

Throughout his 10-minute presentation, he shared research and personal anecdotes with the audience on what makes love last. He discussed his previous bout with depression during his private practice career and how his wife's response preserved his professional drive and self-esteem. "What I heard was support," he said during his presentation. "I heard, 'you can do this. Don't give up. This is your dream'. I heard encouragement." He shared how, ultimately, his wife's support and transparency with each other are what brought both of them out of this dark period. 

Reflecting on his presentation, he said, "overall, I would say the experience was a positive one."

Preparation

The experience also certainly stretched and challenged him. He was approached by the organization just 45 days before the presentation date, causing him to expedite his research and preparation.

"I went to work, and any of my free time went into preparing for the talk. Thankfully my wife was supportive because the free time I had was devoted to sorting out how I would do the talk. It wasn't until I had one week left that I cracked the code and knew I was really headed in the right direction." 

In preparation for TEDx Talks, Robinson presented before 11 live audiences in the two weeks before the presentation date. He even called up his former Toastmasters Club to present before them and receive constructive criticism. "That was an invaluable experience because I got immediate feedback, and I could see what was resonating or not resonating with the audience each time I spoke. I went through four fully written speeches that I had rehearsed and finally found the right one nine days before I was supposed to speak at our event."

Looking back on this experience and his career thus far, he believes that his time pursuing a degree in church ministry at his alma mater, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), has had a significant influence on his public speaking abilities.

"I thought I was going to be in a preaching ministry, but I think God allowed me to go in that direction because those skills wouldn't have been developed and I wouldn't have had some of the experiences I've had today, had I not developed and refined those gifts," he says. 

Marriage Solutions 

Since graduating from SAGU in 2004, Robinson received his Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy from Oral Roberts University and opened his private practice, Marriage Solutions, nine years ago.

Brad with wife, Morgan, and their two children, Luke and Brenna
Brad with wife, Morgan, and their two children, Luke and Brenna
 

"What really distinguishes my practice from others is I've limited what my area of concentration is going to be. When I started, I wasn't interested in being a therapist that was a generalist. I wanted to have a very narrow focus and specialization. That specialization has resulted in me being an expert at helping couples heal from broken trust, which includes problems like communication, but goes deeper into infidelity and marriages in crisis."

Robinson's expertise eventually opened the door for a podcast, "Healing Broken Trust." When the show was regularly produced, it was more popular than Depok Chopra and one of Dr. Drew's podcasts. Since its launch, the podcast has had a total of over 1.6 million downloads and now averages over 30,000 downloads per month. Robinson stated that its success has allowed him to work with couples from all over the world and in all 50 states. Today, Robinson also leads seminars for churches and businesses on how to have healthy relationships. 

So, one has to ask - what led Robinson to focus on relationships and specifically, marriage and family therapy? Why is this such a passionate topic for him?

When he was just four years old, his parents divorced. He still remembers the deep pain and brokenness felt by him and his family. As a child, he had a hard time processing the reasoning behind their split only to find out later that it resulted from his father's infidelities. 

Later, as a young adult, he struggled to understand what enables a lasting and healthy relationship. To learn for himself and improve his understanding of this subject for ministry, he began studying marriage and family therapy. "I thought that if I am meant to be a pastor, then this would be helpful with that, but if I'm not meant to be a pastor, then this is something I think I'd enjoy doing," he said.

He eventually decided that full-time therapy was a more suitable route for his professional career, and over time, the continued success of his practice and podcast confirmed that decision.

"What I enjoy most about what I do is people don't stay in crisis. If they did it would be a very difficult job to have. What drives me is having grown up in a broken family and knowing that there are people who need help and solutions and knowing there are solutions to give them. We hear every day about how our podcast has helped someone I'll never meet repair their marriage."

To date, Robinson's Ted Talk has over 150,000 views, and the video will accumulate more views over time. He hopes that the information shared will provide value to couples searching for answers to many of the questions he once had as a young adult.

Regarding what he is most looking forward to in the future, Robinson simply shares, "helping people in any way I can."

To view Robinson's TedxTalks, click here

To learn more about "Healing Broken Trust," click here


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