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Modules

Session 1

Building Love Maps (getting to know each other)

  • Creating romance and friendship

Session 2

Creating fondness and admiration

  • Building affection and viewing your partner from their positive attributes

Session 3

Learning to turn toward (not away)

  • How to let your partner know they have value, influence and power in the relationship.

Session 4

Learning to fight well and fairly

  • Addressing unhealthy and harmful communication skills and learning what's healthy and what's not

Session 5

How to make repairs

  • The power of forgiveness, correcting mistakes and rebuilding trust and faith instead of conflict

Session 6

Understanding solvable issues

  • Learning to work through issues that are stuck, but through compromise can be easily resolved

Sessions 7 and 8

Understanding perpetual issues

  • Managing ongoing stuck issues that are related to our values, morals and family history. Learning to respect and understand our intrinsic differences and how to work through them in ways that don’t create distress and injury to our relationship.

Session 9

Increasing romance and sex

  • Understanding why sex becomes routine and unfulfilling
  • Learning how to build lifelong passion, play and sex

Session 10

Building long-term dreams, values and goals

  • Exploring what each person wants for the future; individually and as a life partner, and how to get there.

"From knowledge springs not only love, but the fortitude to weather marital storms."

--Dr. John Gottman, psychology professor and author

Sample Exercise

As we journey through marriage -- through childbirth, aging parents, loss, new jobs, marital conflict, we stop taking the time to update our knowledge of our partners’ world.

We forget to connect - to ask questions like we did when we first began dating. 

In the "Love Maps" exercise, each person uses questions to dial in to their partner's current world. Their responses helps reignite their curiosity about who their partner is, what's important to them and how they have changed during the relationship.

  • Who is my favorite relative?
  • What stress am I facing right now?
  • What is one of my greatest fears or disaster scenarios?
  • What is my favorite movie?
  • What food do I hate?
  • What did I do yesterday? What do you remember?

What happens next?

We see couples begin to relax, to laugh with each other, to smile and to get physically closer as they reconnect.

Couples realize they stopped taking time to talk to each other. We watch them discover the power of curiosity and friendship. They make a plan for themselves, even in the midst of their demanding schedules.

Our Participants Share Their Insights

Sydney and I have been married now for almost a year. We took your 10 month course prior to because we were in love, had a child prior to our marriage, and wanted to know how to work together to be at our best when we were faced with challenges.

Your course sincerely reinforced our positive attributes together and also taught us new ways to handle common issues that happen to most couples—including us!

Instead of fielding our issues with our own precognitions, we are now able to draw on your research based, proven methods to work through challenges and strengthen our relationship in the process.

All told, there is no price we could put on stability, resilience, and the knowledge that most couples have similar challenges to others and there are proven ways to work through them as a team.

--Sydney & Chad

I left a marriage that failed because neither of us were able to be intimate, so that over time we grew apart until eventually we were in a lifeless relationship that existed solely to raise our children, and in which we were both emotionally dead.  I did not want to repeat this in my next relationship, and so my new partner and I came to Couples College to work on the skills required to be in intimate relationship with each other at the beginning of our relationship.  Over the ten months of the class we learned and practiced techniques and skills that were invaluable, and we really benefited from the conversation with other class participants of our respective experiences.  This was a completely invaluable class.  I can think of two or three separate occasions working on exercises with my partner in the class itself when we had blinding "Aha!" moments and saw clearly what was underneath what promised to be persistent problems in our relationship.  Of course we had many other moments like this when working together on our homework.  Seeing through our issues and potential issues with such clarity and cultivating the skills to talk and stay in relationship through them are wonderful gifts, and we both offer our enormous gratitude to the designers and instructors, Allie and Murray.

--Gareth

This class properly identifies issues that many relationships endure and gives proven techniques of how to work through those challenges together as a couple acting for the betterment of the relationship.
 
- Chad, married 5 years

Class has been a catalyst to our relationship working.

- Christine, married 5 years

It's one of the most practical and effective workshops I've ever done.

- Lorena, Therapist, married 32 years 

By attending this workshop you will absolutely learn more about your partner and will understand more about why something is or isn’t working in your relationship.

- Christina,  psychotherapist,  lesbian partnership

Murray and Allie taught me that a successful relationship is not defined by each of us having stopped all the things that made the other made. It's knowing how to kindly respond when someone messes up.

Excellent guide to relationship, eye opening

- Gwen, social worker, 1 year partnered, trying to figure the future out 

I think every couple before marriage should take this class. Our arguments declined and we were able to bounce back.

- Meg, teacher, married 6 years

I understand why I need to control my frustration with my partner and be more patient in helping him understand my perspective.

This class helped implement great exercises and practices for our marriage. I will make an honest effort to really focus using "I" instead of "U" conflict can be great, it's just how you do it.

- Sydney, married  3 years

Choose the challenge in your relationship

Why do we fight so much?
Can we recover from infidelity?
Why are we drifting apart?
Are we truly right for each other?
How can I explain this?

Work on Your Relationship Together

Start now -
with Counseling

When you feel desperate for change, or when you're thinking of leaving

Reserve Your Place in the
Couples College Course

Get information on the 10-month course and how it applies to your situation.