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What will the workshop be like?

The two-hour class is loosely structured like this:

  • 15 minutes for questions about the course, the homework and ongoing struggles in partnership
  • 30-40 minutes of instructional couples education
  • One hour of work with your partner exclusively practicing the skills for that month
  • 15 minutes of closing discussion on the skills we practiced, as well as reviewing homework assignment

What you can expect from each session:

Couples can expect to be in a comfortable and relaxed classroom environment. Primarily the work is done between partners. This is time you have each devoted to talk and share with one another. Many couples call it “date night.” Group discussion is voluntary and is a great opportunity to listen, gain knowledge and support from others. You can expect to leave each session with healthier skills and confidence in managing your relationship. Couples are assigned homework to work on between sessions.

Sample Exercise

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

-- Dr. John Gottman, psychology professor and author

 

As we transition to different areas of life during a marriage: childbirth, loss, new jobs, marital conflict, we stop taking the time to update our knowledge of our partners’ world. This is due to being distracted with all the business of life. We forget to ask the friendship questions that we tend to ask when we first begin dating. Research shows that couples who continually update each other’s worlds manage stress and conflict in ways that don’t impair the partnership.

In one exercise during the workshop, couples will learn to update their knowledge of their partners using an extensive list of questions we provide. These questions help partners reignite their curiosity about who their partner is.

  • Name my two closest friends
  • 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?

When the couples complete this exercise, they learn whether they have become disconnected or if they continue to know each other. This is a way to have fun, build intimacy and to evaluate whether this is a strength or an area that needs improvement.

Testimonials

This workshop really helped my partner and I understand why we were having the difficulties we were having and helped us create a language to talk about them in a more effective manner.  It also helped normalize what we were going through and helped us see that we were encountering obstacles that could be overcome.  Most importantly, it helped us understand what kinds of things could help us overcome the struggles.  

--Mahlet

Considering the Course?

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