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Premarital and Marital Education. The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of:

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Presentation on theme: "Premarital and Marital Education. The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Premarital and Marital Education

2 The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of: Jennifer L. Baker, Psy.D. Anne B. Summers, Ph.D. Debbi Steinmann, M.A. Training Instructor / Mentors Melissa A. Gibson, M.S. Kim Rozell, M.A. Graduate Assistants Brent Anderson, M.S. Matthew Biller, M.A. Cate Brandon, M.A Dawn Clinard, M.A. Jessie Clinton, M.S. Tabitha Carlson, M.S. Anup Jonathan Tony Larson, B.A. Nicole Mannis, M.A. Robert Mindrup, M.S.S.W. Colleen Quinn, Ph.D. Amber Schafer, M.A. Amanda Schroeder, B.S.

3 Why Invest in Premarital/ Marital Education? Do most people pay their cable bill? Do most people feed their dog? Do most people try to repair their roof when it is leaking? Do most people attempt to give their car a tune up when necessary?

4 What is Premarital/Marital Education? Premarital/Marital Education… Is for couples before and after marriage. Is for couples whose marriages are not in serious trouble. Can make good marriages better. Is NOT therapy or counseling, but it is educational in nature.

5 Premarital/ Marital Education... Teaches couples skills to increase communication, resolve conflict, and solve problems successfully. Creates a safe and open environment Allows each person to decide how much s/he will say or participate.

6 Premarital/Marital Education Format Recent research suggests that having a greater number of sessions may positively impact a couples relationship satisfaction. An increased number of sessions provides a greater number of opportunities for couples to practice what they are learning in class.

7 Why Do We Need Premarital/Marital Education? Young couples marrying for the first time have approximately a 40% to 50% chance of divorce. A stable marriage is not necessarily a happy marriage. Marital distress places adults and children at increased risk for mental and physical problems. Males are more likely to attend relationship workshops and seminars, than counseling or therapy.

8 Key Potential Benefits of Premarital/Marital Education What expectations about relationships are reasonable and what expectations are not acceptable? Couples learn about services for immediate or future use. Positively impacts overall well-being of children.

9 What Does Premarital/Marital Education Have to Do With Children? Unhappy, unstable relationships and/or parental divorce greatly impact a child. Some researchers suggest that it is impossible to measure the effect that results from witnessing parents negative interactions.

10 What Does Premarital/Marital Education Have to Do With Children? Children of divorced parents may have a more difficult time trusting others and establishing intimate relationships later in their own relationships. Couples with especially high-conflict interactions may have children with adjustment problems and/or disorders.

11 Positive Outcomes: Couples Slow down to avoid poor decisions. Learn new communication and problem solving skills. Increase knowledge about resources. Lower risk of distress or divorce for some couples. Improve marital satisfaction, understanding, and acceptance

12 Limitations Most research has been on middle-class, Caucasian couples and conducted over a short period of time. Adaptation of the curriculum for various target populations is necessary. Premarital/marital education may not benefit everyone!

13 Program Formats Inventories: PREPARE/ENRICH/MATE Increase strength areas Improve on growth areas FOCCUS/REFOCCUS Increase strength areas Build on growth areas

14 Program Formats Skills-based: EMPOWERING COUPLES Increase strength areas Decrease stumbling blocks PREP Increase strength areas Improve growth areas

15 Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) PREP focuses on risk factors for marital distress and failure identified in marital research. PREP is only educational program for couples that has been studied in long-term, controlled follow ups.

16 PREP Teaches communication and problem solving skills. Attempts to reduce or limit risk factors and raise protective factors. Available in secular, Christian & Jewish formats.

17 Elements of PREP PREP Topics: Danger Signs Time Outs Speaker-Listener Technique Problem Solving Fun

18 Danger Signs Escalation Invalidation Negative Interpretations Avoidance and Withdrawal

19 Implementing Time-Out: Rules Either partner can call one at any time. Use the term Time Out or some other agreed upon phrase. Agree to respect this as a cue things are going in the wrong direction. The person who called the time out is responsible for bringing up the topic at a later time.

20 Implementing Time-Out: Rules Two options: 1.Decide together to drop the issue for the time being. - OR - 2.Shift to a safer way to communicate.

21 Creating Structure and Safety Speaker/Listener Technique: A structured way to communicate safely and clearly when you really need to do it well. The technique is a great way to practice better communication. It counteracts the four Danger Signs.

22 Speaker- Listener Technique Rules Rules for the Speaker: Speak for yourself. Dont mind-read. Dont go on and on. Stop and let the listener paraphrase. Rules of the Listener: Paraphrase what you hear. Dont rebut. Focus on the Speakers message.

23 Speaker- Listener Technique Rules Rules for Both: The Speaker has the floor. Speaker keeps the floor while the listener paraphrases. Share the floor.

24 Four Steps: Agenda Setting Brainstorm Agreement and Compromise Follow-Up Problem Solving

25 Fun Is Important! Do people get married just to have conflicts and problems? You have to handle these things well, but that is not what brought you together.

26 Things to Remember: No one can have it all, but people can choose to cherish and nurture what they want most. Each person chooses how much he/she puts in a relationship. Couple relationships directly impact a childs health, happiness, and overall well-being.

27 What Else Can Be Done? Encourage couples to attend premarital education while they are still dating. Give a premarital education class as a wedding shower gift. Give a marriage education class as a wedding gift.

28 What Else Can Be Done? After the wedding and throughout the life-cycle continue to encourage couples to attend education programs.

29 Marriage Mentoring

30 Mentoring: Definition Mentoring is a structured one-on-one relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentored participant. Mentors have been used successfully in a variety of situations. Mentors have also been used with couples.

31 Characteristics of Good Mentor Couples Married couples in committed, healthy relationships; married for a significant period of time. Resemble the couple they mentor in background and demographics.

32 Characteristics of Good Mentor Couples Have successfully resolved experiences similar to those of the couple that they are mentoring. Realize that their marriage is not perfect and are willing to seek support when necessary.

33 A Mentor is Not… Mom or Dad. Best friend. Not on call for every crisis. Not a teacher. A counselor or psychologist.

34 What Do Mentors Do? Help individuals avoid a bad marriage before it begins. Strengthen existing marriages and help restore troubled marriages. Help stepfamilies to succeed. Model positive communication skills and problem-solving strategies. Actively listen through clarification and reflection of thoughts, content and feeling.

35 Benefits of Mentoring A married mentor couple can model gender equality, respect for different perspectives, a team approach, and communication skills. Mentors can normalize typical challenges and feelings of disillusionment and/or anxiety. Mentors can help new couples navigate conflicts and avoid divorce, both of which are common in the first few years of marriage.

36 Benefits of Mentoring Mentor relationships may be rejuvenating. Mentors and mentees often develop a close supportive relationship that continues after the formal relationship is no longer necessary.

37 Mentoring Programs There are two programs that do not require specific training. PREP- Click on Christian PREP workshop materials-can purchase small group materials.

38 Mentoring Programs Marriage Mentoring- The Marriage Mentoring DVD kit costs apx. $80 * If this is used, we suggest adding the relationship skills component from another program.

39 Mentoring Programs 3.PREPARE/ENRICH- This mentor program that must be supervised by a counselor or clergy member that is trained to offer the PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory.

40 Websites Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples: FOCCUS/REFOCCUS: National Fatherhood Initiative: Ozarks Marriage Matters: PREP: PREPARE/ENRICH:

41 Questions

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