Presentation on theme: "Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant"— Presentation transcript:
1 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Premarital and Marital Education
2 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant The Training for the Healthy Marriage and Family Formation curriculum was created through the cooperative efforts of:Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Jennifer 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? Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Do 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?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?The answer to these questions is usually “YES.” In the same manner, marriages need a “repair” or a little “tune up” from time to time. Premarital and marital education can provide the tools needed to accomplish this purpose.Why should a bill, the dog, the roof or a car be more important to couples than their marriages?
4 What is Premarital/Marital Education? Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantWhat is Premarital/Marital Education?7/13/2007Premarital/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.Premarital/Marital Education…Is for couples before and after marriage.It is for couples whose marriages are not in serious trouble.It can make good marriages better.It is NOT therapy or counseling, but it is educational in nature.Educational programs can be used by couples who:are not yet marriedare newly marriedhave been married for a long timeare experiencing a major life eventare having marital distressare just looking to enhance their relationshipPremarital/marital education programs are typically taught in a classroom-like setting or in a workshop format.Research shows there are a variety of premarital/marital education programs to teach couples how to work together to survive the ups and downs of a lifetime commitment.1,2,3,4
5 Premarital/Marital Education... Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Teaches couple’s skills to increase communication, resolve conflict, and solve problems successfully.Creates a safe and open environmentAllows each person to decide how much s/he will say or participate.With the stresses of everyday life, sometimes couples become overwhelmed and struggle with talking to each other about issues, feelings, etc. Premarital and marital education helps couples gain the necessary skills to prevent avoidance, withdrawal, and heated arguments. Premarital and marital education teaches the skills couples need to improve communication, resolve conflict, and solve problems successfully.When couples do not feel safe the two most common reactions are fight or flight; they will either stay and argue or leave the situation. However, when couples feel safe in conversation, they are more likely to discuss important issues and deeper feelings. Premarital and marital education can help couples create a safe and open environment, allowing them to talk without fighting.Within the context of a premarital or marital educational program, each person gets to decide how much he or she will say or contribute. There is no pressure to share feelings or experiences, so each person can decide how much he or she will share.
6 Premarital/Marital Education Format Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantPremarital/Marital Education Format7/13/2007Recent research suggests that having a greater number of sessions may positively impact a couple’s relationship satisfaction.An increased number of sessions provides a greater number of opportunities for couples to practice what they are learning in class.Recent research suggests that having a greater number of sessions (as opposed to fewer sessions of greater length) may increase a couple’s relationship satisfaction.7 For example, a class that meets for 2 hours a week for 6 weeks is likely to be more effective than a weekend class that meets for 12 hours over two days.An increased number of sessions provides a greater number of opportunities for couples to practice what they are learning in the educational classes. This “hands-on-approach” is particularly useful for learning effective communication skills.7 Instructors are available to provide useful feedback information and help couples modify and apply their new communication skills.Research supports that the most effective forms of premarital/marital education are ...Scientifically basedregularly updated in accordance with ongoing research findings and field experience anddemonstrate beneficial effects of the programs in accordance with scientific standardsfor dissemination.7
7 Why Do We Need Premarital/Marital Education? Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Young 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.Young couples marrying for the first time have approximately a 40% to 50% chance of divorce. Premarital education can familiarize participants with the relationship risk factors that further increase their chances of divorcing such as…marrying as a teenager,marrying someone with dissimilar backgrounds, life goals, interests, values,co-habitating before marriage and therisks for a child’s well-being.14,15,16It’s also important to note that a stable marriage is not necessarily a happy marriage. The focus of these classes is on creating strong, healthy, and happy relationships, not just on preventing divorce.Marital distress places adults and children at increased risk for mental and physical problems.9,10Males are more likely to attend programs listed as relationship workshops or seminars than counseling or therapy.22 Workshops, seminars, or classes, can be less intimidating and less formal than going to therapy.
8 Key Potential Benefits of Premarital/Marital Education Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantKey Potential Benefits of Premarital/Marital Education7/13/2007What 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.Educational programs provide an opportunity for couples to communicate with each other in regard to their individual expectations about the relationship. Couples can discuss what expectations about relationships are reasonable and what expectations are not acceptable.28Everyone holds expectations about relationships. Expectations can be influenced by the media, family of origin, religion, and society. When these expectations are unspoken, they are a source of marital conflict. For example, Sue expects Joe to share in the housework, but Joe thinks these tasks are Sue’s job. If these expectations are not discussed, it will likely be a source of anger and resentment for both parties.Unreasonable expectations are also dangerous. For example, if one partner thinks the other will be able to meet his/her every need that person is clearly going to be disappointed.Couples learn about programs which are available for immediate and/or future use. If couples are in need of counseling or additional services they can get a referral from the facilitators.Premarital/marital education positively impacts the overall well-being of children.14,15,16 We know from research that couples who are in happier, healthier relationships have children who:Do better in schoolAre less likely to abuse drugs/alcoholAre less likely to be abusedAre less likely to grow up poorAre less likely to become teenage parentsand are more likely to have fathers who are involved in the child’s life.
9 What Does Premarital/Marital Education Have to Do With Children? Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007What 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.Unhappy, unstable relationships and/or parental divorce greatly impact a child. Most of you have surely seen this in the families with whom you work and possibly experienced it yourselves.Some researchers suggest that it is impossible to measure the effect that results from witnessing parents’ negative interactions. 9,15 The truth is we just really don’t know the extent of the damage from unhealthy parental relationships. It seems to be affected by a variety of factors and be different for every child.
10 What Does Premarital/Marital Education Have to Do With Children? Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantWhat Does Premarital/Marital Education Have to Do With Children?7/13/2007Children 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.In addition, 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.9,15
11 Positive Outcomes: Couples Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantPositive Outcomes: Couples7/13/2007Slow 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 acceptancePositive outcomes of premarital/marital education for couples include:Slowing down to avoid poor decisions.Learning new communication and problem solving skills.Increasing knowledge about available resources for immediate or future use.Lowering the risk of distress or divorce for some couples.Improving marital satisfaction, along with understanding and acceptancewithin the relationship.26
12 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Limitations7/13/2007Most 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!We are often asked, “What type of couple will benefit the most from a premarital/marital education program?” The truth is we really don’t know. The small amount of research on this subject thus far has definite limitations.Most research samples have been middle-class, Caucasian couples, which are clearly not representative of the nation. In addition, most studies have used small samples that were conducted over a short period of time.27Before starting a program the educator must be aware of the following issues: lower income area, transportation problems, child-care problems, cultural and ethnic differences, age of participants, and level of education. Adaptation of the curriculum for various target populations is necessary.It is important to distinguish which referrals are appropriate for premarital education from those couples who may need other services. For example, a couple that is in a volatile relationship including, but not limited to physical abuse, are typically inappropriate for premarital/marital education. Premarital/marital education may not benefit everyone!
13 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Program FormatsHealthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Inventories:PREPARE/ENRICH/MATEIncrease strength areasImprove on growth areasFOCCUS/REFOCCUSBuild on growth areasMost marital/premarital education programs can be grouped into two formats: relationship inventories and skills-based programs.A relationship inventory can be completed before or after the wedding. It consists of a questionnaire that each partner completes individually. Ideally, these questionnaires should be completed in separate rooms.The facilitator emphasizes it is not a test, and there are no right or wrong answers. However, in order for the couple to benefit from the process it is important they respond accurately.Most inventories are based on several key issues: communication, commitment, problem solving, family of origin, sexuality, money, leisure, spirituality, parenthood, and personal and couple goals to name a few.Two inventories that are widely used and recognized as helpful are PREPARE/ENRICH/MATE 33,37,38,24, and FOCCUS/REFOCCUS33,24. The PREPARE inventories are scored by Life Innovations, the founder, and returned to the facilitator, to be reviewed with the couple. FOCCUS/REFOCCUS are self-scored.Both focus on helping a couple increase strength areas while also developing growth areas.
14 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Program FormatsHealthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Skills-based:EMPOWERINGCOUPLESIncrease strength areasDecrease stumbling blocksPREPImprove growth areasSkills-based programs are often used in conjunction with an inventory. These programs focus on teaching and modeling communication skills while allowing couples plenty of time to practice their skills and receive feedback to improve these skills. These programs can be conducted over the course of several weeks, or within the context of a weekend workshop.35Skills-based programs focus on topics similar to inventory programs including: communication, commitment, problem solving, family of origin, friendship, sexuality, money, leisure, spirituality, and forgiveness.31,32Two of the most common skills-based programs are: EMPOWERING COUPLES and PREP.
15 Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantPrevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP)7/13/2007PREP 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.PREP stands for:The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program.PREP focuses on risk factors for marital distress and failure identified in marital research.PREP is the only educational program for couples that has been studied in long-term, controlled follow ups.PREP utilizes a research-based approach to help couples prevent divorce and preserve a lasting love. The program is based on 20 years of research conducted primarily at the University of Denver.36Five of the seven outcome studies on PREP showed promising results, including:lower break up rates, up to five years later, in two major studies.less negative communication and more positive communication, up to fiveyears later in five studies.very high couple satisfaction with the program.36The program emphasized it is not how much conflict couples experience, but how they handle this conflict that is a critical factor in the survival of their marriage. The ultimate goal of the program is to PREVENT serious marital problems by helping couples understand key RISK factors for divorce. In addition, couples learn about the essential elements of successful and happy marriages, which includes strong communication skills.
16 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007PREPTeaches communication and problem solving skills.Attempts to reduce or limit risk factors and raise protective factors.Available in secular, Christian & Jewish formats.PREP teaches communication and problem solving skills. This is very important because the communication experienced by the typical engaged couple is categorically different than communication between married partners.30Communication skills (and other skills learned in premarital/marital education programs) can also be used with children, family, and co-workers.As a family grows, the couple can continue to use the skills learned from their education program experiences to ensure their relationship remains healthy throughout the life-cycle.The program attempts to reduce or limit risk factors and increase protective factors. The core areas include but are not limited to: danger signs, gender differences, using structure to promote safety, the Speaker/Listener Technique, problem solving skills, clarifying core beliefs and expectations, forgiveness, commitment, preserving and enhancing fun, friendship, and sensuality in marriage.36PREP is available in secular, Christian, and Jewish formats.36HANDOUT: What is PREP? (16A)
17 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Elements of PREPPREP Topics:Danger SignsTime OutsSpeaker-Listener TechniqueProblem SolvingFunThis slide illustrates the basic outline of the PREP program. We will introduce and discuss:Danger SignsTime OutsSpeaker-Listener TechniqueProblem SolvingFun36
18 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007EscalationInvalidationNegative InterpretationsAvoidance and WithdrawalDanger SignsThe PREP program is based upon a longitudinal study of 135 couples, which began in 1980, and continues today. Researchers collected volumes of data to identify factors that influence marital satisfaction including adjustment, commitment, violence, abuse, and sexual satisfaction.One factor that stands out above all others a couple’s ability to handle conflict and disagreement. This indicator alone allows researchers to predict whether the couple will succeed or break up. Not only is this factor the strongest predictor of marital success, it is also the most amenable to change.During the study four patterns of negative interaction were identified. These negative patterns can be subtle, but they predict the future of a relationship more accurately than positive patterns.To maintain a happy marriage a couple needs between five and 20 positive interactions for every negative interaction. In order to build and keep a happy marriage couples must stop, reduce, or never begin these negative patterns. The four negative patterns are:Escalation: Occurs when partners respond back and forth negatively to each other,continually upping the ante so that conditions get worse and worse.2. Invalidation: Occurs when one partner subtly or directly puts down the thoughts,feelings or character of the other.3. Negative Interpretation: Occurs when one partner consistently believes that themotives of the other are more negative than is really the case.4. Avoidance and Withdrawal: Are ways in which one partner displays an unwillingnessto get into or stick with important discussions.36See handout for more examples.VIDEO: Show PREP Clips video of various couples fighting. The clips illustrate each danger sign. Time: 4:37 min. Start from: Negative Interpretation (6:35 to 8:35).HANDOUT: Recognizing the Danger Signs (18A)
19 Implementing Time-Out: Rules Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Implementing Time-Out: RulesEither 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.When a couple becomes aware their discussion is heating up, or they are experiencing any of the four negative patterns, the program suggests they take a time out.Rules for a TIME OUT:Either partner can call one at any time.Partners must use the term “Time Out” or some other agreed upon phrase.Both partners agree to respect the timeout as a cue that things are going in the wrongdirection (danger signs may be present).The person who called the time out is responsible for bringing up the topic at a later time. This is very important because if a time-out is used continually by one partner to avoid dealing with issues, he/she is engaging in avoidance/withdrawal, one of the danger signs.36
20 Implementing Time-Out: Rules Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Implementing Time-Out: RulesTwo options:Decide together to drop the issue for the time being.- OR -Shift to a safer way to communicate.Couples have two options when using a timeout:Decide together to drop the issue for the time being.ORShift to a safer way to communicate.When a “time-out” is called the couple stops talking about the issue for the time being or switches to using the Speaker-Listener Technique (on next slide). The Speaker-Listener Technique allows the couple to continue the discussion in a safe manner. 36
21 Creating Structure and Safety Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Creating Structure and SafetySpeaker/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.The Speaker/Listener Technique provides a structured way to communicate safely and clearly when you really need to do it well. Providing structure to a conversation allows both individuals to feel safe when communicating. Without safety, it is easier to yell, escalate, avoid and withdraw because these are natural reactions to feeling threatened.The Speaker/Listener Technique helps a couple focus on understanding one another’s message. Sometimes, a couple attempts to fix a problem before they have achieved a shared understanding of the problem.The key is: DO NOT attempt to problem solve. Focus on understanding, not agreement.9 Agreement will come after understanding.The technique is a great way to practice better communication, in general.It also serves to counteract the four Danger Signs. If a couple is using this technique correctly, there is no way they can engage in any of the four negative patterns.The goal of the Speaker/Listener Technique is to talk without fighting. Without this structure, what often happens is one partner wants to talk and the other partner wants to avoid a fight. A pattern emerges: one pursues and the other retreats. 36HANDOUT: Rules for The Speaker-Listener Technique. This handout should be in the form of “tile floors”, squares of paper with the rules on them. Give to participants so they can follow along with the next slide.
22 Speaker-Listener Technique Rules Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Rules for the Speaker:Speak for yourself. Don’t mind-read.Don’t go on and on.Stop and let the listener paraphrase.Rules of the Listener:Paraphrase what you hear.Don’t rebut. Focus on the Speaker’s message.Speaker-Listener Technique RulesRules for the Speaker include:Speak for yourself. Don’t mind-read. When using this technique, the speaker has the floorand speaks using “I” statements. For example, “I feel frustrated when you come home late.”rather than “You are so irresponsible, can’t you come home on time?” “I” statements usuallybegin with: I feel, I think, or I am.Don’t go on and on. Keep your statements brief.Stop and let the listener paraphrase what he/she heard the speaker say. For example, “I hear you saying that you feel frustrated when I come home late.” If the speaker agrees with theparaphrase, he/she continues with additional comments relevant to the topic and the listenercontinues to paraphrase after each statement to communicate understanding. If there is notagreement, the speaker answers with a phrase like “That’s not quite correct” or “There’s onepart you didn’t get.” Then the speaker rephrases the point and the listener attempts aparaphrase again.Rules of the Listener include:Paraphrase only what you hear.Don’t rebut. Focus on the Speaker’s message. The hardest part of this technique is for thelistener to refrain from interjecting his/her opinion while reframing what the speaker has said.The listener does not have to agree with what is being said, he/she need only display anunderstanding of the speakers opinion.
23 Speaker-Listener Technique Rules Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Rules for Both:The Speaker has the floor.Speaker keeps the floor while the listener paraphrases.Share the floor.Speaker-Listener Technique RulesRules for both include:The speaker has the floorSpeaker keeps the floor while the listener paraphrasesAnd share the floor. When the speaker has said all that is needed, he/she passes the floor to the listener, who now becomes the speaker, and can add his/her opinion on the topic being discussed.Practicing this regularly for a few weeks will:Help couples know how to communicate well when its needed most.Create improved communication skills at all times, even when couples are not utilizing the full structure of the technique.36
24 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Four Steps:Agenda SettingBrainstormAgreement and CompromiseFollow-UpProblemSolvingAttempting to solve the problem should only be undertaken after both partners feel the other has heard and understood their thoughts and feelings about the problem. Then the couple can move to problem solving which is accomplished in four steps.1. Agenda setting. If the problem is broad, decide on which particular area to focus. Example: If the problem is money, there are several areas that may need to be resolved (spending, saving, or debt). Rather than trying to solve everything at once, focus on one area at a time.Step two is brainstorming. Once the problem is identified, begin thinking about all the possible solutions. Write these down and do not criticize each other’s ideas. Be creative and thorough.Step three is agreement and compromise. The goal is to come up with a specific solution or combination of solutions that you both agree to try. While compromise can be difficult, many times the best solution will be a compromise in which neither of you gets everything you wanted.4. Step four is follow-up. Schedule a follow-up to determine how the solution is working for each of you. This has two benefits:- It allows you to “tweak” or alter solutions so they are more likely to work in the long run, in case the solution has not worked out as planned.- It also helps to build accountability. Often times, we don’t get serious about making changes unless we know there is some point of accountability in the near future.36
25 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Fun Is Important!7/13/2007Do people get married just to have conflicts and problems? No!Of course, these will happen and you need to handle them well, but that is not what brought you together. It is usually fun and attraction which brings people together.Fun is EXTREMELY important in marital health and happiness.Unfortunately, many couples do not keep fun alive in their marriages.9Life stress and hectic schedules can cause a couple to consider “fun” a novelty. However, it is critical for spouses to set aside at least a small amount of time to enjoy each other without conflict. The PREP* program emphasizes the importance of fun and friendship in a marriage and gives couples suggestions for how to keep this connection alive.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.ACTIVITY: Have group brainstorm fun activities for the couples/clients they work with. (Time permitting)
26 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Things to Remember:7/13/2007No 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 child’s health, happiness, and overall well-being.No one person can “have it all,” but people can choose to cherish and nurture what theywant most in their marriage.Each person chooses how much he/she puts in a relationship.Couple relationships directly impact a child’s health, happiness, and overall well-being.OPTIONAL HANDOUT: Learning Activities.Instructor view 26A, Participants 26B
27 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant What Else Can Be Done?Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Encourage 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.So, what else can you do?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 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant What Else Can Be Done?Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007After the wedding and throughout the life-cycle continue to encourage couples to attend education programs.So, what else can you do? (continued)After the wedding and throughout the life-cycle continue to encourage couples to attend education programs, (i.e. before the birth of a child, or after the youngest childleaves home).Professionals and lay people alike may be trained in as many of these programs as they wish. However, potential participants should be carefully considered when selecting a program so that the most appropriate inventory, questionnaire, and/or skill based program is used with each individual and/or couple.By encouraging these types of programs, we support and encourage couples who want to create healthy and lasting marriages.
29 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Marriage Mentoring
30 Mentoring: Definition Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007Mentoring 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.Mentoring is a structured one-on-one relationship that focuses on the needs of the mentored participant. This is a supportive relationship, usually between a novice and an expert, which is sustained over a period of time.2Mentors have been used successfully in a variety of situations including: businesses, professional organizations, educational settings, as well as with at-risk adolescents and youth.3,4,5,6,7Mentors have also been used with couples.
31 Characteristics of Good Mentor Couples Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantCharacteristics of Good Mentor Couples7/13/2007Characteristics of Good Mentor Couples include:Married couples in committed, healthy relationships who have been married for asignificant period of time.These mentor couples can serve as models and resources to premarital couples, newlyweds, or distressed couples. They focus on couple interaction, communication, problem-solving skills, self-awareness and strengths through assessment, education, skills training, and/or outreach.9Programs suggest that the mentor couple should be married for at least three to ten years. Mike McManus, a leader in mentoring programs, recommends 20 to 40 years of marriage.When possible, it is also best to match the mentor and mentee on certain variables to help ensure they will be able to relate to one another.Mentors should resemble the couple they mentor in their background and demographics.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 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation GrantCharacteristics of Good Mentor Couples7/13/2007Have 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.It is helpful if the mentors have successfully resolved experiences similar to those of the couple that they are mentoring.Similarly, a couple who has been “back-from-the brink” may be a good fit for a couple who is currently “on-the-brink.” A stepfamily who has adjusted well can be extremely helpful to a couple with children from a previous relationship who has recently married, or intend to marry.Finally, good mentors realize that their own marriage is not perfect and they are willing to seek support when necessary.Overall, a good mentor couple has a strong relationship in which there are more positives than negatives, and good communication skills.11
33 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Mom or Dad.Best friend.Not on call for every crisis.Not a teacher.A counselor or psychologist.A Mentor is Not…It is also important to recognize what a mentor is not. For example, a mentor is not:Mom or dadA best friendNot on call for every crisisNot teachersa counselor or psychologists8They are not a substitute for professional mental health providers. Nevertheless, mentors can be very helpful in a variety of circumstances, even in severely troubled marriages.
34 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant What Do Mentors Do?7/13/2007Help 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.So what do mentors do?Mentors help individuals avoid a bad marriage before it begins.17They strengthen existing marriages and help restore troubled marriages.They also help stepfamilies to succeed.15Mentors model positive communication skills and problem-solving strategies.They also actively listen through clarification and reflection of thoughts, contentand feeling.8
35 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Benefits of MentoringHealthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant7/13/2007A 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.Mentors offer many benefits. For example:A married mentor couple can model gender equality, respect for different perspectives, a team approach, and communication skills.9Mentors can normalize typical challenges and feelings of disillusionment and/or anxiety.Mentors can help new couples navigate conflict and avoid divorce, both of which arecommon in the first few years of marriage.18 In fact, these first few years are a critical timein marriage and mentor couples can offer significant benefits to newlyweds.Most new couples have high expectations for their relationship and may have difficulties when reality does not match their ideal picture of what a marriage should be. In one study, 49% of couples in their first year of marriage reported experiencing serious problems. In addition, 40% percent of couples who divorce do so in their first year of marriage.
36 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Benefits of Mentoring7/13/2007Mentors also benefit from the mentoring relationship. They may experience rejuvenationand increased appreciation in their own relationship.11,18Mentors and mentees often develop a close supportive relationship that continues long after the formal relationship is no longer necessary.14Mentor relationships may be rejuvenating.Mentors and mentees often develop a close supportive relationship that continues after the formal relationship is no longer necessary.
37 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Mentoring Programs7/13/2007There are two programs that do not require specific training.PREP-Click on Christian PREP workshop materials-can purchase small group materials.There are two programs that do not require specific training to become a mentor.PREP - which can be accessed online atSimply click on Christian PREP workshop materials, and you can purchase materials for small groups.
38 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Mentoring Programs7/13/2007Marriage Mentoring - which can also be accessed online atThe Marriage Mentoring DVD kit costs approximately $80.If this is used, we suggest adding the relationship skills component from another program.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 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant Mentoring Programs7/13/2007PREPARE/ENRICH-This mentor program that must be supervised by a counselor or clergy member that is trained to offer the PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory.It is important to note that the previous programs are faith-based. Our research did not reveal any secular mentoring programs at this time. Currently, it seems the value of mentoring couples has only been recognized within the faith community.However, the PREPARE/ENRICH material is flexible and can be readily tailored to meet the needs of any particular group. This program could easily be used in various community groups, outside of religions organizations.PREPARE/ENRICH- This program must be supervised by a licensed counselor or clergy member who is trained to offer the PREPARE/ENRICH inventory.
40 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples:FOCCUS/REFOCCUS:National Fatherhood Initiative:Ozarks Marriage Matters:PREP:PREPARE/ENRICH:WebsitesHere is a listing of a few available resources for premarital and marital education. These websites have information, articles, and valuable ideas. They might be helpful for you personally, or some of the families with whom you work.
41 Healthy Marriage and Family Formation Grant 7/13/2007Questions