Program Curriculum

Committed Relationships This session promotes a shared vision of the participant’s relationship, by moving from “me” to “we”. Participants begin learning how to define a healthy relationship, along with learning how to communicate and work together to create a common vision to achieve common goals. Not only is the importance of communication and the different ways of communicating explained, but also is the significance of listening.

Differences Recognize, accept, and appreciate each other’s differences based on gender, family history, racial, ethnic, or cultural background, education, religion, values, etc. Demonstrating acceptance, compassion and respect are key when dealing with differences in a relationship. Those who have played an important role in a person’s past usually continue to play a part in an individual’s present due to the behaviors and traits that are learned.

Communicating Effectively Learn to be active listeners, communicate needs clearly, state needs rather than criticize, and avoid defensiveness, contempt, blaming, and stonewalling. Participants learn how to express themselves in a constructive manner to better the relationship. Methods of conveying different points of views are taught.

Problem Solving Skills Review and apply the communication skills learned in the previous session by using “speaker” and “listening” mats. This session provides participants with skills for resolving and regulating conflicts. The pros and cons of different behaviors are discussed, and how participants can avoid actions that damage relationships.

Working through an Issue Learn to recognize and work through an issue: how to create an action plan and how to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. Communication plays an important role by avoiding any hurtful dialog or actions. Problem solving together is a great way to bond and grow together.

Managing Emotions Manage difficult emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, embarrassment, or betrayal. Participants become more aware of their own emotions and learn to self-soothe during difficult conversations or conflict situations so that they do not become “flooded” with emotion. Attitude is very important when addressing the topic of emotions. Our mind-set helps determine not only how we see ourselves, our partner, but also our relationship as a whole. In turn our attitude can change how we evaluate and act in different situations. Particpants who understand one another’s emotions tend to grow together, experience deep intimacy, and feel protected and safe together.

Addressing Hidden Issues Participants identify actions and themes that trigger deeper issues within a relationship and how to alter these triggers so that the couple can continue to grow together by looking for the best and not the worst. Participants learn how to share and become aware of different expectations, and how to work as a team to accomplish these expectations. There is no need to have a fear of conflict; in fact it can be beneficial.

Facing Challenges Together Look at healthy ways to cope with challenges. Understand the importance of forgiveness, and learn ways to ask and offer forgiveness. Ways to express oneself in a constructive manner is important, while also managing your own emotions.

Creating Shared Meaning Understand each other’s perspectives and dreams. Spend and enjoy time together, create shared goals, learn different ways of strengthening emotional connections, enhance physical intimacy, and build mutual trust and commitment. Participants must first accept their partner (and/by stop criticizing and judging) in order for them to feel comfortable to be intimate physically and emotionally with one another.

Relationship Finance iStock_000019989395_LargeLearn how to manage money better as a couple, and make better financial decisions. Understand the importance of money values, discuss shared goals, learn how to budget and set financial goals.

Parenting Effectively Understand how your family or origin has affected your parenting style. Learn and practice positive discipline strategies. Understand that “discipline means “to teach.” This session provides participants with the opportunity to discuss their needs and their children’s needs for parameters related to behavior. It also helps participants identify the main impact of the practices their parents had on them.