Do couples need to do this course together?
No. The course is specifically designed as an individual journey. All activities are designed as individual reflections. If your spouse wants to join you in the course, you will still work separately through the activities, and only at the end of each the three parts will you be encouraged to share your insights provided that you can do so without your discussion escalating to an argument.
Is this course suitable for couples who resist counselling or for whom counselling is not possible?
The short answer is, yes. Many couples struggle to find the right kind of counselling and one bad experience can turn one or both of them off all counselling. Some live in remote areas or work shifts making it difficult to access counselling. Some are simply resistant even without having tried counselling out of fear of the humiliation of acknowledging that they need help.
What if there is an addiction, mental health issue or other serious problem: is this course suitable?
When a spouse, or the children, are in physical danger, they should get out before they attempt any course. Addictions, dependencies and mental health issues make marriage harder than it should be. Our advice would be to do the course initially without their spouse as there are many things participants can do that can improve their situation, even without their spouse’s cooperation. The course is designed to provide participants with the insights and skills to process some of the emotional injuries they are carrying so that they can engage in their relationship more maturely. Depending on the nature and severity of their spouse’s challenging behaviour, it’s really important for participants to care for their emotional and spiritual health so that they are in a stronger position to assist their spouse.
How long does it take to do this course?
When the course runs in a live setting, it usually takes about three hours. For some, this is more than enough time, while for others, it is not enough. The beauty of an online course is that the participant controls the pace. They can go back over the videos as many times as they need, reflect further on their written activities or simply power through. We advise participants, however that the benefit of the course can only be manifested if they do the activities. Passively watching the videos and only doing that will give them some interesting insights, but it won’t change them nor their situation.
What’s included in this course?
The course is comprised of three parts. The first part explains the theory of arguments, how they start, how they escalate and what energises them. The activities will help participants deconstruct their arguments so that tehy can be better prepared for future situations. The second part dives into the emotional experience of their arguments and helps them to identify the emotional injury that is interfering with their ability to be an effective agent of love in their relationship. The third part presents some practical strategies that they can start using straight away to experience immediate improvement in their sense of command over themselves and their relationship.
Is this only for couples in deep trouble?
No. We’ve run these workshops for couples and spouses across a variety of circumstances, including a group of fifty marriage educators in wonderful long lasting marriages. Without exception, all have found it a fruitful and enriching experience. In addition, many people do this course with the view of being better equipped to coach a close friend of family member in difficulty.
What if the couple have already divorced – is this course useful?
Absolutely. The course will help participants to better understand the dynamics of a relationship in conflict so that they can gain insight into what went wrong and how they might have managed things differently. Importantly, the course leads them through a powerful exercise which will help them process their resentment so that they can approach their ex from a position of strength and kindness, rather than being reactive when he/she triggers them.
When is this course not a good idea?
If you or your children are in danger of physical or sexual harm, you should be focusing on how to get yourself, and your children to safety. This is the most important priority right now. Whenever there is a serious abuse of power like this, separation is an essential part of protecting you form further harm and establishing appropriate boundaries. From there, with professional assistance, you might like to do the course to better understand your reactions and to help you evaluate your next steps.