unit provides an excellent starting point for building good communication
and conflict-resolution skills. For those who are interested in
further developing these skills, there are several excellent programs
that teach couples communication and conflict-resolution skills.
Some of the more widely known programs
for teaching couples communication and conflict resolution skills
are briefly described below, along with contact information. A
key advantage of these programs is that they generally provide
coaching or mentoring to help ensure the couple is properly using
the skills. Some of the programs are also more comprehensive in
nature, and address other skills or topics important to building
a successful marriage. The Coalition
for Marriage, Family and Couples Education also sponsors a
web site that provides a listing of programs and resources for
The Association for Couples
in Marriage Enrichment (ACME) is a nonprofit organization
that trains couples to lead marriage enrichment groups. Communication,
handling anger and conflict, and ways to build intimacy are among
the skills emphasized in ACME-led groups. For more information
about ACME-style Marriage Enrichment, contact the Association
for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME), P. O. Box 10596, Winston-Salem,
NC 27108, phone 1-800-634-8325, or http://www.bettermarriages.org.
COUPLE COMMUNICATION teaches
couples eleven specific communication skills for talking and listening,
and guidelines for resolving issues. A key part of the COUPLE COMMUNICATION
program is practicing the skills, and getting feedback from coaches
who observe the couples as they apply the skills. For more information
on COUPLE COMMUNICATION, contact Interpersonal Communication Programs,
30772 Southview Drive, Suite 200, Evergreen, CO 80439, phone 1-800-328-5099,
The Marriage Survival Kit teaches
couples seven important principles for building a successful marriage.
The principles are based on several research studies by a leading
marital researcher, John Gottman. The principles focus not only
how to communicate and solve problems in relationships, but also
on other aspects of relationships such as strengthening caring
and creating shared meaning. For more information on the Marriage
Survival Kit, contact the Gottman Institute, P.O. Box 15644, Seattle,
WA, 98115, phone 1-888-523-9042, or http://www.gottman.com.
The PAIRS (Practical
Application of Intimate Relationship Skills) program is a comprehensive
psychoeducational course designed to enhance participants' knowledge
of self and their ability to sustain a pleasurable intimate relationship.
The program emphasizes both learning skills and an in-depth exploration
of the self. For more information about PAIRS, phone 1-888-724-7748,
or visit the website at http://www.pairs.com.
Prevention and Relationship
Enhancement Program (PREP) is a 12-hour program that
emphasizes a skills-oriented approach to addressing factors that
can lead to marital breakdown. PREP focuses primarily on: 1)
teaching couples better communication and conflict resolution
skills; 2) exploring expectations in the relationship; 3) addressing
attitudes and choices around commitment; and 4) enhancing the
couple's relationship bond through fun, friendship, and sensuality.
PREP is also available in a special Christian PREP format.
For more information about PREP, contact PREP, Inc., P. O. Box
4793, Greenwood Village, CO 80155-4793, phone 1-800-366-0166,
or visit the website at http://www.PREPINC.com.
(RE) teaches couples a set of nine skills to help them
develop and maintain a healthy relationships. Many of the nine
skills focus on communication and problem-solving. An essential
ingredient to RE is the use of coaches who provide participants
feedback on how they are using the skills. For more information
on Relationship Enhancement, contact the National Institute of
Relationship Enhancement at 1-800-432-6454, or visit the website