Couples Coaching using PREPARE/ENRICH

Whether you've been married for many years or are now planning to be married, getting to know each other better is always a great investment-- one of the most important investments you can make. Talking with your partner about the issues that come up in relationships is important to your future together. Issues such as spiritual values, parenting values, or expectations around your financial future together are important-- especially when you disagree and want to find common ground. Getting some help to talk about things which are seldom discussed in our culture is an important investment you can make in the success of your relationship.

I utilize both western science-based tools and spiritual knowledge and experience to help you uncover your relationship's strengths- and areas where you could use some support. Where you want to increase your level of communication, I'll show you some tools and exercises to help you communicate more effectively and enjoy greater intimacy.

The science-based tools I use are from the Prepare/Enrich program. It is one of the most widely used programs for couples counseling and premarital education. Both members of the couple take a scientifically-designed online assessment. The results are sent to Evan, who shares them with you as he guides you through an eight week series of meetings to look over the results and examine your agreements and differences as a couple. Along the way, you will receive training in skills that will be especially beneficial in your relationship; for instance negotiating differences in communication styles, or talking about expectations created in the families that you grew up in, or step-by-step ways to resolve conflict in a way that brings you closer together.

The spiritually-based tools I use are adapted from Buddhist and meditation/mindfulness, 12-step principles such as identifying what you can and can't change, and the Diamond Heart tradition where curiosity and being in the moment together are of paramount importance. All of these traditions involve kindness, compassion, and staying in the present moment while telling and hearing your own truth. Of course, I also bring in my own experience in a 14-year relationship/marriage with my husband, Andrew, where we both value spiritual solutions to issues in our relationship.

This is not marriage counseling performed by an MFT or MFCC. I am a spiritual counselor with the experience and spiritual training to help you sit together in this moment and examine your future together in a positive, supportive environment. If you were a member of a church or temple, your Rabbi or Minister might use this exact same approach (and many ministers do use this program). My training is as a Facilitator for the Prepare/Enrich program.

There is more information provided below about the Prepare/Enrich program. Whether or not you need more information, please contact me to arrange an introductory meeting at no charge to see if I can be of service. I perform this service either with or without officiating at your wedding.

Overview of PREPARE/ENRICH

PREPARE/ENRICH is a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple's strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education. There are also customized versions of the assessment used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement. Based on a couple's assessment results, Evan Kavanagh, a trained PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator, provides six to eight feedback sessions in which he helps you discuss and understand your results as you are taught proven relationship skills.

Over 3 million couples have taken the PREPARE/ENRICH Program since it began in 1980. There are several goals of the PREPARE/ENRICH Program. In order to achieve these goals there are exercises designed to help couples improve their relationship skills. The program helps couples:

What relationship areas are assessed by the Inventories?

Is the PREPARE/ENRICH Program valid & reliable? An important strength of the PREPARE/ENRICH Inventories is their strong psychometric properties. High levels of reliability and validity have been found for each instrument, making them valuable tools for research as well as clinical use.

National Norms based on over 500,000 couples give PREPARE/ENRICH high levels of validity and reliability: PREPARE has validity in that it discriminates premarital couples that get divorced from those that are happily married with about 80-85% accuracy. Reliability is high (alpha reliability of .80 - .85).

What is the cost for PREPARE/ENRICH? Evan usually works with a couple for six to eight 90-minute sessions at $200 per session over a period of eight to ten weeks. Each session is dedicated to reviewing a section of the PREPARE/ENRICH survey, discussion, and skills building exercises designed especially for your circumstances. There is also a $30 fee paid online to take the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment.

Who uses PREPARE/ENRICH? The inventories have been utilized by over 100,000 trained clergy members, professional counselors, mentors, and marriage educators throughout the U.S. Over 3 million couples have taken a PREPARE/ENRICH inventory and worked through their results under the guidance of one of our trained facilitators.

Who developed the Customized Version of PREPARE/ENRICH? David H. Olson, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota; Founder and CEO, Life Innovations; Developed ten diagnostic tools and Circumplex Model; Licensed Consulting Psychologist and Licensed Marital & Family Therapist, State of Minnesota. Peter J. Larson, Ph.D, President, Life Innovations. Licensed Clinical Psychologist, State of Minnesota.

If you would like to explore undertaking the PEPARE/ENRICH process with Evan, just ask him for an introductory meeting to discuss this process and/or his officiating at your wedding.

By recollection of the Buddha's qualities, of the qualities of the Dhamma, and of the Sangha, joy arises.The Way of Mindfulness by Soma Thera