The Strongest Link: The Couple
primary purpose of this Instructor Handbook is to
provide Family Wellness Instructors with additional
theory, content, and skills for working with Couples.
This handbook accompanies the Instructor Manual.
The curriculum is intended for use in many ways that
can serve to teach skills and provide support for Couples.
The lesson plans provided are based on six core sessions
and six additional sessions, two hours per session
format. However, each session or a combination of
sessions can be used for: short workshops, weekend
retreats, weeklong seminars for couples, or for the
twelve sessions provided in this handbook. Each session
is available to be expanded or combined with others.
There are six core sessions that include content
on communications skills,
problem solving, knowing personal values and goals
as well as couple goals,
money management, intimacy, and paying back your
community with the skills
you’ve learned. Additional lesson plans are included for:
Stepfamilies, Parent and
In-law issues, Domestic Violence, Parenting as a
Couple, New and Expectant
Parents, and Separations from military deployment,
business, health or jail.
We also offer our assistance to groups wanting to
use our curriculum and needing
to adapt it for their specific community. The handouts
available both in the
Handbook and in the CD are available to be reproduced
for your participants.
There are several examples of groups using Family
Wellness adaptations as their
Marriage Initiative curriculum or for Couples. The
Cleveland project “BETTER
TOGETHER” started by Sandra Bender and Judy Charlick; Louisiana
“MARRIAGE MATTERS” and “Raising Your Child Together”;
Rapid’s Pine Rest programs use Family Wellness.
A number of refugee programs throughout the country
have chosen Family
Wellness as the model for their communities because
of our cultural respect,
adaptability for different cultures, and clear, common
sense approach. Kurdish,
Somali, Hmong, Latino, Serbian, Ugandan, and Russian
Refugees are currently
using our program and we can put you in touch with
program directors and
Three issues are important for couples:
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Each partner in a couple needs
validation throughout the course and will need
support people outside of the course.
Couples need examples and support
to build their relationship in times where they
are often separated by work schedules, deployments,
or cultural and language differences.
Being a team requires skills
and practice. Role-play and coaching should
be part of each session – with sensitivity
to topics and levels of emotion for each person