URI Family Therapy Clinic helping couples prepare for a lifetime of happiness

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Counseling program provides the keys to a committed relationship

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 2, 2008 – The best way to get ready for a lifetime together is to PREPARE.

As many young couples to be look ahead to a long-term relationship, it is common for questions to creep into their minds. They wonder if they are ready to take the big step. For those couples, the University of Rhode Island Family Therapy Clinic – located in the Transition Center on the Kingston campus – offers PREPARE (PREmarital Personal And Relationship Evaluation), a series of pre-marital counseling sessions for couples making the commitment to each other.

“The program gives people a good sense of how ready they are for marriage or living in a committed relationship,” said Dale Blumen, clinic coordinator. “We offer couples tools that can help them work well together.”

Using the results of a questionnaire that couples fill out during an initial visit, counselors are able to help identify strengths in a relationship. During follow-up sessions, counselors work with couples to communicate about topics they might otherwise avoid. This helps them develop communication and conflict resolution skills while also discussing issues such as marriage expectations, financial management, spiritual beliefs and more, all with the goal of helping couples learn to grow together.

“PREPARE is a scientifically developed and tested program,” Blumen said. “It has a reliable track record of providing a strong foundation for couples looking to build a life together.”

There are variations of the PREPARE program designed for couples at different stages of life. The five versions offered are:

• PREPARE For young couples who do not have children

• PREPARE – MC For couples who are remarrying and have children

• PREPARE – CC For cohabiting couples planning to enter a committed relationship

• ENRICH For married couples seeking enrichment or counseling

• MATE For older couples planning to marry or facing other transitions, such as retirement or relocation

The URI Family Therapy Clinic is a client-centered outpatient mental health center. To learn more about PREPARE or any of the other programs offered through the URI Family Clinic, contact Dale Blumen, clinic coordinator at 401.874.5551 or visit the clinic Web site at http://www.uri.edu/hss/mft/clinic/index.html.