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About CoupleCARE

CoupleCARE is a program to enrich couple relationships by providing a unique structure of flexible delivery and ease-of-use. The program provides each couple with a DVD and a fill-in guidebook that they can retain for future use.

The distinctive elements of CoupleCARE are that the program:

  • can be done by couples at home, or in face-to-face sessions.
  • helps couples to assess their relationship strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • helps couples define the relationship they want.
  • helps couples develop key relationship skills.
  • helps each partner to identify individual actions to strengthen their relationship.

Each couple receives a copy of the DVD and two copies of the guidebook (one for each partner) so that they can refer back to the program content in the future. The program consists of 6 units. For each unit the couple watch a 15- to 20-minute segment. The DVD introduces key ideas about successful relationships and demonstrates crucial relationship skills. The couple then undertake the exercises described in the guidebook to apply the ideas to their relationship. The exercises are a mix of individual and couple activities. The couple then reviews their work with a trained relationship educator.

CoupleCARE is designed to be completed by the couple at home, supported by regular telephone calls from a professional relationship educator. This flexible delivery mode allows the couple to do much of the program in their own time and to book the review sessions with the educator at mutually convenient times.

It typically takes couples about two hours per week for 6 weeks to complete the program. Each week couples spend about 20 minutes watching the DVD, 45 minutes to an hour completing the exercises in the guidebook, and about 30 to 40 minutes on the telephone call with their counselor.

CoupleCARE has been designed in accordance with adult learning principles, treating participants with respect as learners by recognizing the prior learning they bring to the program, and the differences in the ways in which different people learn. Couples are actively encouraged to set their own learning goals and are offered a variety of learning experiences or modes so that they can learn in ways that best suit their learning style. The CoupleCARE program is designed around three key concepts central to the success of flexible learning for adults:

• clarity and publication of learning goals
• congruence of goals and processes
• deliberate redundancy of effort towards the achievement of key outcomes.

The CoupleCARE program attempts to help couples define the strengths and vulnerabilities of their relationship. Couples are asked to review, throughout the program, both the positive and unhelpful aspects of their actions in the relationship. They also are encouraged at a number of times throughout the program to reflect on experiences that have shaped their relationship expectations and behaviour.

Another important feature of CoupleCARE, which distinguishes it from many other skill-based couple relationship education programs, is the emphasis on the couple defining their own goals for the relationship. The first unit of the program focuses particularly on the expectations partners bring to relationships and what sort of relationship they want to develop.

A further distinctive aspect of CoupleCARE is the focus on self-change. The program emphasizes the contribution each partner can make to realising their relationship goals. Thus, the focus is on each partner taking responsibility for changing their own behaviour, rather than their partner’s behaviour, in order to enhance the relationship. Each unit ends with partners defining a specific action they both can take to make a good relationship great.

CoupleCARE is intended as a 21st century education program for couples, and is therefore inclusive of the diverse approaches couples can take to having a great relationship. The creators of CoupleCARE are of the view that there is no one right way to have a great relationship, and the aim of CoupleCARE is to help couples find their own path to their own style of life-long loving. The couple define the relationship goals, and the program helps them to realise those goals.

The 6 units of the CoupleCARE program are:

• Relationship goals and self-change
• Communication
• Fun and mutual support
• Managing differences
• Intimacy and sexuality
• Managing change

Couples interested in benefiting from the CoupleCARE program should look for a CoupleCARE provider in their area or refer their preferred relationship counselor to the home page of this website for information on how to purchase and use CoupleCARE with you.



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