Shortly before Valentine’s Day, Taylor’s Counseling Center revealed a free couples workshop to take place on Feb. 28.
The workshop will be held from 3-7 p.m. that Sunday at the Pierce Church in Upland. Registration, dinner and door prizes will all be free.
The event is open to married, engaged or pre-engaged couples so long as one person is a Taylor student. Couples can expect to engage in interactive activities and breakouts with their partner during the four-hour event.
The workshop will focus on the Three I’s of Relationship Growth: Communication/Conflict Resolution, Expectations/Boundaries and Intimacy/Sex.
Director of the Counseling Center Kathy Chamberlain said regular couples counseling is something the center promotes for intervention purposes, but the workshops are focused on preventative measures. Couples counseling typically addresses specific and current problems, while the workshop environment equips students with tools in advance.
Chamberlain said students can expect the workshop to be both informative and fun. She encourages students considering whether or not to attend to think of the four-hour event as an investment in their futures.
“Marriage is forever,” Chamberlain said. “I do believe the things we're going to offer will help people have a better foundation if they do have a better understanding of how to navigate expectations and boundaries or how to navigate communication skills. Because it's easy to fall in love; it’s much harder to be married.”
In Chamberlain’s years of counseling experience, she said a lack of intentionality often leads to marital problems. Her advice to couples who are either engaged or thinking about engagement is to work through the hard things now instead of waiting for issues to resolve after commitment.
Alumnus Braden Ochs (‘19) will be attending with his fiance, who he will marry after she graduates Taylor in May. After doing pre-engagement counseling last year, he is excited to gain more wisdom and develop his relationship post-engagement.
“We've already learned so much, but I'm very excited to learn even more,” Ochs said. “It'll be a great opportunity to get closer to my fiance and to possibly even meet other couples as well.”
Professor of psychology Steve Snyder teaches a course called Christian Marriage at Taylor. In this class, he emphasizes marriage as an institution that affects all areas of life: mental health, financial security, lifespan development and more.
He collected data and studies for his class to analyze to demonstrate the benefits of marriage and marriage preparation.
“Research (shows) the impact of training for marriage through a class or premarital counseling is important,” Snyder said. “Research on the effects of marriage stability affects people holistically and our society as a whole.”
The first 10 couples to register for the workshop will receive an extra gift. Register for the workshop at this link: https://forms.gle/xXs1ycL5yy6cqcoQ7