Replies: Eclectic/president/covenant/textbooks?/Ethnic conference
cmfce at his.com
Mon Feb 12 15:52:39 EST 2001
subject: Replies: Eclectic/president/covenant/textbooks?/Ethnic conference
from: Smart Marriages
ECLECTIC MARRIAGE EDUCATION:
Good discussion, and challenges, to the word "eclectic"...I can't
agree more that picking and choosing a technique here and an insight
there DOES diminish the "research foundation" of some of the more developed
programs. So my use of the word "eclectic" was not quite
accurate...I offer the one-day PREP workshop as my model, and I cover
their topics thoroughly.
But I have found couples here are hungry -- especially the men -- for more
help with intimacy. (Montana just has a lot of sweet
sensitive guys, I guess; it isn't the women who bring this up.) So I've
added some more enhancement/intimacy work to my basic seminar, because
otherwise it won't meet the needs of the audience sitting there in front of
me. My point was that in smaller markets (Montana = 94 million acres,
940,000 people), there aren't same critical mass of couples with similar
issues ready to come to a one-day seminar. So far, I don't have
enough people coming who want and need ONLY the stop fighting/
start communicating PREP approach. So I have to enhance and add to the
basic model, but I do try to make sure I don't dilute or "mix and match. I
think the issue of how much we enhance, combine, or mix approaches is going
to be an issue for many of us, and well worth raising, especially for those
of us who claim our approaches are "research-based" and validated
empirically. - Jana Staton
The marriage education movement not unlike the marriage and family therapy
movement has been dominated by models. In MFT there has been a refreshing
shift away from models toward a "common factors" approach, brought to our
attention most recently by researchers, Scott Miller and Barry Duncan.
Their excellent book, "The Heart and Soul of Change" is an excellent read.
The idea is that there are common factors found in all psychotherapies that
have been proven to work and that a focus on those factors rather than on a
particular (sometimes proprietary) model increases our chances of getting
positive outcomes. As a natural integrationist I've been drawn to this way
I'm less experienced with marriage education but I'd hypothesize that the
same trend toward common factors would hold true. And incidentally the
common factors in psychotherapy are: relationship factors, extratherapeutic
factors, technique, and placebo. I would think that applying the common
factors to marriage education would make a great doctoral dissertation for
someone out there.
Kevin J. Kervick, M.S.
I wish to congratulate Judy Parejko on her piece on the President, his
marriage and family relationships. It is one of the best pieces of writing
that I have read for a very long time. Very well put and it hits the nail
on the head. THANK YOU Judy for taking the time and effort to write this
excellent piece. We circulated the piece widely in South Africa to indicate
that America is not in a state of total moral decay, as evidenced by the
actions of past Pres Clinton and the masses of substandard TV programs and
films that eminate from the USA. It will be encouraging to see evidence
that more people such as Judy are alive and well in the USA.
- dr bernhard ficker SOUTH AFRICA ficker at ctech.ac.za
Mr. Burn's comments are particularly distressing. By asking us not to
"judge" others, he is promulgating the destructive philosophy of moral
relativism, which holds that all beliefs and ideas are equal and hence
cannot be judged right or wrong. If all beliefs are equal, why should we
promote marriage--hey, single parenthood and cohabitation would be equally
valid lifestyle options as "all beliefs are equal." Unfortunately, all
beliefs are not equal. For example, the evidence is compelling that
outcomes for children are better in the married intact family than other
family forms; hence, for children the married intact family is preferable to
other family forms.
In addition, Mr. Burns is misinterpreting Scripture. In the passage about
judging others, what is being said is that as you judge others, God shall
judge you (i.e., you point out the splinter in your neighbor's eye but
forget about the log in your own)
MARRIAGE COURSES IN UNIVERSITIES:
This is a follow up issue to John Williams' question. At Pepperdine we
offer an undergrad course titled "Developing Healthy Relationships." Other
than the Parrotts' Relationship book, we've had trouble finding potential
textbooks that are well suited for the kind of course we're attempting to
offer. There are a number of marriage and family textbooks, but we're
particularly interested in books that offer relationship/marriage education
and that focus on the skills and attitudes associated with relationship and
marital success. I wonder if we could find out what others are using for
MARRIAGE AS A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY:
Just my two cents voting for Marriage as a Spiritual Journey for the
next Conference. I think you'll double the attendance if you do it right.
Right now, I'm reading a book by some monks from a monastery in New York
about the difficulties of the monastic life...it begins with infatuation,
rapture, spiritual highs, and then....it's just the daily grind with a bunch
of grumpy old guys (the book is In the Spirit of Happiness, by the Monks of
New Skete). The parallels to marriage are incredible.
I'm starting to bring the spiritual dimensions of marriage as a lifelong
discipline up openly in seminars and with clients, not from a specific
religious perspective (i.e, God wants you to remain committed, has made
marriage a sacred covenant, etc.), but more from the perspective that
marriage provides each partner's soul with incredible growth opportunities.
Many of my customers aren't openly religious, but I still think they need to
hear this, and they seem receptive. Jana Staton
THANKS FROM A COVENANT COUPLE:
Thank you, Ms. Gallagher, for an inspiring and insightful article on
Covenant Marriage. My wife, Kelly, and I are another young professional
couple who opted into Louisiana's more binding form of marriage. The choice
was one we never gave a second thought, and we have never regretted our
decision. I sometimes feel that the media presents a skeptical/unfavorable
view on the Covenant Marriage law that is unfair and shortsighted.
Kelly and I (as an "example Covenant Marriage couple") have given a number
of interviews to media outlets from CBS to Time magazine, and are
consistently surprised with how little our interviewers seem to understand
our decision. The fact that it is even newsworthy that two people would
willingly opt into an actual lifetime commitment is a sad statement about
our times. It is as though the plan to be bound to one another for the rest
of our lives is naive or simple-minded. One reporter who interviewed us was
even openly hostile, as if she actually resented us for sharing such a
sanguine view of our commitment.
As a growing number of our friends and neighbors in Louisiana opt into
Covenant Marriages (and out of the once mandatory "No Fault Divorce"
scheme), we are certain that our tragic divorce statistics will gradually
improve. Not only is the required Covenant Marriage pre-marital counseling
a great deterrant for many who would unwisely or unwittingly rush into a
wedding-- as your article illustrates, the post-marital counseling and
prolonged separation period will save many families who would tragically
rush into our divorce courts.
We are hopeful that the other states will take Louisiana and Arizona's lead
and adopt Covenant Marriage laws. All couples should have the option of
choosing a marriage paradigm that more accurately reflects a sense of
sacredness about their love, their vows, and their commitment than the one
offered by the standard, "No Fault Divorce" marriage laws.
We appreciate your article, and hope it sparks more discussion about the
enormous value and potential of Covenant Marriage.
J. Michael Johnson, J.D.
Baton Rouge, LA
CALL FOR PROPOSALS:
Indiana Council on Family Relations
Call for Proposals for 2001Annual Conference
Ethnic Families : Strengths, Challenges, and Services
Proposals for presentations at the 2001 conference of the Indiana
Council on Family Relations are now being accepted. The conference will be
held on October 20, 2001 at University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis. To
serve the varied needs of those in attendance at the conference, we seek
submissions that emphasize innovative approaches to practice and policy in
the field of ethnic families, as well as scholarly research. We also are
interested in programs that incorporate a strong experiential focus.
Proposals that reflect a diversity of perspectives and approaches to family
and community linkages are especially welcome.
The conference offers a variety of formats for professional
a. Round table an informal session with presenters leading discussion
on a topic related to the conference theme. Participation for each round
table is limited to 8 people, including the leader(s) (40 minutes).
b. Experiential workshop provides an exploration of, and experience
in, some intervention, activity, etc., that relates to the conference theme
c. Symposium a collection of presentations that follow a central theme
(e.g., differing views on approaches to adolescent sexuality;) may be
practical or scholarly in nature (90 minutes).
d. Practice report describes an intervention relevant to the conference
theme (40 minutes).
e. Research report describes an empirical research project that focuses on
the conference theme; may be basic or applied in nature (40 minutes).
f. Scholarly paper explores some aspect of the conference theme
conceptually. Usually rooted in professional literature (40 minutes).
g. Reflective drawn from one¹s own life experiences (e.g., "my
experiences working with adolescents") (40 minutes).
h. Visual presentations (also called posters) may contain the same content
as any of the presentations listed above. Those who have prepared posters
appropriate to the conference theme for NCFR or other professional purposes
are encouraged to submit a proposal to re-display that poster at the ICFR
conference. Visual presentations will be on display throughout the
Deadline for submission of proposals is June 10, 2001. Proposals should be
no longer than one page in length. Please indicate the format(s) for which
you would like your proposal considered. Presentations will be blind
reviewed and authors will be informed of the status of their proposal by
July 30, 2001. Please send three copies of your proposal to Phylis Lan Lin,
Asian Programs, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46227.
Questions about conference submissions may also be addressed to Phylis Lan
Lin at 317-7883288 (o) or 317-7883480 (f) (lin at uindy.edu).
Copyright © 2001 CMFCE. All rights reserved.
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