DIY Relationship Workshops
2 ways to work on your relationship throughout the year without leaving the comfort of your home.
How many times do you see marriage retreats pop up in your area and you are unable to attend for one reason or another. Be it scheduling conflicts, lack of financial resources, unwillingness to be in a large group, inability/unwillingness to secure a babysitter and the list goes on. Life can be complicated and busy however I attempt creatively to take the complicated out of growth.
So, what in the world is a DIY relationship workshop you may be thinking. My thought process behind the concept was birthed a while back when first hearing a Psychologist speak about how he intentionally works on his marriage on a yearly basis. He explained that yearly he and his wife evaluate the state of their marriage with regards to weaknesses and strengths and come up with a game plan over the course of the upcoming year to strategically and intentionally work on their marriage, through what's known as bibliotherapy (the use of books as therapy). So, one year they wanted to grow in intimacy (which is way more then just sex) so they choose their books and set out for a year long journey of understanding, practicing and growing in the area of intimacy. It was pretty cool hearing him speak of his intentionality with their marriage and it spoke to me in the sense of how I can both bring that to my relationships (at the time I was a single mom) and to the couples I work with. Interested in bringing this creativity into your relationship? Here are 2 ways to uncomplicate growth.
Books. Assessing your weakness and strengths as a couple and choosing 4 books to read together over the course of the year in your areas of weakness. An example of that would be your desire to improve communication with each other. You would choose which books will help grow your communication as a couple and then create the time and space to commit to the task of reading weekly. As a couple you can be creative with this process and play into each other's strengths, as there are relationships where the wife loves to read and the husband prefers to listen to her read. No matter the venue you choose to digest the information, the important part is that you are doing it together and processing the material in order to build a strong version of relationship.
Online video streaming.For those clients that personally work with me I offer access to a video streaming program through Right Now Media. Rightnow media is an online streaming video subscription service where I give you instant access to hundreds of video Bible and topical studies from the world’s best and brightest authors, pastors, and Bible study teachers. Think of it like a Netflix or Hulu for studies/workshops! Once you begin your work with me, I’ll send you an invitation to access the studies on any of your devices including, iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, phones and tablets, Mac and Windows PCs and Apple TV. In the beginning I will assign which videos to watch based on where you are at in your relationship and then through time you will transition to picking your own material. Some videos speak to a workbook or book and getting them is all up to you and how deep you want to go with a particular subject matter. You can choose just to listen and watch, watch and complete the workbook or watch, complete the workbook and read the book. For the best absorption my recommendation is to complete the workbook in order to truly process all that is being watched, your thoughts and feelings regarding both the content and your relationship and aid in the process of application. Another cool feature is to pause and discuss as you see fit, in order to discuss, process and unpack relevant relational dynamics in the moment.
Be creative! You can even schedule a gateway for the weekend with the sole purpose of watching and processing the information in the videos or books you choose. You'll grow, spend some quality time with each other and be encouraged to make your marriage even better than ever. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Can't set aside an overnight trip. No worries. You can plan a few dinner dates or maybe even mornings together over a week or two. Customize your workshop in whatever way is best for the two of you!
We have to remember to continue to nuture and care for our relationship in order to benefit from the growth it has all the potential to achieve. We recognize in our work environment the need for continuing education hours but somewhere lose sight of the need to do that in our most valuable realtionships. Never stop growing as a couple. You owe it to yourselves to care, grow and tend to your highest priority.
Yvette E. McDonald is the owner and counselor at Traveling Light Counseling, a practice for couples helping them create an intimate partnership for the journey of life in the Port Saint Lucie and Martin County area.
I'm passionate about couples creating a strong friendship and foundation that can go the distance. If you're in the Saint Lucie or Martin County Area and couple life isn't quite what you expected it to be at this point in your journey, please give me a call at 772-361-8448 for a free, 15-minute phone consultation.