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Premarital Counseling With the PREPARE/ENRICH Customized Version

Christian Family Institute has been training mental health professionals, pastors, and lay counselors to do premarital counseling for over 30 years.  We are strong believers that such premarital preparation can improve relationships and reduce divorce rates.  One tool CFI commonly employs to strengthen relationships and marriages before they begin is the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment inventory.

I look back at the old versions of this test and am amazed at the changes that it has undergone over these many years.  I first met Dr. David Fournier, an early developer of the inventory in 1977 when he was pilot testing PREPARE in Kansas City.  Little did I know how significant our relationship would later be, and what an important role PREPARE would serve in our work.

This last year, PREPARE underwent another major revision.  It is now going to be known as PREPARE/ENRICH Customized version, instead of PREPARE 2000.  Several major changes in the instrument are immediately apparent.  One change is that all the instruments are combined.  Another change is that this version can only be taken by computer.  When a counselor agrees with a couple to utilize this version, a private login account is established allowing the parties to take the inventory online.  The initial items inquire into the status of the couple’s relationship, such as whether they are engaged, living together, or married.  Other items inquire about age and other factors.  The answers to these questions determine which banks of questions are relevant and will be administered to the couple.  Each couple takes a “custom” version of the assessment.

The outcome results are immediately obvious.  Separate reports are generated for counselors (“facilitators”) and couples.  Reports include a massive amount or information about the couple and their relationship, no matter what stage of relationship the couple may be in.  This enables couples to make important informed decisions, including commitments to grow and change.

Another important aspect of the PREPARE/ENRICH inventories is the increased emphasis on interactive feedback and therapeutic exercises.  For those trained in this approach, tools for helping couples grow are immediately available to meet the couple’s needs.

CFI will be providing workshops to train new users of the PREPARE/ENRICH Customized Version, and to update those already trained in PREPARE 2000.  Watch CFI’s website for dates and times.  Also, check out the Life Innovations website for more information.

by Dale R. Doty, M.S.W., Ph.D.

To sign up for Dr. Dale Doty’s PREPARE/ENRICH training workshop on Friday, March 28, 2014 please click here.

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