Learn the skills to stop fighting, build trust, intimacy & love at http://poweroftwomarriage.com. Marriage, like having a baby, doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We aren’t born knowing how to best approach sensitive topics, how to deal with jealousy, or negotiate who takes the garbage out. Marriage is wonderful but tough, especially around times of change like having a baby. With the expectation of blissful “happily ever after” hanging over our heads, marriage challenges can seem insurmountable and make divorce appear the only option.
Psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler designed Power of Two, a marriage help book and workbook, with these modern challenges in mind. PO2 is based on Skill Based Learning. It approaches marriage problems with the idea that couples can learn tangible, practical skills that will help them have a strong, healthy marriage. These skill areas include dialogue and compassionate listening, win-win decision-making, and maintaining warmth and positivity. As opposed to traditional talking therapy, Skill Based Learning focuses on giving you the tools to continue to solve your own problems as they arise in the future, not just to solve specific ones in the moment.
In 2007 Dr. Heitler’s daughter, Dr. Abigail Hirsch, also a couples therapist, joined with a small team of friends and family to take Susan’s books to the next level. They applied for and received a grant from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services under the Healthy Marriages Initiative. This provided the funding to turn the book and workbook into a multimedia online marriage counseling program. The idea was to make help for marriage as easy and widely accessible as possible. After creating an account, users now have access to an extensive array of worksheets, videos, flash games, and podcasts covering key areas of marriage skill building. Each member is assigned a real live coach–often Dr. Hirsch herself–to guide them through the curriculum. Members can log in to PO2 anywhere, anytime, and do it alone or with their spouses. The program cost is subsidized by the government grant, meaning that help is vastly more affordable than most therapy services.
Power of Two is working to dissolve the stigma that “counseling” and “therapy” hold for so many Americans and stop divorce by bringing effective, quality care to couples at all stages in their relationship. Pregnancy Awareness Month plays an important part in raising awareness about the needs of new moms and dads at this big point in their lives. Dr. Hirsch is excited to be writing a series of two guest posts for PAM on how couples can prepare for and deal with the stresses and joys of bringing a new child into the world.