couple communication

About Couple Communication


COUPLE COMMUNICATION began at the University of Minnesota Family Study Center with the research and development work of Drs. Sherod Miller, Daniel Wackman, and Elam Nunnally in the early 1970s. Dr. Phyllis Miller joined the team in the 1980’s. The purpose of their organization called Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc., (ICP) was to:

  • Provide instructor/facilitator training, tools, and materials to help individuals, couples, and groups
  • Communicate skillfully
  • Make important decisions and resolve conflicts collaboratively
  • Build satisfying relationships with family, friends, and people at work


ICP has been well known and continues as the originator, copyright holder, and registered trademark holder of the Awareness Wheel™ (or Information Wheel™), which is the foundation for effective talking and listening skills. In addition, ICP is noted for the frameworks of Styles of Communication™, the Listening Cycle™, and the collaborative process called Mapping an Issue. COUPLE COMMUNICATION and Core Communication teach how to put these frameworks to practical use.

From the beginning, ICP encouraged independent research on its programs and the applications of them. A large body of research exists on COUPLE COMMUNICATION, much of it done in the earlier years, which established its effectiveness. In fact, it is the most researched marriage-education program available.

To date, more than 700,000 couples around the world have participated in COUPLE COMMUNICATION. The program has been translated into over a dozen languages. These achievements could never have been accomplished without the dedicated instructors who bring the program to life.

COUPLE COMMUNICATION has received awards for its development from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment, the National Council on Family Relations and the Smart Marriages Impact Award.

The current revision is the fifth edition of COUPLE COMMUNICATION I since its origination. As the others before it, this edition retains the research-supported basic skills that stand as the foundation of the program. Each revision has brought refinements to the frameworks, better learning methodology, and new features. This revision includes all of these things plus a conceptualization of collaborative marriage and the integration of new insights, in an easily learnable form, gained from the field of neuroscience.

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