Instructor Training

Get equipped to lead others in this transformative program



 Learn to teach COUPLE COMMUNICATION I & II Programs (plus CORE COMMUNICATION for individuals) for pre-marriage preparation, marriage education, or counseling. The 2-day workshop covers teaching/coaching methods for improving skills of talking, listening, resolving conflicts, and managing anger effectively. The workshop shows you how to use practical tools to help couples build a more collaborative and satisfying relationship. The content in the workshop is integrated with relevant theory and research. (For more about CORE COMMUNICATION, see

Included with the workshop, yet held separately via web-based learning, is facilitator training for the “ThriveSphere Collaborative Marriage Reflectment” Inventory. For more details on ThriveSphere, Click here.

Who Should Attend 

    The workshop is open to the following:


    • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists
    • Psychologists
    • Clinical Social Workers
    • Certified Counselors
    • Clergy
    • Family Life Educators
    • Pastoral Counselors
    • College/University/Seminary Educators in Marriage Preparation, Marriage and Family Therapy, Pastoral Care
    • Leader Couples Who Teach or Mentor Couples in Congregations



      The goal of the workshop is for participants to gain a systemic set of methods to help couples and individuals talk, listen, resolve conflicts, and manage anger more effectively.
      By attending the workshop, participants will:

      • Identify/experience competencies for coaching communication skills and processes with couples and individuals.
      • Explain major maps and frameworks underlying the communication skills and processes.
      • Practice and apply communication skills, processes, and coaching methods in an interaction (using skills mats as tools).
      • Identify the major theories supporting the skills, processes, and methods for teaching.
      • Experience the major exercises of COUPLE COMMUNICATION I & II and CORE.
      • Choose a course design for working with couples and individuals in a particular setting — counseling practice, congregation, educational institution, or community center.
      • Identify guidelines for making learning agreements (contracts) with prospective participant couples.

      Workshop Learning Methods


        The instructor workshop incorporates all COUPLE COMMUNICATION learning modes – presentations, demonstrations, skills practice using skills mats, inventories, and application/transfer exercises. Special attention is focused on how to coach and give feedback effectively to couples. As in the COUPLE COMMUNICATION Program itself, you practice and coach with real issues of your own choosing (appropriate for the setting). In addition, because it is instructor training, you use simulated issues and situations for certain exercises.

          Each workshop participant uses a COUPLE COMMUNICATION (CC) Instructor Manual, a CC I Couple Packet, a CC II Instructor Agenda, a CC II Couple Packet, and a CORE COMMUNICATION workbook. For a description of the Couple items and other instructor materials, click here.

          For those with major interest of working with individuals, the CORE COMMUNICATION Instructor Manual may be substituted for the COUPLE one or purchased in addition. 



            8:00 a.m. Registration/Check In
            8:30 a.m. Introduction to the Communication Programs: COUPLE I & II and CORE COMMUNICATION
            Presentation – Overview of CC I (with Preview Video), The Couple Packet, Goals, Ground Rules, Definition & 7 Dimensions of a Collaborative Marriage, Instructional Competencies
            Communication: Attitude and Behavior
            9:15 a.m. Styles of Communication
            Presentation – 4 Styles of Talking: The “Low” Road and the “High” Road
            Demonstration (Video) – Using the Styles
            Exercise Styles of Communication Nonverbally
            10:00 a.m. Communication and Issues
            Presentation – Types of Issues
            Exercise – Identifying Issues
            Presentation – Process Contracts
            10:15 a.m. Break
            10:30 a.m. The Awareness Wheel – The Structure of an Issue & the Basis for Clear Communication
            Presentation – The Practical Tool for Dealing with Issues
            Exercise – Expanding Awareness Using the Awareness Wheel
            Demonstration – Understanding an Issue (with Skills Mat)
            12:00 p.m. Lunch Break: Participants Make Own Arrangements
            1:00 p.m. Presentation – 6 Talking Skills for Clearer Messages
            Demonstration – Instructor-Coaching
            Exercise – Practice Using the Awareness Wheel Skills Mat to Process an Issue (in Small Groups, with Coaching), Tracking a Talker
            1:45 p.m. The Listening Cycle – A Tool for Effective Listening
            Presentation – 5 Attentive Listening Skills & the Listening Cycle
            Demonstration – Attentive Listening (with Skills Floor Mat) and Coaching
            Exercise – Practice Using the Listening Cycle Skills Mat to Understand (in Small Groups, with Coaching)
            3:00 p.m. Conflict Patterns & Collaborative Process
            Presentation – Conflict Outcomes/Process, & Mapping Issues
            3:30 p.m. Break
            3:45 p.m. Demonstration (Video or Live) – Couple Applying 9-Step Process
            4:15 p.m. Instructional Designs and Settings
            Presentation – Group or Conjoint Program Agendas
            4:30 p.m. Course – Contracting with Couples
            Presentation – Couple Readiness & Commitment to Participate; Working with Highly Conflicted Couples
            4:45 p.m. Inventory and Theory of CC Program
            Presentation – ThriveSphere Collaborative Marriage Inventory; Individuation, Consideration, & Systemic Collaboration: Integration with Neuroscience and Attachment Theories
            5:30 p.m. Day 1 of Workshop Ends


            Day Two


            Demonstration – Inside and Outside the Skills Zone
            Exercise – How you leave the Skills Zone
            Presentation – Staying Skilled: Leading & Following, Hot & Cold Responses, Stop & Shift  

            8:00 a.m. Communication Teaching/Coaching Cycle
            Presentation and Demonstrations – Tying Competencies Together and Coaching Methods
            8:45 a.m. Coaching Practice
            Exercise – Coaching Talking/Listening Skills in Mapping an Issue Process
            9:45 a.m. CORE COMMUNICATION for Individuals
            Presentation – Teaching the Same Skills and Processes to Singles
            10:15 a.m. Break
            10:30 a.m. COUPLE COMMUNICATION II
            Presentation – Overview of COUPLE COMMUNICATION II and Prerequisites for Couples
            The Skills Zone: Collaborative Communication
            Demonstration – Inside and Outside the Skills Zone
            Exercise – How you leave the Skills Zone
            Presentation – Staying Skilled: Leading & Following, Hot & Cold Responses, Stop & Shift
            12:00 p.m. Lunch Break: Participants Make Own Arrangements
            1:00 p.m. Demonstration – Creating a Collaborative Operating System
            Managing My Anger
            Presentation – Typical Focus, Catalysts, & Expressions of Anger
            Exercise – A Situation of My Anger
            Presentation – Principles & Processes for Managing Self in Anger
            Demonstration – Process Use
            Exercise – Re-Appraise a Situation of Anger
            2:45 p.m. Responding to Partner’s Anger
            Presentation – Escalating or De-escalating the Anger, Choice Points, Staying Skilled
            Demonstration – Options for Responding to Expressions of Anger
            Exercise – Customizing Effective Responses
            3:30 p.m. Aligning the Relationship
            Presentation – Overview3:55 p.m.COUPLE COMMUNICATION II Instructional Designs
            Presentation – Options for Your Setting
            4:05 p.m. How to Offer Couple Communication Successfully in Your Setting
            Presentation – Ingredients of Successful Implementation
            4:20 p.m. Action Plan for Your Setting
            Exercise – Planning an Approach
            4:35 p.m. Program Certification
            Presentation – Certification Benefits & Steps
            4:50 p.m. Evaluation of Workshop
            5:00 p.m. Workshop Ends