Does Recharging Your Marriage Really Require a Tropical Island "Couples Retreat"?

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In Today's Economy More People are Traveling via the Internet than by Cars and Planes. Fortunately the Internet is Opening New Opportunities for Couples to Get a Picture of Their Relationship on the Web that Cuts Through Historic Therapy Approaches. ThriveSphere is the First in a New Generation of Online Couple Tools which Provides the Essential Benefits of a Retreat without the Trip.

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the movie Couples Retreat's portrayal of marriage counseling is comical, but they portrayed a 20th century view of counseling. In the 21st century, the web is revolutionizing how couples and counselors connect.

Dr. Sherod Miller, CEO of ICP, Inc., an innovator in Couple Communication skills training of which more than 1.4 million people have participated, says "the movie Couples Retreat's portrayal of marriage counseling is comical, but they portrayed a 20th century view of counseling. In the 21st century, the web is revolutionizing how couples and counselors connect."

"Couple relationships are both more complex and vital than ever," according to Daniel Lord, Ph.D., Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy. "But as the film shows, even though divorce is a real concern for many couples, most couples are very cautious about seeking professional help. This is where the web is shifting the whole scene of couple support and change, giving couples more information and more power to chart the course of their life together."

The challenge for couples, until now, is that while the web has plenty of information about relationships, even sometimes too much raw information, there is very little interactive relationship-building help.

But that has now changed. In late 2006, Dr Miller was approached by Phil Lawson, CEO of Spherit Inc, with a patented web based tool and process that he believed could revolutionize marriage counseling. It was already being used for job readiness in workforce and colleges, and organizational strategic planning, to streamline communications and outcomes. Over the next two years Dr. Miller, Mr. Lawson and Dr. Lord developed an online marriage counseling application and have trained facilitators in the US and internationally from Australia to Russia in its use.

The online tool, an advanced computer visualization called ThriveSphere, allows couples to work with a trained facilitator and graphically see how they relate on one single page. The system incorporates neuroscience and the modern science of complex adaptive systems. It's a strengths-based approach to couple change, putting the couple in the driver's seat in strengthening their relationship and writing the next chapter in their couple life.

The system is now being used by the U.S. Army Family Life Chaplains to aid soldiers and their partners/spouses. When introduced to Chaplains for use in June of this year 87% responded that they think Army couples will get a lot of help from ThriveSphere, 83% thought the Army version of ThriveSphere will make their work with couples more effective and 77% indicated it will save them time.

Couples love it! "We do not understand why all therapists don't use ThriveSphere. We had been to three therapists previously and had given up on therapy and our marriage. A friend told us about a therapist that used ThriveSphere with them. So we tried it and LOVED it. The connections the ThriveSphere made for us were indeed life changing." (Comment of one couple whose names have been withheld for privacy.)

"As Vince Vaughn and the other actors showed in the movie, Couples Retreat, revitalizing a relationship requires a break in a couple's routine and a new clarity of self for a different kind of encounter with one's partner. This creates a new window for both to see and understand their relationship in fresh new ways. ThriveSphere takes what was formerly an anxious and time consuming effort, and created an engaging couple journey of discovery and change. Relationship help at the speed of the net." says Dr. Lord.

Dr. Miller recommends that, "Before couples spend thousands of dollars in travel they should surf the web for resources now at their finger tips to open a new chapter in their relationship. ThriveSphere is the first in a new generation of support and resources to aid couples in healthy marriage education and counseling."

Sherod Miller, Ph.D., is a social-psychologist and CEO of Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc., in Evergreen Colorado. More than 70 independent research studies have been conducted on the Couple Communication program he co-developed at the University of Minnesota. He has trained 10,000 instructors in its use, written numerous books on communication and relationships, is a Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Certified Family Life Educator.

Dr. Daniel Lord is Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy (Friends University, Wichita, KS) Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist, pastoral counselor, and Couple Communication Training Associate. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor. Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Ordained clergy in the United Methodist Church.

Phil Lawson, (aka Spherical Phil) is CEO of Spherit Inc, an inventor, author, creator of the Sphere Reflectment System. Spherit Inc facilitates personal, organizational and community transformation to prepare people for success in our 21st century world. The underlying concepts of the approach are explained in detail in the book: Being Spherical - Reshaping Our Lives and Our World for the 21st Century, which he co-authored and was published in 2004. Prior to entering the business world Phil and his wife spent 10 years in a ministerial work in the Southern United States in social change and integration activities.

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Pamela Powers Lawson
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