Collaborative Marriage Planning is new to Pittsburgh offering couples help to build a healthy and happy marriage or relationship and lower their risk of divorce.
Couples plan extensively for their wedding day but typically give little thought to what will happen after the wedding and honeymoon are over.
Collaborative Marriage Planning helps couples discuss and plan regarding the most important issues that are rarely discussed by most couples before it is too late. We help couples apply the effective Collaborative Dispute Resolution process to develop a marriage plan and partnership agreement while building the skills for a healthier relationship whether this is your first marriage or not. Collaborative Marriage Planning helps couples to develop the tools and skills they need to minimize disputes, manage conflicts, and improve their chances for a durable, successful and satisfying relationship.
In addition to addressing legal and financial planning, we focus on building skills to form a strong marriage or committed relationship. This includes improving communication, discussing role expectations, learning conflict resolution skills, discussing parenting practices, identifying any family of origin issues, and identifying goals including personal, couple and family.
Call today to schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation to find out if the Collaborative Marriage Planning Process is right for you. 724-759-7514 or book online here.
We offer a program of five sessions to address the components of a strong, healthy marriage including communication, dealing with conflict, finances, extended family, children, intimacy and spirituality. The process uses a team of collaborative professionals – a lawyer for each party, a neutral facilitator/coach and a neutral financial professional in a process that is tailored to the couple in supporting and building healthy communication tools and conflict management skills through the development of a three to five-year marriage plan and partnership agreement focusing on some of the most challenging issues for any couple. For those who don’t require a team the Coach can work with the couple to provide the Marriage Planning services.
Who Can Benefit?
Collaborative marriage planning services are available to any couple who is planning a wedding or planning to live together. If these values are important to you, Collaborative Practice is likely a good option for you:
- I want to plan for a healthy marriage, not just focus on my wedding day.
- I want to learn communication skills that will make our marriage strong.
- I want us to maintain a tone of respect and dignity even when we disagree.
- I want to work constructively to meet the needs of each of us and our current or future children.
- I believe that both love and healthy relationship skills are required to build a strong and long-lasting marriage.
- I believe that working creatively and cooperatively solves issues.
- I want a plan for how we will work together and communicate about issues related to home, lifestyle, children, finance, health, hobbies, work, play/recreation, love and sex.
- I want to plan for our emotional and financial future.
Collaborative Marriage Planning may be right for you if you are:
- Planning a wedding
- A parent of someone planning a wedding
- Planning to live together in a committed relationship
The typical program consists of five two hour meetings with a free follow up meeting a year later, however the program can be tailored to you. Agenda topics for the program include:
- Strength and Growth Areas
- Communication Styles
- Personal Stress Profile
- Balancing Your Priorities
- Changing Roles
- Communication vs. Competition
- Control and Power within Partnership
- Accepting Difference
- Resolving Conflict
- Seeking and Granting Forgiveness
- The Challenges of Money; The Meaning of Money; Priorities; Financial Goals
- Emotions around Money – Buying Happiness
- Managing Expectations
- Extended Family
- Setting Boundaries
- Goal Setting – Leisure Values, Life Assessment, Achieving Goals Together
- Follow-up/Review on any areas of concern
The Collaborative Coach
The Collaborative Coach is a skilled practitioner and licensed mental health professional with training in the interdisciplinary collaborative practice model whose role is to facilitate effective communication and interactions.
The collaborative coach is knowledgeable about the specific dynamics and issues related to marriage. In this role, coaches are not acting as therapists, but are using their training and skills to help clients work through their emotions about planning for a marriage, not just the wedding day, and focus on identifying long-term needs and interests for their future together. Coaches help clients participate meaningfully in the collaborative process.
In Collaborative Marriage Planning the neutral coach works with the couple and the other collaborative professionals to facilitate discussions to plan for a healthy emotional, financial and legal future as a married couple. If children are involved, the coaching also focuses on helping the soon to be blended family plan for healthy relationships.
Emotions, communication and discussions regarding children and parenting, budgeting and other financial concerns are an essential part of planning for a healthy marriage. The Collaborative Coach helps couples identify and discuss feelings and issues about the relationship and marriage, think through emotionally charged issues, and communicate about needs, fears and concerns. The coach teaches communication skills that are helpful for the long-term success of the marriage and as potential parents together.
The Collaborative Team
The coach can work alone or with other members of the professional team, including the Collaborative Attorneys and Collaborative Financial Neutral, to support the couple in all areas of planning for a successful marriage – building on the foundation of love and adding skills, tools and professional support.
Each collaborative professional brings their specific training and skill set to the table. Collaboratively trained mental health professionals, attorneys and financial professionals each have specialized abilities for supporting and encouraging a truly lasting relationship that best meets the needs and interests of a new family.
We believe that every marriage deserves a plan.
Loretta “Lori” Gephart, M.A., Licensed Psychologist, is a Collaborative Coach and a member of the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania, where she is the past president and a trainer for Collaborative Basic Training. She is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals where she serves on the Board. She is committed to assisting individuals in working through their differences collaboratively without going to court.
Lori is ready to help you to develop healthier, stronger relationships. Appointments are available in our Wexford offices and via Zoom.
Please note that these services are not covered by insurance.