There are several factors that will make a difference in how successful this program is for you as you attempt to address your couple relationship and parenting challenges. Consider the following factors for yourself as you begin working toward completing this program and reaching your goals:
Problem Severity: This program works best for those who have mild to moderate problems with couple conflict and parenting. It is not intended to be used by those with severe issues in this area. For example, if there is physical abuse occurring between you and your partner or of any children in the family, it is advised that you seek professional and/or legal help.
Personal motivation to change: It can be hard to find the motivation to change your current ways of thinking and behaving but using this program along with a strong willingness to work toward change is important. You will be more likely to succeed if you are highly motivated! You may want to ask yourself why you are using this program and what it would mean for your life if your problems with marital conflict and parenting are resolved. It’s also important to approach these issues with a positive attitude (e.g., “I know this can get better. My kids deserve my best effort!”). You should be aware of any negative attitudes that may stand in the way of your success from the start (e.g., “Things will never change; my family will always have these problems.”).
Openness to change: Throughout this program you will be asked to let go of familiar patterns and unhealthy ways of behaving, thinking, and feeling. Change is difficult for many people (even positive change) so it is important from the outset that you check in with yourself to see how open you really are to things being different. Even unhealthy patterns often have some type of value or benefit, making it difficult to let go of them and create more healthy patterns.
Commitment: Another important factor is your commitment to this program. This includes making time to complete each session and the related activities. Your success will depend in large part on the work that you put into your treatment. Along with committing time and effort, it is important that you are able to identify and manage and major life stressors that may interfere with your ability to focus on the program before continuing. You will need to make this a top priority right here in the beginning of the program and be honest with yourself if this is too busy of a time in your life to work on these issues.
Social Support: Having adequate social support is another factor that will contribute to your treatment success. For example, it may help to have supportive friends and family members know that you’re using this program and working on changing your relationship and parenting behaviors. This way they can offer encouragement and support along the way, especially if you encounter challenges or get discouraged at some point.
Next, we do two exercises – the first one to identify specific issues you are experiencing within your family, and the second one to formulate your main treatment goal.