Is the OR-PARTNERS Program couples therapy or marriage counseling?
The OR-PARTNERS Program is an online, relationship self-help program – its not therapy. However, in some ways, our program is better than therapy – you can do it on your own time from wherever you have an Internet connection. Thus, many couples consider the program a flexible alternative to couples counseling! And the results of past studies on the OurRelationship Program (www.OurRelationship.com)- the program from which OR-PARTNERS was adapted – show that the program is just as effective (or nearly as effective, depending on the study) as in-person marriage counseling.
As OR-PARTNERS includes the core content of the OurRelationship Program, we feel confident that couples who enroll in the OR-PARTNERS Program will see positive impacts on their relationship!
Does the program work?
One of the goals of the present study is to determine if OR-PARTNERS is an effective program for LGBTQ+ couples like you. That being said, the OR-PARTNERS Program is being adapted from the OurRelationship Program (www.OurRelationship.com), a program shown to be effective in improving couples’ relationship satisfaction, communication, and more! Studies on the OurRelationship Program have shown very promising results:
ο Unlike other programs, the OurRelationship Program has been tested as part of a nationwide, randomized trial with more than 2,000 people.
ο Results from multiple studies show that, following the OurRelationship Program, couples are more satisfied with their relationship, argue less, and feel closer.
ο The OurRelationship Program has also been shown to improve depressive and anxiety symptoms.
ο 94% of OurRelationship participants were satisfied with the program.
ο 97% of OurRelationship participants would recommend the program to a friend.
ο The OurRelationship Program is based on Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy, which has been shown to help even very unhappy couples save their marriage and avoid divorce – for five years or longer. No other approach out there can say that. Period.
If you’d like to find out more about the research supporting the OurRelationship Program, click HERE. You’ll be redirected to a page where you can read one of the published, peer-reviewed journal articles written about the program.
What kinds of problems will the program help me and my partner address?
Couples have successfully used the OurRelationship Program to solve the following types of problems:
ο Emotional distance or lack of love
ο Lack of trust or infidelity/cheating
ο Fights about money, parenting, or other specific topics
ο Difficulty recovering from painful events in the past
ο And many others
In addition to addressing broader relationship concerns, the OR-PARTNERS Program will allow you and your partner to address any challenges that may arise due to being in a LGBTQ+ relationship. For example, you will have the opportunity to address areas of concern such as:
ο Lack of support for your relationship
ο Navigating roles and responsibilities within your relationship
ο Coping with stigma or discrimination
The program will also help you and your partner focus on – and build upon -your relationship strengths!
Can I talk to a coach or therapist about my relationship?
Yes, you and your partner will meet with a LGBTQ+ affirming relationship coach four times throughout your participation in the OR-PARTNERS program. On calls, your coach will help you apply the skills and lessons you learned in the online activities to your relationship.
Calls with coaches can be scheduled during the day, during the evening, or on weekends, depending on availability.
What’s involved with the research aspect of the OR-PARTNERS program?
The OR-PARTNERS program is being offered as part of a treatment research study out of the University of Miami. Therefore, both you and your partner will first have to complete an online eligibility screener to see if you are a good fit for the program. (A link to the eligibility screener can be found at the bottom of this page.)
If you qualify for the program, in addition to completing online activities and having calls with a relationship coach, you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire at the end of the program. This questionnaire helps us track how well the program works. At the end of the program, you will also be asked to take part in a 10-minute exit interview via phone or video call with a project coach. The goal of the interview is to get your feedback on the program. You and your partner will each receive a $15 gift card to either Amazon, Walmart, or Target (your choice) for taking part in the 10-minute exit interview (can earn up to $30 in gift cards per couple).
How long does it take to complete the OR-PARTNERS program?
The program was designed to be completed in about two months, taking roughly 7-8 hours’ time. If you or your partner expects to be very stressed, busy, or out of town for a long time over the next couple of months, it might be a better idea to wait to start the program.
How much does the program cost? Do we get paid for completing it?
The OR-PARTNERS Program is being offered at NO COST to eligible couples. We are able to offer the program at no cost because the program is available as part of a treatment research study. Therefore, in addition to wanting to provide inclusive and affirming services to LGBTQ+ couples, we want to evaluate how effective OR-PARTNERS is at improving couples’ relationships.
If you and your partner complete the research aspects of the program, you can earn $30 per couple in gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, or Target (your choice).
Can anyone who is interested participate?
Unfortunately, because we are conducting a treatment research study, we are not able to provide services to all couples who may be interested. That is, we are currently only able to offer treatment to couples for whom both partners meet certain eligibility criteria (based on completion of the eligibility screener). We truly wish we could offer this program to everyone and hope that this study provides a foundation for expanding services to more couples in the future.
Please note that if you and your partner are not eligible for the OR-PARTNERS Program, we are happy to provide referrals to additional couple therapy resources in the local area that may be a good fit for you.
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