the refoccus programme
ACCORD has taken the programme REFOCCUS as its main contribution to Marriage Enrichment for the present. This is a five-week programme run on the basis of a two-hour meeting once a week with plenty of homework for the week. The topics of REFOCCUS are: Marriage as a Process; Intimacy; Compatibility; Communication; Commitment. It is an excellent programme that provides the opportunity for a couple to take charge of their marriage relationship in the present.
Two or more ACCORD facilitators conduct this programme. Their role is to give whatever input is necessary for each of the topics, make sure that each person understands as clearly as possible each step of the various sessions, and keep the sessions moving and on time. Each couple participating does the main work of the programme. There is an opportunity for individual activities, for couple activities, for couple discussion, and for group work. It is also the responsibility of each couple to engage with the homework in the weeks in between the sessions.
A marriage has many seasons. The couple who knows what season they are in and who understands that season's characteristics and challenges will probably weather that season very well.
Marriage is not a fixed state; it is an on-going process. A healthy couple will build five, ten, twenty different marriages with each other in the course of a lifetime commitment. That process of building new marriages usually happens around family and personal transition times, stages of life development, the ages of children, economic and job changes, failures and disappointments etc. That change and rebuilding can be difficult and upsetting. It can also be exciting and challenging.
REFOCCUS is designed to be used by a couple over and over again. The responses each makes are for this point in time. They are indicators of: a) what needs discussing today; b) what the couple has achieved that can be celebrated; c) what could benefit from more time and attention given to it.
For whom is REFOCCUS intended?
It was written for the average married couple. The experience is that ordinary couples have strengths and weaknesses in their relationship. The strengths in a relationship give the couple the motivation and ability to seek out and use marriage enrichment tools and processes. The weaknesses need to be identified and addressed. REFOCCUS is written to affirm and promote growth in strong marriages; it is written to give direction and help to the ordinary couple struggling with the daily questions of marriage. A troubled marriage will probably not be helped by REFOCCUS unless the instrument is used under the guidance of a qualified counsellor.
What some people have said:
“REFOCCUS was a chance to broach subjects that needed discussion but would never have been gotten round to.”
“I have benefited from REFOCCUS because the questions each week are the questions we were afraid to ask each other and they helped us to focus on each other and discuss our needs and ideas.”
“We learned that we are both on the right road and facing the right direction.”
“Very pleasant, peaceful, unpressurised but challenging and a licence to work on things that need to be visited”
“Excellent course, invaluable to our marriage, we needed it to enable us to take time out for ourselves and to focus.”
“The course was excellent, the presenters did a wonderful job, most pleasant, welcoming. I couldn't recommend it strongly enough..”
“We both found the course excellent. We are going to go over it again and again. We often go away on holidays and we will take this with us sometimes.”
“Most useful, providing a structure for further examination and discussion between us.”
“We are communicating better. We have more understanding of each other's needs”