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Demystifying the Science of Relationships

Posted: December 3, 2018

When something is referred to as a “science”, some people look for research completed by highly accredited professionals with multiple designations at the end of their names to feel comfortable in taking what they’re reading to heart.

We agree. That’s why Prepare/Enrich utilizes both internal and external research gathered from medical professionals such as our founder, family science pioneer Dr. David Olson, and registered social workers. We have over 2,000 published and unpublished articles supporting our products, assessments and tools that are being used across North America. Our tools are unique in how they assess relationships – they work in the “here and now” and appreciate that relationships are dynamic and constantly changing.

The Circumplex Model is one of the innovative tools offered to P/E facilitators and focuses on balance. This Model suggests that “balanced levels of cohesion and flexibility are most conducive to healthy family functioning. Conversely, unbalanced levels of cohesion and flexibility (very low or very high levels) are associated with problematic family functioning” (Olson, 2011, p.65).

Similar to the Couple & Family Map currently in use, this Model focuses more on the interaction between two key dimensions, cohesion and flexibility, and can be applied to both couples and families. It is dynamic, changing and adapting as a relationship grows and changes.

Try using this with your clients – it may surprise them about where they think they are on the Model vs. where they actually are, and how simple it is to move around the Model as life circumstances change. Focusing on communication, even the most “disengaged” couples can become balanced.