Legacy Program Summary

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IMPORTANT LEGACY NOTICE: Legacy Programs have not been reviewed by the current National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The programs in this database were reviewed only under the previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system. This section is intended to be used for historical reference only. If you would like more information about a program listed here, please contact the program developer directly. The program developer of each Legacy Program listed here agreed to post program information on this site.

Relationship Enhancement Program

Brief Program Description

The Relationship Enhancement Program is an outpatient group therapy intervention that aims to improve relationship satisfaction by improving communication and problem-solving skills. Typically, married, engaged, or dating couples participate in up to 6 to 10 2-hour weekly sessions with two other couples and two facilitators. Participants are taught how to respond empathically, express their perceptions and feelings clearly, switch between empathic and expressive modes during a discussion, and model and teach these skills as a facilitator. Skills are taught through modeling and reinforcement. Sessions consist mostly of skills practice. Couples start the program discussing neutral and positive relationship issues, then address difficult issues as their skills improve.

The intervention has been tested on couples across the country. Participants have started the program with a range from low to high relationship satisfaction. Several studies indicate that the program improves communication skills and relationship satisfaction. In a randomized trial comparing relationship enhancement participants to participants in the Minnesota Couples Communication Program and a no-treatment control group, relationship enhancement participants had improved communication and relationship satisfaction more than the other groups. Results were maintained 3 months after program completion. Results of other studies suggest the intervention also increases participants' self esteem.

Contact Information

For indepth information on this program, please use the contact listed below.

Dr. Bob Scuka
National Institute of Relationship Enhancement
4400 East-West Highway
Suite 24
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 680-8977

In December 2004, this program was designated as a Promising Program under SAMHSA's previous National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs system.