flame lit

Part 2, of 2.

Quick 411 about Winshape Marriages:

Winshape offers 3 categories of care for marriages: prepare, strengthen, and save. Within each category, there are many different programs offered.

I wanted to do our intensive through the Center for Relational Care (CRC), as this program was the class that ignited my hope for a deeper emotional connection with Josh. This was a “save” category, and even though we were not in crisis by any means, it served to strengthen our marriage and parenting skills exponentially.

CRC’s intensive has a prerequisite of 8-12 hours of “pre-work” counseling with one of their trained counselors. This time serves as information gathering, screening, and teaching the intimacy therapy principles. There is a considerable amount of paperwork and assessments prior, as well. All of it is so worth it, trust me! It makes the time at the intensive more productive and helps really solidify the new “language” (aka, intimacy, emotions, 10 Relational Needs, etc.) you learn while there.

We met with Dr. Courtney Putnam, and our time with her was the start of Josh practicing comfort and empathy. We discussed our highest relational needs, and how we could better met them. We discussed how our needs were (or weren’t met in childhood). After meeting with her, we were both got really excited and less anxious about the intensive because it was already working in our marriage!

Ok, fast forward to last Sunday afternoon. We arrive at the Normandy Inn, already super impressed with beauty of the Berry College campus. We are warmly greeted at our car, by Terry and Theta, our host couple. We are instructed to leave our bags for Terry to carry to our room, while Theta gives us a tour. It is clear they are warm and kind and glad we are there. They lovingly serve and pray for us for the duration of our stay.

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Lisa and Carl Peck are our leaders and they are amazing, loving, helpful, wonderful teachers and therapists. They share and incorporate their story of redemption and healing in their own marriage. We journey with 3 other couples and I’m certain we’ve met life-long friends in them.

And the rest is a blur of eating (amazing, delicious food!), laughing, crying, sharing, healing, warm community, and learning, all while in the most beautiful and serene setting you can imagine. Rinse and repeat.
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No description could ever do the beauty and sacredness of this experience justice. So I won’t try. Instead, I’ll simply share what it has meant to Josh and I.

Josh says, “I miss it already. I feel as though a curtain has been opened and I can see clearly now. Thank you!”

I say, “Thank you!! I cannot say thank you enough, really. My husband not only cried for the first time through this experience, but he also cried for others. My 2 highest relational needs are: attention and comfort. He saw me use my therapeutic skills AND got a good picture of what I do for a living. He fully entered my world (aka: attention!!). And, he was taught the skills to comfort emotionally. I learned the ways I could be a better wife to him. How I could help and not hinder the new skills he was learning. I have fallen in love with my husband more deeply than ever before, and I’ve never felt more loved or known by him. I will never, ever forget the many folks who so lovingly poured into us and prayed this experience into existence. Thank you ALL.”

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