In the early 1970’s a group of Twin Cities organizations were serving couples through their own premarital education programs.
Based on positive feedback from couples, the organizations assumed that the programs were working, but they wanted evidence. They turned to the University of Minnesota and Dr. David Olson, a pioneer in the field of Family Science, who initiated a large pre-post study measuring information gain and attitude change among the couples.
In a challenging presentation, David delivered the surprising results: there was no positive impact. In fact, conflict resolution scores actually got worse, and results indicated that the experience was turning couples off to seeking professional relationship help in the future.
What were these programs missing? David and his team of researchers concluded that they lacked a sense of personalization. Couples didn’t feel that the program applied to their own unique relationship, so they were not taking any of the advice to heart.
David started thinking. How can we personalize it to each couple?
By recognizing this gap in the traditional approach to relationship education, he was able to make a groundbreaking advancement in the field: an assessment that pinpoints the right work, unique to each couple, that is crucial for growth and building relationship resilience.
Out of this, the first version of the Prepare/Enrich assessment was born.
What followed were several more studies that continued to validate its effectiveness and improve its reliability. The subsequent studies also clearly demonstrated the positive impact of the assessment and made the connection to practical application through refinement of the Facilitator-to-couple delivery method.
For the last four decades Prepare/Enrich has been propelled forward by the trifecta of theory, research, and practice, making it the most trusted and effective relationship assessment today.