Many times in therapy, we will use assessments to gain insight into the person we are treating. It allows us to get a deeper understanding of the person we are treating. For couples, we prefer the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment. PREPARE/ENRICH is not a test to be passed or failed. It is an assessment designed to help a couple evaluate their relationship in terms of their Relationship Strengths and Growth Areas, to increase awareness (of self and partner), and to build skills that contribute to a healthy relationship.
The assessment covers the following topics:
- Background Information
- Couple Typology/ Strength and Growth Areas
- Conflict Resolution
- Partner Style & Habits
- Financial Management
- Leisure Activities
- Sexual Expectations
- Family & Friends
- Relationship Roles
- Spiritual Beliefs
- Overall Satisfaction & Idealistic Distortion
- Relationship Dynamics
- Partner Dominance
- Commitment & Abuse
- Personal Stress Profile
- Core Relationship Categories
- Additional Customized Categories
- Couple Map (flexibility & closeness)
- Family Map (flexibility & closeness)
- SCOPE Personality Scales
- Social (extravert/introvert)
- Change (ability and flexibility)
- Organized (planner vs not)
- Pleasing (level of dominance)
- Emotionally Steady (dealing with stress)
After you take the assessment, the results are sent to the facilitator to explain the results to the couple. Based on the results, the facilitator will give the couple worksheets and exercises:
1. To help couples explore their Relationship Strength and Growth Areas. The Sharing Strength and Growth Areas exercise helps couples reflect on, and share with their partner, areas they believe to be strengths and areas they believe to be growth areas.
2. To help couples learn and practice communication skills. The specific skills emphasized in the communication exercises are assertiveness and active listening.
3. To help couples resolve conflicts. Couples learn conflict resolution skills by practicing a Ten-Step Model.
4. To help couples discuss their relationship and families-of-origin as assessed by the Couple and Family Map. Couples are introduced to the concepts of closeness and flexibility contained in the Couple and Family Map and can explore the impact on their relationship.
5. To help couples better understand their personality similarities and differences. The feedback process is intended to help couples understand and accept one another’s personality style, maximizing their ability to work together as a team.
6. To help couples identify and cope with major stressors in their lives. Couples identify stress and strategize ways and prioritize, manage, and apply resources to cope.
7. To help couples develop and set financial goals. Most couples talk about finances, but fall short on making an actual plan for the future in terms of savings and retirement planning.
8. To help couples develop and share their personal, couple and family goals. Goal-setting facilitates closeness as couples’ progress together toward shared goals.
The PREPARE/ENRICH assessment can easily be used as a proactive technique to expose the areas of the relationship that could use some work. There are different versions of the assessment depending on where you are currently in your relationship. For example, different versions of the assessment include married couples, engaged couples, co-habitating couples, couples with children from a previous marriage, and couples over 55. The assessment also has different versions for various different religious viewpoints, such as Catholicism, Judaism, and Protestant.