LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2018) — Imagine having a car and not taking it into the shop for a service checkup. Whether it is has 5,000 miles or 150,000 miles on it, service checkups and tuneups are necessary to keep the car running smoothly and extend its life. Just like a car, human relationships need a checkup every once in a while to keep a couple moving forward.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the University of Kentucky Family Center will offer its fourth annual Relationship Checkup. These checkups are offered to couples living in the Lexington area and are open to married couples, dating couples, engaged couples and same-sex couples.
The checkups are free and will be offered from Friday, Feb. 9, through Saturday, Feb. 17. Appointments can be made by calling the Family Center’s office at 859-257-7755, by visiting their website or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checkups will be held in the Family Center Clinic on the second floor of Scovell Hall.
The relationship checkups give couples the opportunity to discover their strengths and problem areas in their relationship. Along with helping to gain these insights, therapists offer strategies to improve the relationship by using these strengths.
“We try to be positive and strength based,” said Ron Werner-Wilson, chair of the Department of Family Sciences, part of the School of Human Environmental Sciences within the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “A relationship checkup is a little like going to the dentist or eye doctor regularly.”
Just like you consult with doctors about your health and coaches about your performances, relationship checkups offer couples advice toward a healthy, improved relationship.
After scheduling a checkup, couples will fill out a questionnaire that provides therapists insight on their relationship before starting the session. Once the questionnaires are completed, the couple will talk with an intern therapist from UK’s master’s degree program in family sciences. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and welcomes six new students to the two-year program each fall.
“Their training requires them to obtain practicum experience — they work with clients in the same way that a medical resident works with patients,” said Tracey Werner-Wilson, director of the UK Family Center.
The students’ course work prepares them to work in the real world. All of their clinical training is conducted in observation rooms and is reviewed individually or in a group setting by their supervisors. Students are required to achieve a total of 300 hours of practicum.
Along with offering students a great way to gain experience in real-life sessions, the Family Center provides in-house services for families seeking help.
The UK Family Center offers couple, family and individual therapy addressing a variety of needs other than relationship issues. The center can help with stress and anxiety, child therapy, family stress and transition, bullying, death, and transitions into grandparent care. Child and family therapy sessions at the center use play as the modality.
The Family Center addresses the needs of citizens in the broader community, yet also offers services to university faculty and staff members. The center has a contract with the university, called the REFER program, which provides faculty and staff with five free therapy sessions in the Family Center.
This Valentine’s Day, along with buying your significant other treats and gifts, suggest a relationship checkup to help your relationship run a little smoother.
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