Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Third Option differ from counseling?
The Third Option is NOT counseling it is peer ministry. It is an educational and support group where we learn and encourage each other along the way. It combines: a support group, mentor couples and workshops about relationship skills. Many couples will come to the Third Option rather than counseling because
- Many couples cannot afford counseling.
- Many have lost HOPE and therefore are not willing to invest in counseling but regain HOPE through the group.
- Many are resistive to counseling because of stigma, a bad experience, etc. but will come to an “educational” group and if they stay, will often decide to try counseling. The Third Option can be both a stepping-stone to counseling and an adjunct to it.
Do we both have to come?
No. If your spouse is not ready to make a commitment to attending The Third Option, you are welcome to attend alone. By yourself, you can learn more effective ways to handle conflict and communicate with your spouse.
Do I need to attend every session?
Each session stands alone. If you miss a topic you can catch up later in the next cycle. Many couples find it takes two or even three cycles to build their marriage to the level they seek.
Can this help us if we are separated?
Yes, but the more serious the problems in your marriage the harder you will have to work, individually and as a couple to overcome those issues. In the third option, you’ll learn how to rebuild trust and what you can do to rekindle the love and commitment that you once shared. Often participants may seek counseling in addition to The Third Option when appropriate. It is possible to do both.
Is there a fee for the Third Option?
No. There is no cost to attend a Third Option Program. However, some communities will accept small donations to cover the cost of refreshments.
What are the workshop topics?
There are fourteen mini-workshops, which teach relationship skills. They continually recycle and participants can come in at anytime. The topics are:
- Building a Climate of Respect
- Ending the Blame Game
- Understanding Expectations
- Redefining the Power Struggle
- Coping with Control Issues
- Listening Beyond the Words
- Appreciating Personality Differences
- Recognizing Childhood Issues and Emotional Baggage
- Handling Anger Constructively
- Speaking the Truth in Love
- Learning How to Fight Fair
- Breaking the Hurt Cycle
- Practicing Forgiveness & Repair
- Rebuilding Trust