What is the Format?
The first time someone comes to The Third Option, they attend an orientation during the first hour. A couple who has had some marriage problems but has worked through them (a mentor couple) shares their story of hope and explains how to get the most out of the program and introduces a couple to simple exercises.
The second hour, there is a ½ hour mini-workshop on one of 14 topics. The workshops teach practical skills couples need in order to have good marriages. The workshops include skits and games to make the material interesting and easy to remember.
Then a second mentor couple shares on the workshop topic. They talk about what mistakes they made in the past and what they have learned to do, which works much better and how much happier it makes them.
At the end of every meeting, each person receives a worksheet which includes a summary and 2 self-inventory questions. The questions are read and there is quiet time for each person to decide what they will practice between meetings. (No one asks what others have decided. This is personal time).
The first hour of the next meeting (which newcomers missed because they were in orientation) is a support group where couples share what they are learning and what they are practicing. If they have questions or frustrations we talk about that. If they have success stories, we celebrate with them. Always we support each other as we learn and grow making our marriages better.