marriage_courseNeil Roberts, a teaching elder on MROP and an educator and counsellor specialising in relationships, is leading a relationship seminar for couples that provides a powerful and refreshingly different approach to what is often provided.

Why do another marriage/relationship enrichment course/retreat? Haven’t we heard it all before? Neil will introduce you to an approach to marriage and sexuality that you probably won’t have come across before… and is a revolutionary approach that brings hope to hopeless situations, courage to grow in healthy situations and freedom from ‘Christendom propaganda’. Neil uses this approach in his counselling work with sometimes remarkable results. In Neil’s experience, most marriage difficulties are played out in the areas of sex, money and in-laws/families. The approach we would like to introduce to you is taken from the work of Dr David Schnarch, an American sex and marriage therapist. He describes his work as simply drawing deductions from observing the system of marriage – in his view, a divinely inspired institution.

We want to get away from pop psychology – we do not believe that problems in marriage are caused by the differences between men and women (we believe men and women are more similar than different, even sexually!). We do not believe that most marriage problems are caused by poor communication – on the contrary, most of us communicate only too well – we know exactly what our partner is thinking and that is precisely what annoys and frustrates us!

The foundational concept of this approach is that when you experience difficulties in your marriage, nothing is wrong. Here you are presented with an opportunity to grow.

This approach is not for the faint hearted. Dr Schnarch’s work concentrates primarily on the sexual relationship within a long term committed partnership (i.e., marriage). By looking at what goes on or doesn’t, in the bedroom (or wherever else!), you will see a vivid picture of the whole relationship and how it works. Change and growth in the sexual arena will bring far reaching benefits to the entire family.

We will be looking at how the process of “differentiation” runs all relationships, most powerfully in the marriage relationship. What it means to be able to maintain your own identity when close to your partner, how to deal with the anxiety that this can create, soothe the fears and emotions that emerge and eventually tolerate the inevitable discomfort that come from “growing up”! Remember there are two sides to every marriage, the pleasure and the pain, and it is the latter that is our invitation to grow. Richard Rohr reminds us that our transformation takes place through two paths; prayer and suffering. Let’s make the natural processes of marriage lead to transformation.

If you are interested in growing your marriage/relationship by growing up yourself and want to understand and explore the place of sexuality within your physical, emotional and spiritual world, then we would invite you to come along with your partner to have a look at some of these issues in what we hope will be an informative and growth enhancing experience.

When: Begins Friday 13th November, 6-9pm, Saturday 14th November, 9am-5pm (2015)
Where: Christian Heritage College, 322 Wecker Road Carindale
Cost: $500 per couple, $300 per single, $250 per student
Registration: Email Neil at nrob@netspace.net.au