The Couple Checkup builds on the strength model, which has become increasingly popular in a variety of professional disciplines including psychology, industrial consulting and couple and family studies.
Instead of focusing on issues, there is a growing trend to introduce a more positive perspective building on strengths. Historically, the field of psychology emphasised emotional disorders and pathology. In the last decade, Martin Seligman and colleagues have popularised a more positive psychology. In his book, Authentic Happiness, Seligman (2002) describes the value of a more positive approach to emotions that helps individuals more effectively deal with issues which leads to greater happiness.
In the field of industrial consulting, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton (2001) have created a best selling book called Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book also describes the Gallup’s Strengthfinder assessment which helps individuals identify their major strengths from a list of 34 areas and allows corporations to integrate this positive perspective into making their workplace more productive and successful.
In the field of family studies, John DeFrain and colleagues have identified six major strengths of families, including: affection, commitment, enjoyable time together, spiritual well being, ability to manage stress and positive communication (DeFrain, 2006). These findings are based on a study of over 24,000 families from the United States and has been replicated in over 25 countries around the world (DeFrain, 2006).
In the field of marriage, David Olson and colleagues have emphasised couple strengths rather than dealing only with marital conflict and distress. In their book, Empowering Couples: Building on Your Strengths, Olson and Olson-Sigg (2000) used a national survey of 21,501 married couples to identify the major strengths of happy couples compared to distressed married couples. This is one of few studies identifying marital strengths and to help couples develop skills to build more strengths.
The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.
The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.