I'll leave the press release of our last conference posted, as some folks are finding it useful in their ongoing work. - Diane Sollee
14th Annual Smart Marriages/Happy Families Conference
July 6 - 12, 2010 • Orlando
The annual Smart Marriages Conference – the "Who's Who" and the "What's What"
of the marriage-strengthening, marriage education field – features 200 of the nation's
top marriage experts to include: Howard Markman, John Gray, Gary Chapman,
Harville Hendrix, Pat Love, Michele Weiner-Davis, Scott Stanley, Bill Doherty, Esther Perel,
Steven Stosny, John Van Epp, Barry McCarthy, Mark Laaser, John Covey, Scott Haltzman,
Frank Fincham, Terry Hargrave, Blaine Fowers, Dave Carder, Joe Beam, Yakov Smirnoff, etc etc etc
......click for presenter index.
More than 2,000 marriage educators will attend from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries.
A New Optimistic View of Marriage
Until very recently, we've been so discouraged by decades of marital breakdown that we've come to
accept our 50% divorce rate as inevitable. That's changing. It turns out couples have been operating
with good intentions but terrible information. We are entering a new era - a Marriage Renaissance
fueled by powerful new research and the realization that we can teach couples how to get smart
We have new information about WHAT distinguishes successful marriages from those that fail.
And, we can teach couples how to do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
We have new information about WHY marriage matters. No wonder we’ve divorced like lemmings!
For years we've all said that marriage made no difference, that all family forms were equal -
that a family is a family. It turns out that children raised in intact first marriages with their own two
parents, are on average happier, healthier, wealthier and more successful
on all measures than those that aren't. So are the adults – both the men and the women.
We have new information about what to expect in marriage. Equipped with accurate maps
– the predictable peaks and valleys – it's easier for couples to navigate. And, it helps when EXPECTATIONS
Is the model that undergirds the Healthy Marriage Initiative and upon which the $150+ million a year for
five years federal funding campaign is based (2007-2011). People at all levels – from neighborhoods to
Congress – are sick of family breakdown and aren't going to take it anymore. The new Marriage
Education approach is available in a wide range of highly affordable, easy-to-teach courses. And, the
courses can be taught just about anywhere – in community centers; congregations; schools; colleges;
childbirth clinics; welfare, refugee, head start and fatherhood settings; on military bases; in court houses;
and, prisons. And they can be taught to all classes and races. Marriage Education is beneficial for couples
at any stage from dating to cohabiting to engaged to empty-nesters and from starry-eyed newlyweds to
deeply troubled couples on the brink of divorce. It's a grass roots, community-based, public-health-education
approach to marriage – and it's sweeping the country.
To add to the optimism:
- Research shows that trained lay leaders can teach the skills as well as, or better than, professional counselors or therapists.
- Leader training takes only 2 - 3 days. Many programs are "teach-right-out-of-the-box" with the training on DVD.
- The great variety of programs and providers means there's something for everyone.
- The classroom format and the ease-of-training and implementation means the courses are extremely cost-effective
and can be made widely accessible to diverse communities across the country and around the world.
We'll cover the challenges: Money, Love, Sex, Infidelity, Stepfamilies, Infertility, Deployment & Army Community Covenants, How to Avoid Falling For a Jerk, Children of Divorce, Porn Addiction, Marriage Myths, Domestic Violence, Hot Monogamy, Erotic Intelligence, Singles Delaying Marriage, Strengthening Black Marriages, Empty Nests, IMAGO, Premarital Inventories, Marriage Saver Congregations, Alcohol, Emotional Abuse, Chronic Illness, The Power of Humor & Music & Mindfulness, Prison Populations & Reducing Recidivism, Divorce Reform....
We'll have plenty of opportunities for training. Attendees leave the conference certified to teach
dozens of different marriage and family strengthening courses.
And, there will be plenty of opportunities for the public to sample the programs.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE:
• Sponsored by the Washington, DC-based Coalition for Marriage, Couples and Family Education (CMFCE).
CMFCE is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, independent organization focused on strengthening marriage
and reducing family breakdown. More information is available on the website, http://www.smartmarriages.com.
• The conference is co-sponsored by national and international organizations, foundations and university
• The conference features 160 different workshops and training sessions presented by more than 200
leading marriage and family experts.
• Speakers include Gary Chapman author of The 5 Love Languages; John Van Epp author of How to Avoid Falling For a Jerk; John Gray, author of Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice; Miriam Grossman author of Amanda's 39th Birthday; Pat Love and Steven Stosny authors of How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It; Harville Hendrix author of Getting the Love You Want; Howard Markman & Scott Stanley authors of 12 Hours to a Great Marriage, Bill Doherty author of Take Back Your Marriage; Esther Perel author of Mating in Captivity; Dave Carder author of Close Calls; Scott Haltzman author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women; Jason & Keri Krafsky authors of Facebook and Your Marriage; Barry McCarthy author of Developing Your Couple Sexual Style; Terry Hargrave author of Boomers on the Edge & The Essential Humility of Marriage; Anne Bercht author of My Husband's Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me; Peggy Vaughan author of The Monogamy Myth; Marshall Howard author of Let's Have Lunch Together; Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Remedy and The Sex-Starved Wife; and Diane Sollee, founder and
director of Smart Marriages™.
While the conference is primarily attended by mental health professionals, clergy, lay leaders, government employees
and policy makers, the entire conference, including the pre and post conference training institutes, is open to the public.
The Seminars on Sunday, from 4-5:30pm are especially designed with the public in mind – to provide an opportunity to sample the program for only $15 per person.
Accredited journalists are admitted to all sessions.
Who should cover this conference? BACK to Conference Details.