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Marriage Work-Out Team Building Manual

Preamble to Marriage Work-Out

the Couple’s Self-Help Book

By Jim Messina, Ph.D., CCMHC, NCC, DCMHS-T

Program 20: Marriage Work-Out Team Building – A Preamble to Marriage Work-Out


CEU's 3 hours based on request (CE Broker Tracking #: 20-661196)


Program Description:

This program reviews the key principles in the book: Marriage Work-Out Team Building – A Preamble to Marriage Workout on: This program is aimed at mental health professionals to utilize with their clients to help them enrich and/or stabilize their marital relationships. This program prepares the professionals to then encourage their clients to utilize Marriage Work-Out on: to continue a long-term process of healing, strengthening and enriching their marital relationships.


Learning Objectives:

After participating in the program the participants will:

  1. Learn about the five stepping stones for couples to walk prior to beginning their Marriage Work-Out
  2. Learn about each of the key stepping stones: What is a Team; Supportive vs Defensive Marital Climate; Marital Goal Setting; Communication: Key to Marital Success; and An Action Oriented Sytem for Team Development
  3. Learn about the exercises and procedures used in Marriage Work-Out the online book at
  4. Learn about the 11 Units contained in Marriage Work-Out which can be used by couples to enhance their marital relationship


On June 6, 2018, My wife Connie and I met for a reunion with Sally and Robert Chang from Tunghai University in Taichung. Taiwan. Robert and Sally are both ordained Presbyterian Ministers who in 1999 had Connie and I come to Taiwan to present workshops on our Tools for Coping Books which Robert translated into Mandarin to use in his and Sally’s ministries with couples and families. This year they came to the United States to pastor a church in New Jersey and were able to come to Florida to give us a chance to reconnect. As it turns out I was so moved by the work which Robert and Sally do with couples and families I immediately came home from that visit and translated and updated this Marriage Work-Out Team Building Manual which Connie and I used all over the Tampa Bay area to promote the Marriage Work-Out Program. I felt I needed to get this to the Chang’s because it is a wonderful tool to help couples get started in doing their own Marriage Work-Out. My hope is that Robert and Sally are able to use this manual in their work not only in the USA but of course back home in Taiwan.


Dedicated to Sally and Robert Chang on June 10, 2018

Risk Taking is Free


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,

To reach out for another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self,

To place your ideas, your dream before the crowd is to risk their loss,

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.


But risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing and is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, and live.

Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited his freedom.


Only a person who risks is free.