“I Choose Us”

“I Choose Us” (ICU) is an evidence-informed marriage programme which has empowered thousands of married and engaged couples to deepen their Love Connection, affair-proof their marriage, enhance their communication and conflict management skills, and gain awareness on their unhealthy thinking and behavior.

Delivered both locally and internationally, it is a unique programme which utilizes Movie Therapy® and Schema Therapy principles to help couples build their marriage on a strong foundation and to understand why they might be getting stuck and how to overcome obstacles leading to intimacy and long-term happiness.

The ICU curriculum is featured in the Strengthening Families Curriculum Resource Guide website of the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Curriculum Outline

The four-hour lessons can be taught as stand-alone sessions or in the form of a three-session workshop.

Session 1

  • Introduction to ICU
    This session begins with an abundance of findings from credible research about how marriage affects a person’s work, health and parenting. The I Choose Us 4 Phases model based on research and key principles will also be presented.
  • Choose Love Connection – The Four Phases of Love

    Couples will then be taught about the four different phases of love / marriage:

    1. Infatuation
    2. Mutual Affection
    3. Disintegration
    4. Love Connection

    For each stage, appropriate movie scenes will be shown to enhance the teaching points, and a couples’ exercise will be conducted. A message of hope will also be given to those who have experienced a turbulent period with their spouse.

  • Choose Love and Respect – Meeting Each Other’s Needs for Love & Respect

    Couples will learn from research about the two basic ingredients for a healthy marriage – Love and Respect. They will be given an exercise for each “subscale” in which each partner will have a chance to rate how well his/her spouse has been able to meet his/her need for Love and Respect.Couples will be taught practical steps about how to enter into the Love Connection stage on a daily and weekly basis.

Session 2

  • Choose Awareness – Gaining Awareness when Your Marriage Feels Stuck

    After some years of marriage, deeply entrenched beliefs and character traits may emerge and cause the marriage to fall into the Mutual Affection or Disintegration stage. This happens when couples are reacting based on their coping styles and when their schemas are getting triggered. Dr. Jeffrey Young’s research over the past 30 years has led him to identify 18 different schemas and three broad coping styles.In this session, the principles above will be discussed in detail, and, with the help of appropriate movie scenes and cartoons, couples will gain awareness about their own schemas and coping styles. Couples will be able to fill out brief questionnaires.

  • Choose to be Vulnerability – Exiting the Vortex of Conflict Escalation by Learning to be Vulnerable

    Couples will learn about the three Coping Styles and which coping styles might be causing damage in their relationship. They will also be shown the distinction between destructive and constructive conflict and will be taught how to construct their own Vortex of Conflict Escalation.Couples will then be guided about how to communicate with each other vulnerably so that they can exit from “the Vortex” on their own.

    Appropriate movie scenes will be shown to help them see the power of being vulnerable with each other so that they can more often be in the Love Connection phase.

Session 3

  • Choose Fidelity – Protecting Your Marriage from Infidelity

    Couples will learn about “affair-proofing” their marriage. Research and data will be shown with regards to how frequently spouses stray, what problems often cause cheating, and to underscore the importance of protecting the marriage relationship. with the use of appropriate movie scenes, couples will also be taught how to deal with an affair, how to end an affair, and how to save the marriage if a breach of trust has occurred.

  • Choose Reconciliation – Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Repair

    Many couples struggle to move past a major conflict or significant breach of trust in their marriage. In this session, couples will learn how to render forgiveness and be reconciled with each other.With the help of appropriate movie scenes, couples will grow in understanding of the proper meaning of forgiveness so that they are able to reach genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Couples will also receive an exercise on how to process anger and resentment for future use at home.

Check out the upcoming ICU runs organized by HOPEwwS via this link. To view testimonies worldwide, please visit: www.icu.sg. Please contact Vida Ortiz at 6312 9671 or email: vida_ortiz@hopewwsea.org for further enquiries.