School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Frederick Milacci


premarital education, couple relationship education, attachment theory, experiential learning theory, transition theory, transcendental phenomenology


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of couples who attended an experiential, attachment-based premarital workshop. Schlossberg’s transition theory provided this study’s theoretical framework, which strived to answer the following research questions: How do couples describe their experiences attending an experiential, attachment-based premarital workshop? How do participants describe their expectations for the workshop prior to their participation in the workshop? In what ways were the participants’ expectations met, and what were the unexpected outcomes experienced while participating in the premarital workshop? How do participants describe the short-lived and enduring influences of their workshop experience? Data collection involved demographic questionnaires, interviews, and cognitive representations. The data was analyzed by using Moustakas’ phenomenological methodology. Three Primary themes emerged from the data analysis. The first theme of Before the Workshop contains the subthemes of Discovery, Motivation, and Expectations. During the workshop, the second theme includes What they Learned, How they Learned, and Emotional Experience. The subthemes of Recall, Impact on Relationship, and Perceived Strengths and Weakness are included in the third theme, After the Workshop. The most prominent result was that the participants could not recall topics from the lecture portion of the workshop, but they could remember what they experienced and what they felt. This is a crucial element for educating adult learners.

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