June marked the start of Couples Speak at the Wilton Manors Pride Center in Wilton Manors, Florida. The new four-week counseling program for LGBTQ couples or those who want to be, was launched last month. According to the Pride Center’s deputy director Kristofer Fegenbush, “One of the things that makes this program unique is the fact that it focuses on couples in relationships.” The program is offered through the Pride Center’s PALS (Positive Action for Living Safely) Project underwritten by the Community Foundation of Broward.
The program will help participants with a wide range of issues faced by gay and bisexual couples, including communication, negotiating sexual agreements, managing conflicts, the stigma of AIDS in mixed-status couples and much more. Launched in June with five couples, new groups of approximately six couples will be formed every month.
Joining Fegenbush in an interview with SFGN (South Florida Gay News) were Frank Gurucharri, PALS project manager; Lorenzo Robertson, a facilitation consultant and David Fawcett, lead clinical program consultant for Couples Speak. Noting that “We’re breaking new ground,” Gurucharri said that “most programs aimed at reducing health risks in the LGBT community focus on individuals and don’t take couples into consideration. PALS has been working with individuals for a long time and now we’re taking what works for individuals and applying it to couples.”
For more information, go to www.pridecenterflorida.org.