The University of Central Florida is offering couples a free workshop that will teach them to have fun and enjoy one another despite stress and real-world pressures.

Hosted by UCF’s Marriage and Family Research Institute, the workshop will cover a variety of topics such as listening skills, conflict resolution and expressing negative feelings.

“Couples today are getting busier and busier with work and other responsibilities that hold high priority,” said Ryan Carlson, the institute’s associate director. “The workshop provides a time to have their relationships come first.”

The two-day workshop will be held on Friday, June 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Teaching Academy at UCF’s main campus. It is for married couples who have at least one child age 0-18 living at home.

Free child care will be provided for children on a first-come, first-served basis starting Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. A free dinner on Friday and a free lunch on Saturday will be provided to workshop participants.

Two trained facilitators will lead the workshop, and couples will practice the techniques they learn in breakout sessions. Individuals will learn to recognize their spouse’s coping style, how to communicate their needs, how to become better listeners and how to better express love and appreciation.

Children also will reap the rewards of the workshop. Research shows that children whose parents have healthy relationships will develop more effective coping skills, attend school more often and achieve better grades.

The workshop is a program of The Together Project, a UCF study led by Associate Professor Andrew Daire, executive director of the Marriage and Family Research Institute. The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Family Assistance.

By registering, workshop participants will be enrolled in The Together Project study. Couples will be asked to complete questionnaires before and after the workshop. They also will be invited to a relationship booster workshop in August.

The UCF Marriage and Family Research Institute is part of the College of Education’s graduate counseling program, recently ranked the 12th best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The institute offers a variety of free services and resources for married and unmarried couples, including individual and couples’ counseling, education workshops and research opportunities.

To RSVP, call 407-823-1748 or visit