UK Family Center Offers Free Relationship Checkups

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2019) Give your significant other and yourself the gift of a relationship checkup this Valentine's Day. The University of Kentucky Family Center offers its fifth annual Relationship Checkup 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8-18 (excluding Feb. 10 and 17).

The free checkups are offered to couples in the Central Kentucky region and are open to married couples, engaged couples, same-sex couples and dating couples. Each appointment lasts 60 to 90 minutes. This year the first 50 couples will receive a free copy of "Hold Me Tight," by clinical psychologist Sue Johnson, following their checkup.

"The 'Hold Me Tight' book is a great resource for couples because it is a road map to help them become more open, attuned and responsive to each other," said Tracey Werner-Wilson, director of the Family Center.

She continued, "Other self-help books tend to focus on solving the issues or creating a contract of give and take, like a bargain, between the couple, aimed at satisfying the individual needs within the relationship but fail to recognize the importance of the emotional bond between the couple. 'Hold Me Tight' focuses on the emotional bond between the couple."

Each relationship checkup focuses on discovering the couple's strengths. After identifying their strengths, each couple learns how they can use those strengths to improve their relationship. All couples are encouraged to continue cultivating their relationship.

Couples can schedule an appointment by calling the UK Family Center's office at 859-257-7555 or via email at All checkups are held in the Family Center Clinic on the second floor of Scovell Hall.

After scheduling an appointment, "couples can expect to complete a brief questionnaire that asks them questions about their relationship, including questions about how often they have fun together, level of comfort and respect with partner, etc. Our therapists will review the responses of couples to identify strengths in their relationships," said Ron Werner-Wilson, chair of the Department of Family Sciences.

First- and second-year graduate students in the family sciences master's program facilitate the checkups as a component of their required practicum hours. Each fall six new students join the two-year graduate program. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Students in the program need a total of 300 practicum hours of face-to-face client contact. For students, the relationship checkups provide a great opportunity to gain some of the necessary experience.

"I enjoy working with couples to help identify what their strengths are in their relationship and highlighting what makes their relationship special," said Bailey Mortis, graduate student and clinic coordinator.

For more than 25 years, the UK Family Center has offered couple, family and individual therapy addressing a variety of needs in the Central Kentucky region. The center can help with stress and anxiety, child therapy, interpersonal relationship issues, and much more. Child and family therapy sessions at the center use play as the modality.

The center also offers services to UK faculty and staff members through the REFER program. For UK employees, the first five therapy sessions in the Family Center are free. If employees choose to continue after their fifth session, session fees are based on a scale according to gross family income. As a nonprofit, the Family Center's priority is to provide a place of genuine personal growth for therapy interns and their clients.

Author: Ellie Wnek
Contact: Carl Nathe 859-257-3200 or Ellie Wnek: 859-257-8716
Terms: HES