The annual Smart Marriages Conference gathers 200 presenters – the worlds top marriage and relationship experts. More than 2,000 participants attend from all 50 states and several dozen countries. Here are brief descriptions of the keynote presentations at the 2009 Orlando Conference. See the brochure for the 160+ breakout sessions on all the pertinent topics: money, sex, infidelity, substance abuse, singles, stepfamilies, mothers-in-law, prison, weddings, porn addiction, and the crucial transitions - from welcoming a new baby to waving them good-bye and enjoying the empty nest.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Bios and Contact Information

B-Tues, July 7, 6:30pm
The Five Languages of Apology
Gary Chapman, PhD
Where do we learn whether or not, and how, to apologize?
Learn to help couples identify their own and their spouse’s
apology styles and how to speak their language.

Lunch-Wed, July 8 - 11:30am-1:30pm
Luncheon Keynote
Strengthening Marriage One Church at a Time
Stephen and Alex Kendrick, co-producers, Fireproof 

P-1 6:30pm, Wed, July 8
Welcome to the 13th Annual Conference
Diane Sollee, MSW

Founder and Director of Smart Marriages

Yes We Can!
Howard Markman, PhD
A new administration means a new adventure!  Explore three
research-based reasons for optimism in the Marriage Education
field and why we can, with confidence, set audacious goals – aim
for a “Marital Moon Shot” – and, reach it. With skills....Yes We Can! 
Attend for film clips, research, goal-setting, marching orders, friendship,
and fun.  
Exhibits & Reunions

8:45pm, Wed, July 8

How to Avoid Falling For a Jerk (Jerkette)
John Van Epp, PhD
Great marriages begin long before the wedding. Learn
the 5 keys to successful dating and mate-selection,
and how to avoid the "love is blind" attachment-syndrome.
For singles, or single again.

P-2 Thurs, July 9, 8:30am
Living With Cohabitation

Scott Stanley, PhD
Galena Rhoades, PhD
While cohabitation before marriage has become common, it remains
associated with increased risks. Exciting NEW findings will be presented
along with empirically-based strategies for your work in marriage and
relationship education.
P-3 Thurs, July 9, 11:30am
Luncheon Plenary
Generosity and Thrift
Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, PhD
Thrift? Does it mean penny-pinching and belt-tightening, suffering and
self-denial? That's what many think but thrift comes from the word "thriving"
and being thrifty actually makes life and marriages more joyful and free from
anxiety. Best of all, it is tied to generosity, because it creates an abundance
of good things to share with others.

Money Habitudes
Syble Solomon, MEd
The truth is that money – the actual dollar amount – is not the #1 cause of
conflict in marriage, it's what it represents: power, control, love, freedom, security,
etc. Use the Money Habitudes card deck to help couples gain understanding
and mastery of this tricky, slippery slope. 

P-4 Thurs, July 9, 3:45pm
I Say a Little Prayer For You
Steven Beach, PhD, Frank Fincham, PhD, Tera Hurt, PhD
Learn how this project added prayer to engage rural African
Americans to create powerful lasting change by engaging deeper
meaning sytems; how prayer enhanced learning; and how to add
prayer to your work with individuals or couples in clinical or educational
settings or as an add-on to any program. 

B-Thurs, July 9, 7pm
Mars and Venus in the Bedroom
John Gray, PhD
Sex is not just about physical attraction – it's also about knowledge, communication,
understanding, and health. Learn how to help couples communicate their
sexual needs in a romantic but effective ways and how to have satisfying sex in
long-term, monogamous relationships. Adults only.

P-5 Fri, July 10, 8:30am
Mating in Captivity
Esther Perel, MA
This provocative new take on intimacy and sex grapples with the obstacles
and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our
pursuit of passion.Explore the paradoxical relation of domesticity and eroticism,
challenge the inevitable sexual decline and boredom, introduce innovative strategies to
restore sexual aliveness.Help couples sustain desire over the long haul
while respecting needs for safety and stability by presenting

Couples Sexual Styles
Barry McCarthy, PhD
When it's good, it’s great. When it's bad or non-existent, it's a bummer.
Learn what it takes to have great marital sex – intimate and erotic – and
how helping couples understand the concept and basics of Sexual Styles
can prevent and resolve sexual problems.
P-6 Fri, July 10, 12 noon
Lunch Plenary
Infidelity Busting
Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW
Although infidelity does not have to be a marital deal breaker, it is unquestionably
the biggest challenge millions of couples face each year.  Unfortunately, time
alone is not the great healer. Learn a step-by-step, no-nonsense, proactive process
for helping even 11th-hour couples heal from infidelity.

Close Calls
Dave Carder, MA
Advice from thousands of adulterers helps couples identify their
own high risk situations and “Dangerous Partner Profiles”
and provides ideas for using Close Call experiences to actually
strengthen marital intimacy.

P-7 Fri, July 10, 4pm
Marriage: An Inside Job
Pat Love, EdD

Steven Stosny, PhD
Current research reveals seismic shifts in beliefs about marriage. People
often don't get it that Frank Pittman had it right: the purpose of marriage
isn't to make you happy, it's to make you married. They marry because they
like the way they are with their partner; then divorce because they don't like
what their partner has made them become. Our challenge is to give
couples new information to help them celebrate their marriages, themselves,
and the times – from the inside out.  

P-8 Friday Night Live, July 10, 7:30pm
Imago Dialogue Live!
Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhDs
Structured Imago Dialogue can be the most powerful and effective path
for emotional healing and spiritual growth. Experience Dialogue Live and learn how to
help couples understand how to ‘stop talking, and start connecting’ with each other.

P-9 Sat, July 11, 8:30am
Hold Me Tight II
Sue Johnson, EdD
Attachment theory provides the first clear evidence-based model of adult love.
Use the Emotionally Focused approach with couples who face the extraordinary
challenges of our times – including military couples facing deployment and couples
dealing with financial meltdown. Help them see their dance and use key steps and
conversations to guide them into a new, loving, healing ”interdepen–dance”.

P-10 Sat, July 11, 11:30am
Lunch Plenary
Shared Goals
Blaine Fowers, PhD
Marriage begins with romantic love and sexual chemistry, but a lifelong marriage
demands more. Help couples learn to discover the joy and power of Shared Goals and
how Shared Goals can take them beyond individual pursuits and foster deep
Character Friendship – the cornerstone to a vibrant and lasting marriage.

Boomers on the Edge
Terry Hargrave, PhD

Boomers face three challenges exacerbated by the economic meltdown: caring for
aging parents, adult children moving home, and not having enough assets to retire.
How do we apply what we know to be able to help this stressed generation? 

P-11 Sat July 11, 7:30pm 
Saturday Night - Marriage Rally Teach In!
Transforming Communities with Grassroots & Internet Marketing
Julie Baumgardner, MS, CFLE,
Nisa Muhammad,
Marc Payan

Instead of jackhammers and chisels, we need to learn how to use everything on the Internet - social networks, widgets,
twitters, ebooks - AND everything under the sun - movie nights and letters to the editor, jumbotrons and billboards, PSAs and quizzes, pamphlets and parades, mentors and foundations – to bring Marriage Education to the public. Join us for a
high-octane Teach In. Learn what others are doing across the country to strenghten marriage and HOW
you can tap in to what's free – or at least affordable. These experts will answer your questions, share what works,
and steer you around the potholes.

Click for Sunday July 12, full-day trainings

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