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PAIRS Foundation

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The PAIRS Foundation, Inc.
TypeNon-Profit Organization
  • 9050 Pines Blvd., Suite 305, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

The PAIRS Foundation, Inc., develops experiential learning curricula and programs designed to reconcile married couples and prevent divorce. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation based in Broward County, Florida. The company was originally established in Virginia as PAIRS, Ltd. in 1983 and as The PAIRS Foundation, Inc. in Florida in 2000. In 2010, PAIRS, Ltd. formally merged into The PAIRS Foundation, Inc.[1]

PAIRS Foundation owns copyright to marriage and relationship education programs that are taught by instructors worldwide who are trained, certified and licensed by the foundation[2] and to the trademark, "skills for successful relationships".


PAIRS Foundation's mission is to "teach those attitudes, emotional understandings, and behaviors that nurture and sustain healthy relationships and to make this knowledge broadly available on behalf of a safer, saner, more loving world."[3]


The PAIRS 120-hour semester course was developed in 1975 by marriage and family therapist Lori Heyman Gordon as a graduate program for counseling students at American University in Washington, D.C.; it was one of the first comprehensive educational programs in the United States that sought to reduce marriage and family breakdown through Relationship Education.[4] The course integrated and work by Virginia Satir, Daniel Casriel, Murray Bowen, James Framo, George Bach, Gordon and others.[5]

Between 1992 and 1997, Carlos Durana, Ph.D., conducted early studies on the impact of the program, many of which were published in industry journals. During that period, articles about the program appeared in Newsweek, Time, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal and Psychology Today Gordon was also featured in interviews on CNN, NBC's Today Show, Geraldo, The Gordon Elliot Show, and CBN.[6]

The foundation began piloting intensive couples seminars, ranging from one to four days, in the late nineties. A December 1998 New Woman magazine cover story featured the first-person account of Molly and Chris Hanson.[7]

On May 9, 2000, the foundation's CEO Seth Eisenberg was a guest on ABC's Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher to discuss Florida's Marriage Preparation and Preservation Act, mandating relationship skills training in high schools and for couples applying for marriage licenses. O .[8]

In 2002, Gordon was recognized with the Impact Award of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education:[9]

PAIRS was awarded a $5 million federal grant in 2006 by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, to provide classes and conduct a five-year evaluation of the program's impact among English, Spanish and French/Creole-speaking couples and singles in Florida's Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.[10]

In November 2010, PAIRS was featured in a Time magazine cover story by Belinda Luscombe, "Who Needs Marriage?"[11] Another Time Magazine story that month featured a PAIRS iPhone App and questioned, "Can an iPhone App Save Your Marriage?"[12]

In October 2012, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration featured PAIRS in an article about helping Veterans strengthen "their most significant relationships":

The Department of Veterans Affairs is trying a new path to caring for and healing the nation's wounded Veterans. Now, in addition to repairing their damaged bodies and minds, VA is going one step further and helping to repair their crumbling intimate relationships.[13]

Also in October 2012, PAIRS Foundation's collaboration with the San Diego VA Healthcare System was recognized with the "Spirit of Planetree Award" for the program's impact strengthening relationships between "family, friends and social supports as a central component of patient-centered care."[14][15]

In a joint effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation Initiative, PAIRS Foundation published the PAIRS Essentials VA Program Support Guide in January 2013.[16]

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation produced a video in May 2014 promoting the Warrior to Soul Mate program, supported by the PAIRS curriculum, as a valuable component of VA's efforts to promote health and wellness.[17]

Operation Sacred Trust[edit]

In September 2011, the foundation's Operation Sacred Trust initiative, launched in collaboration with Carrfour Supportive Housing, Henderson Behavioral Health, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, was awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families ("SSVF"), to help end homelessness for Veteran families in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. An additional $1 million was awarded in September 2012.[18] Two November 11, 2012 articles featured Operation Sacred Trust as a new model for ending homelessness for veterans.[19][20] On November 12, 2012, a CBS News story featured Operation Sacred Trust.[21]

Marriage Equality[edit]

Following the 2014 ruling of U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle that Florida's same sex marriage ban violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution,[22] PAIRS Foundation began offering PAIRS for Love, for Life classes in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida specifically geared to committed, engaged and married same sex couples.[23] Based on Florida's 1998 Marriage Preparation and Preservation Act, completion of the PAIRS class allows same sex couples to receive a discount on marriage licenses and exemption from Florida's typical three-day waiting period.[24]


"PAIRS Essentials" is a nine-hour curriculum delivered in a group setting, with a PAIRS Instructor, often over a weekend, or in several weekly class sessions.[25] "PAIRS For Our Future, For Our Family" is a 30-hour curriculum typically delivered over 12 weekly 2-1/2 hour sessions "[26] "PAIRS Mastery Course" is a 120-hour, semester-long curriculum delivered over four to seven months.[27]


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  • A 1994 article in the Journal of Family Psychotherapy evaluated the impact of PAIRS use of "bonding and emotional expressiveness." [28]
  • A 1995 article in the Journal of Couples Therapy explored the "effect change in couple relationships using a skill building psycho-educational group format."[29]
  • In 1996, Family Therapy published "A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Effectiveness of PAIRS Psychoeducational Program for Couples." [30]
  • Also in 1996, the American Journal of Family Therapy published studies on "bonding and emotional reeducation of couples in PAIRS training."[31]
  • In 1997, The Family Journal published "Enhancing Marital Intimacy through Psychoeducation."[32]
  • In 1999, PAIRS was featured as a model of an "integrated psychoeducational approach" to preventing marital breakdown.[33]
  • In 2011, the "Relationship Education Impact Reports," a comprehensive investigation of a five-year federally funded marriage and relationship education demonstration and research project by Peluso, Eisenberg and Schindler for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.[34][35]
  • A 2012 MDRC study evaluated the impact of four educational programs, including PAIRS, on the relationships of low-income couples.[36]


  • PAIRS Foundation provides certification training to behavioral health professionals, clergy, and others to teach PAIRS classes.[37][38]
  • PAIRS Licensed instructors offer classes throughout the United States and in several international locations.[39][40]
  • The Foundation also provides direct services to Veterans in South Florida through Operation Sacred Trust,[41] an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program.[42]


  1. Florida Department of State
  2. PAIRS Instructors
  3. PAIRS Mission
  4. Gordon, Lori Heyman. "Passage to Intimacy", Fireside Books, 1993.
  5. DeMaria, Rita. "Building Intimate Relationships", "The Saga of PAIRS." Routledge, December 2002.
  6. Gordon, Lori Heyman. "If You Really Loved Me", Science and Behavior, Palo Alto (1997).
  7. Hanson, Molly. "PAIRS Marriage Makeover," New Woman Magazine, December 1998
  8. - TV Guide, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher
  9. PAIRS History
  10. Falciglia, Amanda. "Study offers hope for marriages, families, and jobs," FatherhoodChannel.com, April 14, 2010
  11. Luscombe, Belinda. "Who Needs Marriage," Time Magazine, November 18, 2010
  12. Luscombe, Belinda. "Can an iPhone App Save Your Marriage," Time Magazine, November 1, 2010
  13. Peterson, Hans. "Relationship Retreats: From Warriors to Soul Mates," Veterans Health Administration, October 18, 2012
  14. Henthorn, Robert. "PAIRS Collaboration with VA Recognized with Prestigious 2012 Spirit of Planetree Award," FatherhoodChannel.com, October 4, 2012
  15. 2012 Planetree Program Awards, Human Interactions/Independence, Dignity and Choice.
  16. PAIRS Essentials VA Program Support Guide, January 2013
  17. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. "Health for Life: Strengthening Relationships through the Warrior to Soul Mate Program," Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, May 2014
  18. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families website
  19. Lilly, Christiana (11 November 2012). "Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant". Huffington Post.
  20. Berman-Eisenberg, Stephanie (11 November 2012). "A step forward for homeless vets". Miami Herald.
  21. Newland, Maggie (12 November 2012). "Miami Man Turns Life Around, Gives Back to Fellow Veterans". CBS Miami.
  22. "Federal Court Rules that Florida Ban on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples is Unconstitutional". ACLU. 8 August 2014.
  23. PAIRS Classes for Same Sex Couples
  24. Florida Marriage Preparation and Preservation Act of 1998
  25. PAIRS Essentials Overview
  26. Henthorn, Robert. "National Study Shows Strong Consumer Satisfaction with Marriage and Relationship Education Classes," Fatherhood Channel, October 17, 2012
  27. PAIRS Classes for Couples
  28. Durana, Carlos (1994). "The Use of Bonding and Emotional Expressiveness in the PAIRS Training: A Psychoeducational Approach for couples". Journal of Family Psychotherapy. 5 (2). doi:10.1300/j085V05N02_05.
  29. Turner, Lynn; Gordon, Lori H. (1995). "PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills)". Journal of Couples Therapy. 5 (1–2): 37–53. doi:10.1300/J036v05n01_05.
  30. Durana, Carlos (1996). "A Longitudinal Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the PAIRS Psychoeducational Program for Couples". Family Therapy. 23 (1).
  31. Durana, Carlos (1996). "Bonding and Emotional Reeducation of Couples in the P.A.I.R.S. Training: Part I and Part II". American Journal of Family Therapy.
  32. Durana, Carlos (1997). "Enhancing Marital Intimacy through Psychoeducation". The Family Journal. 5 (3). doi:10.1177/1066480797053004. Unknown parameter |s2cid= ignored (help)
  33. Durana, Carlos. "Integrated Psychoeducational Approach," (1999) The Intimate Couple.
  34. Peluso, Paul; Eisenberg Seth; Schindler, Rachel. "Relationship Education Impact Reports," PAIRS Foundation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, September 2011
  35. Relationship Education Impact Reports, PAIRS Foundation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, September 2011
  36. Knox, Virginia, et al. "The Supporting Healthy Marriage Evaluation: Early Impacts on Low-Income Families," MDRC, New York, NY, March, 2012
  37. PAIRS Training
  38. PAIRS Level One Training Overview
  39. PAIRS Classes
  40. PAIRS Essentials Curriculum Overview
  41. Operation Sacred Trust
  42. Henthorn, Robert. "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veteran Families". FatherhoodChannel.com, August 4, 2011

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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