Institute Offers Webinars for Married Couples

Online Series Taps John Paul II’s Wisdom on Self-Giving

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By Genevieve Pollock

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania, MARCH 11, 2010 ( This month, couples are being offered a chance to strengthen their marriages from within their own homes in a series that combines John Paul II’s teachings with psychology’s clinical experience.

The Institute for Marital Healing, directed by Catholic psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons, will begin its first series of free webinars on March 27 with a conference on the theme, «The Angry Spouse.»

Fitzgibbons, who is also a consultant for the Holy See’s Congregation for Clergy, explained to ZENIT that this series allows couples to participate anonymously from their own homes, with opportunities to email comments and questions.

He stated that the initiative aims to strengthen Catholic marriages, one of many ways the institute reaches out to couples.

It also offers resources for couples, counselors and clergy on the topics of parenting, manhood, family life and marriage. On the institute’s Web site are several guides for identifying and addressing common conflicts between spouses.

This webinar series will also include online conferences on «The Emotionally Distant, Anxious Spouse» and «Marital Separation and Divorce.»

Fitzgibbons, who also teaches at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America, told ZENIT that the wisdom of the former Pontiff will be presented in the webinars.

«Our work with marriages is strongly influenced by John Paul II’s writing in ‘Love and Responsibility’ in regard to the vocational calling to self-giving in the marital friendship, romantic love and betrothed love,» he said.

The psychiatrist also adds his experience from working with thousands of married couples over 30 years.

He explained that «uncovering and resolving emotional and character weaknesses by growth in virtues, referred to today as positive psychology, strengthens this fulfilling self-giving.»

Fitzgibbons noted that the series will help to «identify major emotional and character weaknesses that interfere with giving and receiving marital love.»

In this way, he affirmed, couples will have a chance to «learn how to uncover conflicts and grow in the virtues that strengthen self-giving and resolve anger, mistrust, anxiety and selfishness.»

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To register for webinars:

On the Net:

Institute for Marital Healing:

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