FOCCUS is a self-diagnostic instrument designed to help couples learn more about themselves and their unique relationship. It is not a test nor meant as a predictor of success or failure in marriage. It is a tool to help couples name and work through issues before marriage.
FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) provides individualized couple feedback on where each partner stands in regard to topic areas important to marriage. The results of the inventory point to issues or areas that may need to be addressed.
FOCCUS is designed to be used at three levels. The first level occurs when the individuals read and respond to the FOCCUS statements and when the couple subsequently discusses what they think and feel about the topics. The first level of discussion is done before they receive the report of results. Preliminary thinking and sorting occurs during this time. Couples need a minimum of several days for this kind of personal discussion before they work with the report of their FOCCUS results. Time spent at this first level prepares the couple for the more problematic areas to be discussed at the second level; it often cuts down the processing time needed later with the facilitator.
The second level of FOCCUS occurs with the help of a facilitator. Using the couple report, the facilitator works with the couple to look for patterns in their responses, discuss issues, and problem-solve.
The third level of FOCCUS use is not needed by every couple. It involves the use of the report and subsequent discussion with the couple to make a referral for specialized assistance. If the couple is resistant or the need is not immediate, the facilitator may recommend the use of special help in the future.
The content for discussion in FOCCUS reflects the current body of knowledge about the elements necessary for a successful marriage. There is also content on key contemporary and specialized needs of couples: couples who cohabit before marriage, dual career marriages, interchurch and second marriages.
FOCCUS was developed to reflect the values and ideals of marriage as sacred. The marriage covenant questions in FOCCUS deal with permanency, fidelity, unconditional love, openness to children and shared faith in God. The same items appear in modified wording in three editions: Catholic, Christian Non-Denominational and Non-Denominational.
FOCCUS is user-friendly for both engaged couples and those helping to prepare them for marriage. FOCCUS is an inventory that does not require a highly trained professional to administer and it has minimal risk for being misused.
Notes about taking FOCCUS:
1. There is a one time fee of $25. This fee covers both of you. Do not pay twice.
2. A unique username and password will be emailed to each of your email accounts.
3. Each of you complete your portion of the inventory. Once both of you have completed your portion, the assessment is complete.
4. The DCFL will mail the completed report to the priest/deacon you indicated on your registration form.
5. You have 90 days to complete the inventory from the date it was created. It will expire after 90 days and will no longer be accessible.