TL;DR: In his fourth year at Brigham Young University, Assistant Professor Scott Braithwaite, Ph.D., may be a new kid on the block, but his online relationship education program, ePrep, is already helping hundreds of couples improve their love lives.
Since his undergraduate years, Dr. Scott Braithwaite has had a passion for providing couples with the tools they need to prevent relationship distress and enhance their overall relationship health.
But he’s taken that passion a step further in the form of ePrep, a research-based distress intervention program couples can complete in the comfort of their own homes.
Braithwaite’s main goal with ePrep, and his research in general, is to answer two questions:
- How can we form and maintain healthy long-term relationships that will bring joy and happiness into our lives?
- How do those types of relationships influence our mental and physical health?
“I’m interested in how we can leverage close relationships, make them really healthy, so we can get all of those benefits,” he said. “It seems like people who are in strong, committed relationships tend to do better on a whole bunch of different outcomes.”
Braithwaite was kind enough to give us more details about his important work and the positive impact ePrep has made.
The inspiration behind ePrep
According to Braithwaite, 40 to 50 percent of married couples will divorce and 25 percent of couples who stay married report having unhappy relationships. Doesn’t sound like good odds, right?
It’s not like there aren’t hundreds, if not thousands, of couples therapists and counseling organizations out there, so why are these numbers so high?
Braithwaite said while there isn’t a lack of professional programs, or “interventions” as he calls them, out there, there is a lack of accessibility to those programs for those who really need the help.
“The people who tend to get these interventions the most tend to need them the least, meaning their at low risk for marriage problems and divorce,” he said. “They tend to come from wealthier backgrounds. They tend to have more education and those sorts of things.”
That’s where ePrep comes in.
Based on scientific research, ePrep consists of strategies, skills and principles that are proven to help couples achieve the relationship results they want.
Not only is ePrep flexible, well-priced and easy to access from a variety of locations, but a series of four randomized clinical trials show it offers the same benefits as traditional in-person interventions, including reducing anxiety and depression, as well as increasing trust and communication.
The system also works great for singles who are looking to learn more about their dating patterns, what to look for in a healthy relationship, how to select the right partner and more.
“I’m really excited about the potential for this to reach people broadly because, as I say, one of the problems with these intervention systems is we don’t get them to the people who need them the most,” Braithwaite said.
Expanding ePrep’s capabilities
Braithwaite said he’s overwhelmed and humbled by all of the positive feedback he’s received about ePrep, but the best part is the testimonies from couples and individuals who say the program is truly doing the job it was design to do.
“Not only do we have data that suggests that it’s helpful at reducing things like intimate partner violence, but also just improving the quality of their relationship, making it so they can talk about difficult issues,” he said.
But he’s not stopping now.
Braithwaite is excited to try different applications of ePrep and utilize new technologies to grow the program so it can better fit into people’s busy lives, which includes courses that help to keep couples from slipping back into their old ways.
“I’d like to see whether or not we can give people ePrep as kind of a booster session, maybe six months after their final marriage therapy session, and see if it helps them to maintain those benefits for a longer span of time,” he said.
If you are interested in learning more about ePREP, visit lovetakeslearning.com. You won’t regret it!