Guidelines for Facilitators


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Some Points To Consider In Discussing FACET:

  • SETTING THE MOOD: At the third meeting, when you have the computer printout, the couple may still be anxious. Emphasize again that FACET is not a test, and is confidential. The results reflect only what they were thinking the day they filled it out, and some questions, where either one answered with unsure, they may have discussed by now. You can ask them if they have talked about their responses since they filled out FACET. Most likely they have. In fact, many couples report that they spent time immediately following the completion of FACET discussing their answers. This means that FACET has already begun being successful in its purpose; namely, to get the couple to discuss those areas where they may not have previously discussed. It is common for a couple to report that they became aware that they hadnít yet figured out how they are going to handle their finances, for example. So, after they completed the FACET tool, they started to have that conversation. They are now sitting in front of you, the facilitator, that much more prepared as a result of discussing FACET. Be sure to compliment them for this great gain they have already achieved, if this is the case.

  • Others will show some anxiety or concern regarding their corresponding answers to FACET. In most cases, you'll be able to reassure them that they have lots of similar responses, and that it is healthy and normal to have some differences. The key is to be aware of these differences. Some will require compromise and some will need adjustments by one or both parties.

  • HOW TO START: You may want to have an introductory time, discussing how long they have known each other, how they met, when they decided to marry, etc. Some facilitators have found it helpful to ask the couples what they thought of filling out FACET, and asking if they have discussed some of the questions or areas after they completed it, and what areas they thought they were strong in, and what areas they thought they may need to discuss more.

  • THE RESULTS: Show them the results and indicate how many areas they already have agreement in. At present there is a legend at the end of the scoring sheet that indicates the amount of agreement in each area. That is for the facilitator's benefit, to know where to concentrate the thrust of the conversation. Use your own judgment about the importance of the items raised for discussion. Whether people know who their grandparents are is not as important as whether one or the other has a problem with substance abuse or physical abuse.

  • GOING OVER THE CATEGORIES: You, not they, should have the computer printout in your hand. The couple ought to be seated facing each other. The key for the discussion is for you to facilitate, and for them to spend most of the time TALKING WITH EACH OTHER RATHER THAN WITH YOU. It is certainly not for them to spend most of the time listening to you. Some have found it helpful for everyone to have a copy of the question booklet to look up specific questions; others have found this to be more of a distraction or hindrance. Feel free to do what is most comfortable for you.

  • THE SEPARATE CATEGORIES: Go over the categories one at a time, perhaps using the I Will portion of each as the summary for each section. Read the areas that they had some disagreement on in the section, and then review them one at a time. It's preferable not to tell them, "You marked 'yes', and you marked 'unsure', and the author wants you to say 'yes' or 'no.'" Rather, you can mention the question and ask if they remember what they were thinking when they filled out the instrument. They perhaps will remember how they marked it, and start talking about why. A different, but valid approach is to say who responded with what answer. You can tell them, "He said 'yes' and she said 'no'." Or, "You both said 'yes', but the preferred response is 'no'." With either approach your goal is to get them to talk. Give them as little input as you can get away with, depending on the personalities and temperaments of the couple. Perhaps they don't remember any reason why there was disagreement...then either they misunderstood the question, filled in the wrong box, it was entered incorrectly, it was a momentary difference because they had an argument on the way to the session, or they don't feel comfortable discussing it here and now. Don't push them; rather, encourage them to talk. If one starts to talk to you, gently ask him or her to speak to their partner. Then, see if they are able to go further in a conversation regarding this particular topic or question.


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