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What are HWL Groups?

The How We Love group curriculum is a new, in-depth, group-oriented study system. Group meetings are designed around DVD footage, discussion, and skill building. We have retained much of the original How We Love DVD workshop but this curriculum includes over an hour of new video and emphasizes the comfort circle from the very first week.

HWL Groups are designed to help you understand your love style in your marriage or dating relationship, or discover what went wrong in your previous relationships so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

For informal groups, you can order the original How We Love DVD instead →

What do I need to run a HWL group?

To run a How We Love group study, you need the following.

  1. One (or more) group leaders.
  2. One Group Leadership Kit (order here)
  3. A Participant Kit for each participant (order here)
  4. A copy of the book “How We Love” for each participant (order here)

HWL Groups are designed for 9 sessions of about 2 ½ hours each and can be used by couples, individuals (single or divorced), or groups both large and small. If time is short, more sessions can be added to reduce the time for each session.

Want something simpler and shorter?

Is your group under tight time constraints? You can run a shorter group (60-75 minutes per session) using our original How We Love Seminar DVD.

What are in the kits?

HWL Leaders Guide Product Image

Group Leadership Kit

The Group Leadership Kit contains: A Group Leader Guide, a set of three HWL Group DVDs, a Participant Study Guide, a Chapter Reading bookmark, and a Comfort Circle bookmark. Please allow two weeks for ordering and shipping!


Group Participant Kit

Each Group Participant Kit contains: A Participant Study Guide, a Chapter Reading bookmark, and a Comfort Circle bookmark. Please allow two weeks for ordering and shipping!

Don’t forget: Each participant also needs a copy of the “How We Love” book (not included in either kit). Order them here →

What is the cost?

The total cost is ultimately dependent on the number of Participant Kits needed and whether the kits are purchased separately or in bulk. There are two main options…

OPTION 1: Group Leader orders all materials

In this option, the host or group leader buys all the materials for the group. You may then have your group members reimburse you for the cost of the materials (you may even split the cost of the Leadership Kit, if you so choose). Note that Participant Kits enjoy bulk discounts when purchased in quantities greater than 20 and 50, so this method can result in savings for all participants.

OPTION 2: Leader & participants purchase their own materials

For this option, the group leader or host purchases the Group Leadership Kit and each participant is responsible for ordering their own How We Love books and Participant Kits.

Leading a Group

If you are ready to lead a How We Love Group, here’s what you need to know…

  1. Milan and Kay do all the teaching! Your job is to keep the group moving by following the detailed instructions in the leaders guide. It’s helpful if group leaders read the book and watch the DVD before leading other couples through the curriculum.
  2. Group leaders don’t have to have a perfect marriage to lead other couples. Most important is a willingness to demonstrate the desire to grow and a willingness to be vulnerable about successes, failures and difficulties in ones’ own journey as a couple or individual. If leaders can demonstrate vulnerability and transparency that will set the tone for the rest of the group to follow. If you are leading with your spouse, make sure you have discussed what levels of transparency are comfortable for you as a couple.
  3. Provide a setting that is free from disturbances as far as possible. Ringing phones, barking dogs, and crying kids don’t promote an atmosphere of safety and protection to those trying to open up.
  4. Go over the questions before you ask them in group. Be prepared to give an answer from your own experience to encourage participation if there is a huge, long lull in conversation. Some silence is good. Let members sit and reflect.

Common Questions From Group Leaders

Q. How do I organize or contact my group?

Email is an excellent tool for staying in touch with your group or communication about your next meeting. We’ve prepared a download that contains boilerplate emails for you to use as well as some helpful, illustrative comics.

Download the group email templates now!
Download the Respectful Speaking guide now!
Download the Effective Listening guide now!

Q. How do I handle a disruptive or dominating person in the group?

It’s okay to be direct. You may have to interrupt and say, “We have limited time and it’s important to hear from everyone.  Let’s stop here (Tom) and hear from someone else.”  It may be necessary to call a group member mid-week and remind them about the group parameters. If someone continues to be disruptive or dominating feel free to say, “I think you are having a difficult time staying within the guidelines of the group and you may need some individual help before you are ready for a group setting.”

Q. What if someone gets very emotional and others get uncomfortable?

Groups are often effective because they tend to provide some containment of strong emotions.  If someone cries or gets angry offer reassurance:  “We want this to be a safe place to express feelings.  I know (Susan) is very upset right now.  I’d like the rest of you to pay attentions to your own feelings as you experience Susan’s emotions.”  If someone seems out of control and very dysregulated, it’s Ok to ask someone to take a time out.  Have a co-leader or another member take them for a short walk outside.  Moving and changing locations can help calm emotions.  If someone is continually highly dysregulated it may be necessary for them to get individual help before continuing in a group setting.

Q. How do I draw out quiet members?

At the beginning of group let members know that no one will be forced to talk. Draw quiet members into the conversation while giving them a choice: “John would you feel comfortable sharing your insights on this question?” If John seems extremely uncomfortable reassure him that he can pass.
Cartoon: I got in touch with my feelings once. They told me to leave them alone and mind my own business.

Q. What if a couple starts to argue?

Remind the couple there are two major goals to this group.  One is to focus on oneself and our own personal growth and the other is to listen to another’s perspective even if you disagree.  Have them stop and write down how they could focus on themselves and their own personal growth in this moment.
Cartoon: Outside of a lack of communication, listening, sharing, and communicating, we have a great marriage!

Looking for something less formal?

The How We Love Seminar DVDFor couples, individuals, or groups of any size that are looking for a shorter, less formal, less comprehensive study experience, we’ve created a special curriculum just for you. Our original How We Love Seminar DVD now includes a digital PDF syllabus and study questions (files are also available on the first DVD).

While this is an entirely separate curriculum, it’s ideal for home or individual study, or groups with very limited time or that do not have formal leadership. The original How We Love Seminar DVD can be used for 8 sessions of 40 minutes each, with optional discussion after each session.

Who is this best for?

  • For Couples: Watch this workshop together and discuss after each session.
  • For Singles or Divorced: Understand your dating relationships or what went wrong in your marriage so you avoid making the same mistakes.
  • Informal groups: This is a good option for your group if time is limited to about 60-75 minutes as each DVD session is approximately 40 minutes and discussion is optional.

Order the How We Love Seminar on DVD →