A Clear Creek County resident with an entrepreneurial background is partnering with an Evergreen-based trainer to market a software program they claim can help couples subtract weeks off the typical course of marital therapy.
Entrepreneur Phil Lawson, 54, founder and CEO of Spherit Inc., has been exploring spherical theory and systems approaches for years and is known professionally as “Spherical Phil.”
Lawson has a widely varied background in photography, software design and business management. He co-authored a 2004 book titled “Being Spherical — Reshaping Our Lives and Our World for the 21st Century” that explains his philosophy of interconnectedness.
Sherod Miller has a doctorate and is a social psychologist and CEO of Interpersonal Communications Programs Inc. of Evergreen. He has trained 10,000 instructors in the use of the Couple Communication program he co-developed at the University of Minnesota.
Together, Lawson and Miller created Thrivesphere, a “marital counseling tool” that helps diagnose troubled couples on 67 key elements of a successful relationship expressed in question form.
“Thrivesphere lets you see both the assets a couple brings as well as their challenges. You start to see the interconnections between the parts. … In one session it puts the facilitator and the couple on the same page,” said Miller, a longtime Evergreen resident and former marriage counselor who now trains other counselors.
In development for a couple of years, Thrivesphere compiles answers from both partners and expresses them in a circular-shaped graph on one page of paper, described as an “advanced computer visualization.”
“Here you can see a lot of gaps,” says Lawson, handing out a portrait of a married couple described as “on the brink of divorce.” The red and black lines on the graph were far apart. After 90 days, Lawson said, this couple drastically altered their Thrivesphere profile and were making progress in the marriage. On the “after” page, the red and black lines were closer together.
“It’s a process of mutual self-disclosure. It starts the process of communication,” Lawson said. Typical marriage counseling starts with people stating problems and working on fixing those problems.
One of the main benefits of Thrivesphere is speeding up the process.
“One provider was able to reduce the average number of marital-therapy sessions in her practice from 22 to eight,” Miller said.
Lawson said the technique is being used by Army family-life chaplains to help couples deal with the impact of multiple long-term deployments and get maximum mileage out of time spent in therapy.
Lawson also has used the spherical software to come up with solutions to business management issues and determine degrees of job readiness.
The fee for the software is $25 a couple. The training is $85.
Lawson and his wife, Pamela Powers Lawson, have lived in a house on Floyd Hill with their two Portuguese water dogs for five months. Prior to that, they lived in Indian Hills for 10 years.
Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or at email@example.com.