Welcome marriage and relationship educators and coaches!

Marital First Responders is the ultimate “upstream” program for marriages because it taps existing social networks where people first bring their problems.

We’re excited that you’re interested in learning more. You already know the importance of helping marriages before they get in serious trouble. You already know the importance of social support for marriages. And you already know that people can learn skills in good interpersonal communication.

Not known until now, based on our national research:

  • 73% of USA adults report being a natural confidant to a friend, family or coworker around marital issues
  • Only 29% of divorced individuals sough counseling and only 16% ever confided in a clergy person
  • Of these millions of natural confidants, 40% feel stress in these conversations with friends and family

Want to learn more about being a Marital First Responder trainer?

Watch a video for trainers + learn more

I have extensive knowledge of the marriage enrichment field and there is nothing like Marital First Responders out there. It’s the final frontier to help the millions of married individuals who never make it to an educator, clergy or counselor but rely on their friends or family for support. I am thrilled to be involved in this movement and be an active part of its growth!

Julie Baumgardner, MS, CFLE
President and CEO

First Things First


It is an honor to collaborate with Bill Doherty and Elizabeth Doherty Thomas. I have respected Bill as an educator and researcher for over 20 years. While some of Bill’s books are deeply foundational to my career, his influence in my life extends beyond his publications and presentations. Fifteen years ago, as a young professional in my first year of a new job, Bill served as my confidant. He empathized with me and told me that any career can have its demands. He also shared with me ways that he had made his marriage and family a priority while succeeding professionally. He wasn’t lecturing; he gave me a voice of reassurance that I could have a successful marriage and career.

In 2013, Bill began to tell me about his newest vision, Marital First Responders. I had the chance to talk with Bill and his daughter, Elizabeth, about my last four years working with military and veteran couples. Military and Veteran Marital First Responders makes sense; after all every person in the military is trained to serve in a unit, and many times he or she looks to a buddy for personal support. I am honored to work more closely with Bill and Elizabeth and expand on ways to best support military and veteran couples.

Redditt House: Medical Family Therapy Research Academy
Director- Angela Lamson, PhD, LMFT, CFLE
Military and Veteran Couple and Family Initiative