The Board of NARME is sad to announce the death early this morning of one of the true giants in the relationship and marriage education field, Dr. Lori Heyman Gordon. It appears she died peacefully in her sleep this morning at the age of 90.
Dr. Gordon was one of the leading marriage education pioneers in the world. Many consider her the "mother" of the modern marriage education movement. She was a relationship educator, workshop leader, trainer, author, consultant and psychotherapist. She founded the Family Relations Institute, and the Center for Separation and Divorce Mediation in Falls Church, VA. She is a former faculty member, Graduate School of Counseling Education, American University, Washington, DC.
In 1975, Dr. Gordon developed the first graduate level course on marriage and family at American University. She chose to build into the course everything that she had learned that was effective in helping couples achieve fulfilling relationships for themselves and their children and avoid relationship breakdown. She wanted this new marriage education program to be practical, clear, and experiential.
As the author of PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills), and Co-Author of Adventures in Marriage, Dr. Gordon's work is one of the few marriage education programs in the country that has been through extensive research to verify its effectiveness in preparing, strengthening, and restoring healthy marriage relationships. Dr. Gordon's work incorporates lessons learned from other marriage education pioneers including Virginia Satir, George Bach, Daniel Casriel, Bernard Guerney, Murray Bowen, Clifford Sager, Ira Progoff, Nathanial Branden, Jean Houston, Ivan Boszormeny-Nagy, Gary Chapman, and many others.
Dr. Gordon was the author of three popular books: Love Knots, Passage To Intimacy, and If You Really Loved Me, and she appeared on numerous programs including The Today Show, Geraldo, CNN, CBS and NBC News, Miami News, National Public Radio, the Gordon Elliot Show, and others. Her work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, New Woman and Psychology Today. She was a Charter Member of the American Family Therapy Association, a member of the Cornell University Alumni Regional Class Counsel, and a member of the Virginia Satir International Human Learning Resource Network and AVANTA. And she received the Smart Marriages Impact Award in 2002
Dr. Gordon was preceded in death by her beloved husband Morris in 2005, and is survived by her four children and many grandchildren.