If your relationship is showing signs of strain it could be time to call in…

Suzette BrawnerGeneral

Two relationship doctors who aim to solve love spats will be on the Island for a seminar this weekend.
Suzette Brawner and Dr. Gary Smalley will be speaking at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess tomorrow
evening and Saturday morning during the Heart to Heart Couples Mentoring Ministries DNA of
Relationships Conference.
Dr. Smalley is known as America’s relationship doctor and is the author and co-author of more than 40
books. His latest title is ‘The DNA of Relationships’.
Mrs. Brawner is the co-author of ‘Taming the Family Zoo’ as well as being an event speaker across the
United States and a frequent radio guest.
Mrs. Brawner met her husband of 34 years on a blind date and is a mother of three and a grandmother.
She uses humour, encouragement, wisdom, and experience to connect in a heart-to-heart way with
people and she has been known to quickly move an audience from serious, thought provoking moments
to uncontrollable laughter.
Mrs. Brawner was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, and received a Bachelor’s degree in
education from the University of Arkansas.
She was a teacher for more than 20 years and was the director at Kanakuk Kamps, in Branson, Missouri.
She has worked with Gary Smalley at Smalley Relationship Center for many years and is the recipient of
the Angel Award and the Silver Medallion. Speaking publicly has been a dream of hers since she was a
member of the high school debate team.
“But my passion was for my family,” she said, “And when our last child left home I dove into what I was
waiting to do. My husband, Jim and I have a book, ‘Taming The Family Zoo’.
“My daughter Jill and I are finishing a manuscript this summer for a book that will hopefully come out in
the fall.
“I speak for church, community, and corporate events all over the US and now I have the opportunity to
come to Bermuda.” Mrs. Brawner said watching families fall apart makes her sad.
“It seems to be happening more rapidly than ever now,” she said.
“There are so many things to pull us away from our family. We need to get back to the basics and return
the focus on what matters most. Those attending the conference will learn some of these concepts.”
When asked whether lack of finances played a large part in the breakdown of marriages, she said: “I do
agree that the lack of financial resources can cause a lot of stress in a marriage, but that is, in my
opinion, not the defining factor for a marriage falling apart.
“Granted having all the money that you think you might need would be handy, but if the marriage is not
strong it does not matter how much money you have. Just as money cannot buy happiness, it cannot buy
a satisfying and strong marriage.”
During the conference Mrs. Brawner will be teaching elements of maximising harmony and minimising
“A few of the things I will be touching on are traps we fall into and how to avoid them, how to decrease
arguments by at least half in all of your relationships; how to get rid of the most destructive behaviour we
all can fall victim to; and how to instantly have more fun.”
In the last 35 years Dr. Smalley has spoken to more than two million people in live conferences and he
has appeared on US national televisions programmes such as ‘Oprah Winfrey’, ‘Larry King Live’, ‘NBC
Today Show’ as well as numerous national radio programmes such as ‘Focus on the Family’.
He is president and founder of the Smalley Relationship Center providing conferences across America as
well as books, videos and small group curriculum. He and his wife, Norma, have been married for 40
years, live in Branson, Missouri and have three children, and eight grandchildren.

an article from www.theroyalgazette.com
Article published Jun 23, 2005