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Warrior to Soul Mate Workshops empower couples through communication, mutual support skills

A couple walking down an alleyway.

For the first time since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, VA Illiana’s Chaplain Service is set to host the Warrior to Soul Mate workshop, an evidence-based program designed to help establish and strengthen relationship bonds for couples.

With offerings scheduled throughout 2024 (March 1-2, July 12-13, and Nov. 15-16), couples have the choice of starting their Warrior to Soul Mate journey soon or locking in their spot for later this year. The 12-hour workshop unfolds over two days, with each offering beginning on a Friday evening and concluding on Saturday afternoon and sessions are led by VA professionals experienced in the unique rewards and challenges of Veteran relationships. The only requirement is that one party be enrolled in VA heath care. 

Lonnie Sutterfield, chief of VA Illiana’s Chaplain Service, said helping couples find joy is at the heart of the Warrior to Soulmate workshops. While the workshops are not therapy, he said many couples report improved communication and intimacy. 

“The goal of Warrior to Soul Mate is to establish and strengthen a relationship that both partners can live with joyfully,” said Chaplain Sutterfield. “For this to happen, each partner must become able to identify their own feelings and needs and learn to communicate them in such a way that these needs can get met. This means communicating one’s needs and desires without making the other partner feel resentful, smothered, burdened, manipulated, or inadequate.”  

Ch. Sutterfield added communication skills are a major part of Warrior to Soul Mate, and that learning them can help couples build the foundation of intimacy, fulfillment, and happiness. He said both dual-Veteran and one-Veteran couples are encouraged to attend.  

Veterans interested in enrolling in a workshop or learning more should contact VA Illiana Chaplain Services at 217-554-5817. Alternatively, Veterans are welcome to ask their care team to submit a Warrior to Soul Mate consult.