What is Premarital Counseling?
In Premarital Counseling (or Counseling for couples who are considering getting engaged), I offer individualized, targeted support for the issues particular to your relationship.
Even the strongest partnerships are vulnerable to the stresses of life and the sensitivities unique to each partner.
While strong feelings of love and commitment are bringing you to the altar, strong skills in love and commitment will bring you happily through your first year and beyond.
What are the skills of love and commitment?
There are three most basic skills for communicating love and commitment to your partner over time.
- Identify your own feelings and needs.
- Express your feelings and needs in ways that activate your partners desire to respond and care for you.
- Respond to the feelings and needs of your partner in ways that affirm their value to you.
They may sound straightforward, but for most of us, they are not. Fears or simple lack of practice can make these three steps incredibly difficult.
My job as therapist is to engage with you as a couple around each of these steps, work through any roadblocks, and practice until these become ingrained ways of interacting with one another.
More than education, premarital counseling provides a neutral and supportive atmosphere to practice the skills of love.
In my work with couples, I integrate the latest research regarding attachment styles, neuroscience, and communication. My framework is informed by Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (learn more here) and the in-depth findings of the Gottman Institute (learn more here). I receive ongoing training in research-based couples therapy and am supervised by an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist.
For couples who identify as Christians, I offer a safe space for exploring the role of faith and Biblical principles surrounding marriage and the family.
What if we are already doing Premarital Classes/Counseling through our church?
If you are involved in a local church, there may be group classes or one-on-one meetings available. These can be valuable experiences.
Typically, premarital programs offered by churches take a more general approach to the issues couples face. Sessions with a marriage and family therapist are targeted to the dynamics that impact you particularly. There will be a huge emphasis on practice and in-the-moment coaching so that the principles you learn stay with you for a lifetime.
Contact me here to find out more about premarital counseling.