Prevention is always better than fixing problems after the fact; flossing is better than getting root canals.
Premarital counseling is meant to help couples address issues before they become problems. There is a practical reason for premarital counseling–to reveal and examine topics that might not have been discussed before this point. Dating couples and even couples that have already been living together may know each other very well. These couples may have even been through all kinds of challenges and hardships together. However, there are certain topics that don’t typically come up until after marriage, especially conversations about combining finances, the involvement of in-laws, and expectations for retirement.
These are difficult conversations that are understandably avoided, but they must be discussed to ensure both people are prepared for spending their lives together.
Many clients who see me for relationship or couples counseling have waited a long time to seek therapy. They have tried to work things out on their own with little success. All long-term relationships hit speed bumps and hurdles. We don’t need to get stuck there.
Others recognize issues at an earlier point and want to improve the relationship before it gets to that point.
Many couples seek counseling even though they have a solid foundation because recent stressors with work-life balance, in-laws, parent’s illness or death, challenging transitions, career changes, parenting, all add stress on their relationships.
When couples hit these low points it’s easy to feel hopeless. To assume the situation or current frustrations or lack of connection are permanent.
Couples oftentimes get caught in negative cycles, which interfere with communicating effectively or resolving disagreements. Therapy focuses on identifying and unraveling the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that underlie couples’ ineffective cycles.
In so doing, we are better able to hear and understand each other and then shift and deepen our connection and develop more constructive and healthier interactions.
Prepare and Enrich
PREPARE/ENRICH is an online assessment tool for both married and unmarried couples who want to understand and improve their relationship. By asking key questions at the beginning of the assessment, PREPARE/ENRICH addresses each couple’s relationship stage, situation, challenges, philosophical/spiritual orientation, and personalities and tailors the inventory to assess the couple’s strengths and the areas of challenge where growth will bring about the greatest benefits. Each partner completes the inventory independently by answering several questions that will help to determine which areas to focus on.