Premarital & Marriage Counseling helps couples Prepare for and Enrich all aspects of married life. The goal of premarital counseling is to teach partners to build upon their strengths as a couple, as well as prepare for the potential challenges of marriage, to develop a strong, healthy and satisfying relationship.
Benefits of PREPARE/ENRICH
Improve your relationship
Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, the PREPARE/ENRICH has been scientifically proven to improve both your relationship dynamics and your relationship skills. Outcome studies have found couples who take PREPARE/ENRICH, then receive three to five feedback sessions with a trained Facilitator, have a significant improvement on 10 out of 13 relationship categories. They also report greatly improved relationship satisfaction.
Reduce your risk of divorce
Studies have shown couples who complete the PREPARE/ENRICH program prior to marriage have the potential to reduce their chances of divorce by as much as 30 percent.
Become more relationship-aware
PREPARE/ENRICH helps you examine your relationship on dimensions found to be important for sustained relationship health. You’ll learn how to communicate with each other more effectively, so you can continue to understand, connect, and relate in healthy ways, improving your relationship on an ongoing basis. You will learn and practice skills that will serve you, your partner and your relationship now, and in the future.
Are you and your partner seeking to reconnect? Relationships can be hard work. You may find that you and your partner are struggling to communicate. It may be that the energy you once put into your connection has become focused on children, career, or other distractions, leaving you feeling more like roommates than partners. Perhaps your pattern of bickering and small arguments has turned into bigger fights causing you to become emotionally isolated from one another. Maybe you’re just having the same argument over and over again, never getting closer to a resolution.
Whatever the reason, feeling out of alignment with your partner on things like money, child-rearing, and household responsibilities can be stressful. You want to feel like your relationship, and maybe even you, are a priority again. You want to feel understood and heard, loved for who you are, and rekindle the trust that you and your partner can thrive as a couple no matter what challenges you are facing.
Difficulty communicating or feeling disconnected from you partner is a much more common experience than you might imagine. We all have wounds that need healing and it is very often our intimate partners who set us off when it comes to those wounds. It may be unsettling for you to find that your partner is the one triggering your negative feelings. Having these kinds of feelings surface, however, can be a good thing. This is true not only for both of you, individually, but for your relationship, as a whole. Once you’re aware of what is happening, you can, as a couple, find a path toward growth, healing, and deepening connection.
Relationships are organic. They are constantly changing and moving. Once you settle into the rhythm of your relationship, you may find there is work to be done that you didn’t necessarily expect. The first few years of a marriage or committed relationship can often be the most difficult, because that is often when you are really getting to know someone. You may be wondering what happened to those carefree days. What happened to the relationship you had in the beginning.
Learning to balance each other’s needs, share space, and just plain old figuring out how to be as a couple can create conflict. Another issue you may be confronting is that, like many of us, you do not have a good model for what a healthy relationship looks like. On the other hand, while a certain amount of co-dependency is healthy, normal, and even necessary for a relationship to thrive, the stresses that come up in a marriage can cause unhealthy patterns of thinking or acting to arise, damaging self-esteem and self-worth.
Research shows that, in order for a relationship to last, couples must become better friends, manage conflict, enhance communication skills and become emotionally aware of one another. Couples counseling can help you increase respect, affection, closeness, resolve conflict when you feel stuck and much more.
Depending on each couple’s individual circumstances, we use various methods of marriage counseling, but most often draw on the work of Drs. John Gottman, of the Gottman Institute and Sue Johnson, who pioneered Emotionally Focused Therapy. Gottman, who is the world’s leading marriage therapist, can predict with 96% accuracy whether a couple will divorce or not within the first 5 minutes of listening to a couple argue. This is based on his many years of research.
Along with Dr. Gottman, we fully believe marriages can be saved even when divorce is predicted if both parties are willing to do the work. It’s difficult because we often feel marriage should come easily, although at some points in our lives it simply does not work that way.
Sometimes a troubled marriage needs more attention than just an hour a week. Our intensives are structured to facilitate growth while repairing and rebuilding your marriage. We have seen clients experience great success with intensive marriage counseling. During your intensive, we are able to dive deeper and more quickly, getting to the root of the emotional issues. You attend a session for longer periods, but less often. While it’s difficult with work schedules, research shows the time spent in an intensive is much more effective overall, and couples actually spend less time than they would in a traditional weekly one-hour session.
Who should attend an intensive?
*Any couple with limited time, who want to move through the process towards healing at a faster pace.
*Couples in severe crisis situations, such as on the brink of divorce, affair recovery, or trauma.
*Couples who find themselves stuck and need help moving their relationship forward.
*A couple that wants to jump-start their weekly sessions by combining the first four sessions into one three-hour session. Typically, this includes gathering background information, assessment and meeting one-on-one with each partner.
The good news is you don’t have to work through all this on your own. Couples counseling can help. With the support of an experienced counselor, you and your partner can get to the root of your conflicts, while developing more effective communication tools supporting you in strengthening your relationship and deepening your connection.
Through effective couples counseling sessions, you and your partner can learn how to reframe your relationship to be healthier and more supportive. You will both discover tools for successful communication, find support and guidance, in a safe, nonjudgmental place. It is in this place you will work out your thoughts, feelings, and the ongoing issues and challenges keeping you stuck or in distress.
We can help you and your partner identify and explore the trigger points in your marriage, then find ways to better address them. Together we will reveal where your triggers come from, and how your unmet needs and expectations might be playing out in your current relationship. By developing a better understanding of each other’s experience, both past and present, you can transform your conflicts into a deeper, compassionate connection.
If you have any questions about Sequoia Counseling and our therapeutic services feel free to call us at 832-421-8714 or click the button below to send us a message.