As you anticipate your big day and share your dreams for the future, this is an exciting and busy time. Engaged couples often wonder whether premarital counseling is really necessary or helpful. Why not think of it as a wonderful opportunity to learn how to keep the romance alive for a lifetime?
For over 20 years I’ve been helping couples learn to build and sustain a strong, honest, mutually sustaining marriage. Our work together is specifically tailored to your needs. The atmosphere is warm and supportive. Together we agree on goals and I work actively to help you reach them.
Even the happiest couples experience stress and conflict, and with half of all marriages ending in divorce, it’s essential to learn how to deal with these constructively as you prepare for the wedding and in the years to come. Today’s couples — with partners managing two careers, often while raising children — face unique challenges. You’re busy people with interesting lives, and as you seek to join together for a lifetime you need the skills to maintain an intimate, mutually nurturing relationship.
Ask about the premarriage package that’s right for you. This is a customized program to meet the needs of each couple. What you get:
1. 3 to 5 private sessions for you and your fiance in my quiet, convenient midtown Manhattan or northern Westchester office. Depending on your schedule and preferences, you can arrange for a series of 60-minute sessions or 2 longer sessions.
2. A detailed online premarital test to help you recognize strengths and growth areas and a written evaluation of how your life experience and personal styles are likely to influence your marriage;
3. Research-based information on how to manage conflict, nurture closeness despite time pressures, and balance individuality and connection. You learn skills that will help you communicate honestly and lovingly so that in the future you will avoid getting stuck in destructive patterns. Money, intimacy, spirituality and community, children, family, work-life fit, time management and the wedding itself are all part of our conversation. The goal is not to find incompatibility but to shine a light on areas that can be even better. When appropriate, I give you handouts to take home and read or work on together.
4. Email support between sessions when you have questions or concerns and need a response from a trained, experienced professional.
You can arrange for premarriage sessions anytime, but the best time is as soon as you get engaged. That way you can schedule them at your convenience, rely on solid support through all the stress of wedding plans. I do my best, but let’s try to avoid cramming in all your sessions between last-minute dress fittings! To learn more about the premarriage package, fill out this contact form.
Watch a video introduction to what my approach to premarital counseling can mean for you:
Now is the time to be sure you’re on the right track. In premarital counseling you can learn how to carve out space for each other in the midst of your busy week. You can learn effective ways to communicate and manage conflict. You can gain a better idea of how your family of origin has taught you about marriage — and explore how to bring your own creativity to your relationship. You can learn positive approaches to religious or cultural differences. (Read my advice in the Chicago Tribune on how to deal with religious differences in marriage.) You can talk about important goals for yourselves and your marriage. (Watch me on Fox 5 NY talking about how to avoid a common pitfall that derails many marriages after only two years.)
Most of all, you can learn to build on your strengths and work as a team to nurture a relationship that will, in turn, nurture the two of you. As you choose a premarital counselor, it’s important to find someone who helps you feel comfortable. I work with many people who seek to bring their analytical skills and creativity to the art of building a life together. Engaged couples say their premarital counseling time is meaningful and special.
Sessions can be tailored to your schedules at this busy time. Some couples plan regular hour-long sessions. Other prefer to set aside time for fewer, longer meetings. Let’s talk about what will work for you.
To learn more about premarital counseling or to set up an introductory session, fill out this contact form or call me at 914.941.6478 or 646.801.8550. My Manhattan office is on a tree-lined street in midtown, convenient to all transportation. My Westchester office is easily reached from the Taconic State Parkway, the Saw Mill, or Route 9 or 9A.
I am a member of Marriage Friendly Therapists, an advanced practitioner network featured in USA Today,National Public Radio, and the Harvard Mental Health Letter. The network is listed as a resource by the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network, funded by the federal government, for couples who need marriage counseling. Here’s what they wrote: “The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists was developed to help marriages by linking couples with the most highly qualified therapists in the country.”
Since 1990 I have helped hundreds of people in the New York area heal from pain, feel more confident and enjoy more fulfilling relationships. For a free telephone or email consultation, email or call me today.
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