Premarital Therapy

Understanding one another’s expectations, communication approaches, and attachment styles can help prepare you for your life together. Premarital therapy addresses barriers that already exist and provides preemptive tools for future challenges. Learn more about the couple-specific nature of premarital therapy and our approach below.

  • Shanti: inner peace

  • Bhāvanā: mental insight

  • Karuṇā: guided healing

What is Premarital Therapy?

Premarital counseling may seem a bit off the beaten path for a lot of couples. It may appear contradictory to what therapy does, to prepare you for things that haven’t happened yet. However, it’s important to recognize that premarital counseling doesn’t simply give you the tools and strategies for a healthy marriage. It also allows you to delve into possible barriers that may already exist, but generally don’t surface until a major life event occurs. Premarital counseling is an exploratory journey aimed at helping you both learn more about bonding patterns, communication styles, healthy and unhealthy behaviors, past, present, and future stressors, priorities, and so much more.

By recognizing, addressing, and discussing each other’s visions for the future, your relationship can grow on a basis of trust and respect, without a sudden curveball thrown in the mix. Premarital counseling is there to give you the map, whether you always want to keep it handy, or only pull it out when you’re feeling a bit lost. This proactive type of counseling is wholly based upon what you desire as a couple, and as individuals. More specifically, together you are a couple in life, but you still remain individuals as well, with your own mental health fluctuations and needs.

Premarital counseling can take any form you two feel is appropriate for your situation. Maybe you need some help realigning your parenting styles before making the marriage commitment, whether that’s due to bringing in children from previous marriages, adoption, creating a stepfamily, etc. Maybe there is a discrepancy in how gender is perceived by each individual within the wider unit structure. Whatever the focus or reasoning for seeking premarital counseling, the core of our approach is holistic, problem-solving based, and proactive.

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“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind” (Buddha).

Premarital Couples and COVID-19

The current climate presents a complicated context from which to prepare for a marital commitment. Some couples may not live together before getting married, creating a varied array of possible contention during this quarantine (intimacy, finances, communication, etc.). If you are living together, there also can arise the same issues, alongside the added stress of lacking varied outside social interaction, increased time together, reacting to situational issues, lack of personal boundaries, and so on. Maybe you and your partner are feeling healthy and on track, and simply want to make sure it stays that way after you tie the knot. However your relationship has adapted to the current context, there is an aspect of premarital counseling that can mold to your needs, whether present or future in nature.

Remember, premarital counseling doesn’t always mean you’ve reached a challenge, as it can be proactive in nature as well.

  • Merging of families/finances
  • Past communication discrepancies
  • Worry about the future
  • Wanting to plan for any potential challenges
  • Past domestic violence/partner abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Long-distance barriers

This list is not the end all be all and premarital counseling has many individualized goals and approaches.

  • Present and future expectations
  • Financial, communicative, intimacy based, religious, familial, cultural
  • Conflict resolution
  • Listening, addressing possible roadblocks, the meeting of needs
  • Financial discrepancies
  • Merging of finances, debt struggles, misunderstandings, goals
Healing is a complicated journey, not an impossible one. Opening your heart and mind to your own well-being will enlighten your path and reveal your destination.
Our therapeutic approach to premarital counseling is a holistic, couple united guidance, alongside the recognition of you as individuals, bringing your own goals, expectations, struggles, and issues on your journey as well. We emphasize an empathic perspective on not only your end as you communicate, but on ours as well. No couple faces the same journey, and we keep that at the forefront of our therapeutic approach within our applied exercises and adaptable structure. We maintain, as a clinic, that finding the right therapist for you is just as important as finding the right method of treatment. There is no set path, and we can take as many detours as needed to reach a healthy landing point for you as a couple to function presently and battle any future challenges that come your way. Some of our guiding principles can be found below, demonstrating our integration of western, traditional psychology and eastern, naturalistic methods. The following are what we use to lead you forward.

Our Therapeutic Approaches

Holistic & Transpersonal

To delve into your relationship effectively, a holistic and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is helpful. EFT looks at the whole person and their attachment styles, using that transpersonal information to address unhealthy patterns of behavior, defense, and bonding. Addressing potential concerns is also a cornerstone in premarital counseling, and we utilize the same techniques to provide you with personal tools to address these proactively and with care. The term holistic also applies to you as part of a unit, a family system. Your actions and behavioral decisions directly affect those of your partner and vice versa. By recognizing you and your partner’s established roles in this integrative behavioral therapy, it becomes easier to determine if they are healthy, empathetic, and productive.

‘You’-centric & Relational

Our insight-oriented approach allows your own interactions to guide your treatment path. Your therapist will use the information they’re given from your communicative style, past issues, and current raising of issues, to determine the most productive course of action.

Every path in premarital counseling is different, but sometimes a more structured and tangible therapy is required. Utilizing the Gottman Method, in which the core aspects of affection and mutual respect are promoted, helps guide you and your partner through small steps and goals, and towards a healthier existence. Love maps, dream sharing, and various other emotionally driven and spiritually directed techniques remain at the forefront of our premarital, therapeutic methods.

Mindfulness

By remaining in the present moment and acknowledging the current goals and/or conflict at hand as existing outside of yourselves, a narrative can be brought forth. By separating the actual issue, this narrative allows you to recognize each other’s strengths and encourages the growth of empathy in your communication style.

This is not to say that the influence the past has on current and/or potential conflict is not vital towards understanding the path towards healing. Recognizing and understanding your partner’s problematic sources, and they yours, will only serve to make your relationship stronger, especially if and when new conflict does arise.

Your Counseling Experience

Each therapeutic experience is different, and each session can unlock helpful and new paths to explore in the healing process. The below are just to give you a general idea, hopefully instilling a bit of confidence and easing of any worry associated with seeking treatment.

  • 60-minute sessions generally, once a week
  • Short-term work can last between 3-6 months or whenever you feel you’ve reached the version of relationship you were seeking
  • Long-term work also lasts as long as you both need

How We Choose Your Therapist

  • What you need to reach mental well-being together
  • Your personalities and energies
  • Your communication styles
  • Our therapist’s specialties, training, interests, and own lived experiences
  • Our therapist’s approach and communication style

In the Meantime

Extensive research has found that these simplistic and mindful lifestyle changes have a drastic effect on daily life. Give them a shot if you need some immediate peace.

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Experiencing nature
  • Conscious, deep breathing
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Healthy diet

FAQs About Premarital Therapy

Premarital counseling can be both a proactive approach to a healthy relationship and also address current and past problems you are and have experienced. Your path through premarital counseling depends on your goals as a couple, mixed with your individual needs and desires.
Yes, one method of premarital counseling is to follow a structured journey of exercises towards your goal. However, it is just that…one method. Premarital treatment can be extremely exploratory as well. If you raise a concern of not being able to figure out what isn’t quite right, we can make that the priority, find its roots, and utilize tools and guidance to lead you both towards a healthier joining of your lives.
Lists and checkboxes are not our style. There’s absolutely no way to know what approach will work best for you both until we meet you and can gauge where your journey will take you. With that said, yes, our methods are extremely adaptable, addressing you as a holistic unit and as fluid in your needs and goals.
Some, not all, relationship issues arise from a lack of honesty at the start. This is usually never intentional and exists as just a desire for the other to accept and like you. It’s a very natural mechanism for social interaction but can cause speedbumps down the road when real expectations, goals, and desires surface as different from the ones originally expressed. Our main priority is to keep you both as yourselves and find a middle ground of communication, intimacy, and future expectations that align with both your desires.