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  • Premarital and Couples Counseling

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    My Approach:

    The real problem lies not in the fact that couples experience  problems, but in not seeking help when they need it the most. Every couple experiences problems its your response to your problems that matter. Virtue Counseling’s premarital and marital counseling are designed to build and strengthen relationships while addressing areas for growth. Our couples counseling is for every stage of your relationship whether you are considering moving to the next commitment level such as living together, marriage to couples attempting to manage the demands of long-term commitment, children, work and daily life stress. I will help you identify the areas for growth that have led to the current situation in your relationship and help you increase the positives. A relationship that lasts is the product of a couple that has spent time on their relationship.

    Prepare and Enrich: Growing a Strong Relationship

    More understanding and less arguing.  Confidence and clarity to talk about sensitive topics.  Insight on how to be each other’s cheerleader and lover.  Whether you are in year 0, 5, 10, 25 or more, the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment will help you visualize your relationship, put facts behind your feelings, and discover ways to open up doors for communication and intimacy.

    I am a certified facilitator in the Prepare and Enrich method which is a program backed by research that is designed to equip couples with skills and insights to foster healthy relationships. The assessment is one of the most widely researched assessment tools. The  P/E assessment has been shown to increase relationship satisfaction. Prepare and Enrich also offers specialized assessment for identifying parenting differences and preparing couples to foster or adopt. For more information on the benefits of Prepare and Enrich please check out their website below:

    Prepare and Enrich

    What Can You Expect?

    Not sure what to expect from couples counseling? Let’s look at five basic principles of effective couples therapy, according to UCLA psychologists Lisa Benson, Meghan McGinn, and Andrew Christensen:

    1.It changes the views of the relationship.  Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist attempts to help both partners see the relationship in a more objective manner.  They learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them as a process involving each partner.

    2.It changes behavior that does not strength your relationship. Effective couples therapists attempt to change the way that the partners actually behave with each other. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, and is free from engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological, or economic harm.

    3.It helps you feel closer. Couples who avoid expressing their private feelings put themselves at greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart. Couples counseling helps clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person in a safe and empowering way.

    4.Improves communication.  It helps couples learn to say what they mean and truly hear what their partners are saying. All effective couples therapies focus on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. Building on principles #2 and #3, this communication should not be abusive, nor should partners ridicule each other when they do express their true feelings. Couples may, therefore, require “coaching” to learn how to speak to each other in more supportive and understanding ways.

    5.Promotes strengths. It highlights  the strengths that already exists in the relationship and helps you do more of what is working.It also helps you build new strengths to continue to nurture your relationship long after your time in counseling is done.

    Benson, L. A., McGinn, M. M., & Christensen, A. (2012). Common principles of couple therapy. Behavior Therapy, 43(1), 25-35. doi:10.1016/j.beth.2010.12.009