premarital + committed couples counseling
IN NEW YORK CITY
Our therapists specialize in committed couples counseling
what is premarital or committed couples counseling?
Learn the skills to set your relationship up for success.
Contrary to popular belief, premarital counseling is not just for couples who have a wedding date approaching, but also for partners in committed relationships. In addition to learning how to prepare for a lifelong commitment, premarital or committed couples counseling can also help couples further strengthen the foundation of an existing healthy relationship.
This type of therapy strives to not only improve a couples’ communication, but to also set realistic expectations for marriage or a long term relationship by equipping couples with effective conflict-resolution skills and strategies for when issues do arise.
Early during the honeymoon phase of a relationship it’s easy to feel like “love is enough” because everything just feels so effortless. However once the novelty of the relationship wears off, the reality of daily life may bring disappointments.
Often, couples don’t realize just how much the dynamic in their family of origin impacts them as adults. Our family of origin refers to the diverse culture and society that we grew up in, how we observed and celebrated holidays, significant rituals and traditions, our relationship with food, finances, and our communication patterns. The past affects our future and it’s worth it to explore it.
how does premarital or committed couples counseling work?
Therapy can help couples navigate a variety of concerns.
Usually, pre-marital or committed couples therapy ranges from 1 to 12 sessions. Your therapist will help you to explore and identify the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship as well as the belief systems of both partners. Given that open and direct communication is a must in a healthy relationship, this type of therapy is an effective tool to start an important commitment on the right foot. Therapists may also explore the couple’s current life situation, their past, what attracted them to one another, their relational history, and their families of origin.
When couples decide to make a commitment such as marriage, it is important for the partners to talk about potential issues that may arise, or have been points of contention in the past. Contrary to popular belief, the need to work on things in counseling does not mean partners are not in love, or deeply care for one another, or have “major issues” with each other. What it does mean is that marriage and the promise for a long life together requires some discussion.
There are issues that may not be addressed or ignored, and wishful thinking can take place that everything is fine as is. Each partner might have an image and fantasy about their life together, without any problems or differences.
questions couples can find answers to in therapy
How do we feel about a lifelong commitment to having just one sexual partner?
What is our vision and expectation for physical intimacy?
What are my values? Do our values align?
What’s our communication style? How do we resolve conflict?
How do we view traditional gender roles? What are my expectations of my partner when it comes to career, finances, and possibly raising children?
Where do we spend and where do we save?
What are our individual and shared financial obligations and limitations?
Can we define our ambitions regarding our careers and money?
How do we feel about a prenuptial agreement?
Do we share (or can appreciate and support each other’s) personal goals?
What religious or spiritual ideologies do we believe in?
If we choose to have children, how are we going to raise them and in which faith system?
How are going to deal with issues connected with faith, religion and spiritual upbringing as they relate to our family of origin? How will we spend holidays, and with which family?
What are my boundaries? How can I know that my partner will respect them?
How does my need for alone time differ from my partner?
How do our needs for social activity differ from one another? Is one a homebody and the other an adventurer?
What makes me feel vulnerable? How can I ask for support from my partner when I need it?
Couples may believe it’s best to postpone making some of these decisions or discussing topics like spirituality until they “officially” start a family and child is born. However, the reality is that topics which are not talked about before marriage often become even more difficult to solve after the fact. Therapy allows couples to openly discuss their differences and expectations of one another, while learning how to better understand and support each other.
interested in committed couples therapy?
We can help.
Couples who do premarital or committed couples counseling often thrive in their relationships. Reach out today for a 30-minute complimentary consultation with a psychotherapist who specializes in premarital counseling.