San Diego Pre Marriage Counseling
Premarital Counseling - Counseling For Engaged Couples - Pre-Marital Therapy

 
Premarital Counseling in San Diego
     

Premarital Counseling

In-depth, Useful and Tailored to You
I tailor my premarital program for each couple, so that we are only covering the ground that will benefit you.  Through my work with couples, my studies and my reading of the latest research, I have identified certain topics that I believe any couple should be well-versed in before undertaking a long term relationship.  After I meet with you the first time, we will decide which elements would benefit you and focus the counseling sessions on those. 

San Diego Premarital Counseling

The elements I have determined important for premarital counseling include: (1) teaching crucial skills for communication and conflict resolution; (2) guiding in-depth discussions about important topics such as parenting styles, values, expectations, religion, roles, etc.; (3) assisting you in building a stronger, deeper bond between you; and (4) educating you about the realities of love and marriage and disabusing you of all the prevalent myths.     

The first three elements will all have the effect of increasing both your own self-awareness and your knowledge of each other.  The final part helps to make sure your expectations are in align with what you will likely experience.  All of these elements are important in making a marriage work. 

Strengthening Communication
Most of us do not grow up learning how to communicate effectively in a close love relationship.  As you probably know, it is different from communicating with your friends or business associates.  The emotional connection between you and your partner, as well as gender differences and communication style differences, can lead to surprising roadblocks to communication.  In counseling with me, you will do exercises designed to clear up any roadblocks or confusion and to give you a tool set to use to resolve conflicts in the future.

In Depth Discussions of Important Topics
The key here is the depth at which most couples talk about these issues.  For example, most people will discuss before they get married how many kids they want to have and whether or not they want a parent to stay home to raise the kids.  But being on the same page about how to parent and what is expected of each spouse requires more discussion that just picking a number and deciding whether someone will stay home. 

Pre Marriage Counseling

Similarly, expectations about what it means to be a “husband”  or “wife,” or how the couple’s partnership will work often vary from person to person and usually there are at least some values about which a couple disagrees.  For some it may be the importance of religious practice, for others it may be about how to balance family life with work.  All of these issues should be discussed at length before marriage so that both partners feel comfortable it will work for them as a couple.  

Of course, these topics can be discussed as they come up, but having hashed it out at least to some extent prior to entering the marriage will help to lessen any conflicts and will allow you to feel that at least you are starting from the same place, even if circumstances have changed. 

Deepening Your Bond
Deepening your bond with your partner is actually the most effective way of “bullet-proofing” your marriage.  Studies show that the strength of that bond actually predicts how well a couple will survive major adjustments (such as having a child) and life setbacks (deaths, job loss, financial difficulty) more so than communication skills.  What I mean by a deep bond or emotional connection is more than just love, respect and trust.  It means that you both feel that your partner understands you on a deep level, accepts you as you are, flaws included, and will always be there for you.  You create this bond through sharing more about yourself with your partner and having your partner respond in a supportive manner.  The discussions and exercises you will do in counseling with me will naturally cause this process to happen and without (much) conscious effort you will find you feel closer and more connected to one another. 

Counseling for Engaged Couples

Educating About Realities of Love and Marriage
We are fortunate to live in a time when long term studies of marriage are being published.  The results are often surprising and often don’t make it into mainstream media.  For example, Dr. John Gottman has shown that the difference between happy couples and distressed couples is not the amount of conflict they experience; it is how they handle the disagreements.  Happy couples have just as many problems as distressed couples, but their ability to discuss and resolve those problems is what sets them apart from unhappy couples.  In counseling sessions we will discuss these sorts of findings and what it tells us about how to make a marriage work. 

If you are interested in premarital counseling (or simply strengthening your relationship with a significant other) please call or email me to set up an appointment. 

     

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Susannah Muller, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #49050
San Diego Counseling & Therapy
5665 Oberlin Dr., Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92121
(619) 787-2743

Copyright © 2007-2016 Susannah Muller. All Rights Reserved.