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Couples Therapy

Romantic relationships can be hard work that require attention and support along the way. Couples therapy is a method of psychotherapy used to help two people in a relationship gain deeper understanding and insight, resolve conflict, and build a healthier partnership. A therapist can help identify relationship patterns, uncover hidden intentions or expectations, and help couples that feel they are stuck in a rut. 

Couples often seek out therapy in times of conflict and crisis.  Usually issues stem from the need to be loved, accepted, or understood. Couples can get stuck in negative patterns; as resentment builds up, one or both individuals may withdraw and become bitter or unhappy. The longer these unhealthy patterns are allowed to set in without any intervention, the harder it is to restore the deep connections that make up a healthy relationship. 

"We repeat what we don't repair." —Christine Langely-Obaugh

Couples counseling is a useful intervention for concerns related to, but not limited to: sexual difficulties, jealousy, premarital counseling, chronic health issues, death/loss, infertility, finances, loneliness, substance use, or frequent conflict. The focus of the counseling is the relationship itself, because it is a different and separate entity from the individuals involved. Each person brings their own family patterns, culture, expectations, and values to the relationship. Our approach focuses on the individual's responsibilities to the relationship, to shape and build the partnership into one that helps them feel more deeply loved and connected to one another. With the help of therapy, you can reconnect and reignite the friendship and passion in your relationship. 

What you can expect working with us:

Therapists in our practice are trained in Prepare/Enrich and/or The Gottman Method, which are among the most researched and evidence-based of the couples therapy methods. We also draw on other useful models and theories of practice such as Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Couple's Therapy (EFT), adult attachment theories, and Esther Perel's Research and work.  Our approach largely involves assigning the expert role to the couple.  Our therapists have varying approaches, so please inquire with the receptionist, when you email or call to set up an appointment.  

We will meet for a conjoint session first, then individually with each partner for one session. We administer a questionnaire (requires an additional small fee) that helps us identify both the strengths and challenges.  We develop a plan of action together based on the assessment and determine the frequency and duration of sessions in the third session. If there is a degree of uncertainty about whether to separate or break-up, we will explore that at the outset and individual therapy may also be recommended. The focus is on helping the couple learn to understand and really hear each other. Through the course of therapy, we will address resentment that has built up and create new ways of interacting and showing love, while creating healthy and sustainable patterns.

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling can be one of the best decisions you make when you are undergoing the transition from dating to a committed relationship or marriage. Counseling provides a safe and neutral place to explore important topics, such as your views on monogamy or spiritual/religious differences, to more practical things like, where you will be happy living, or what are your attitudes about retirement planning and money? 

Our approach is to talk about the positives/things the couple agrees on first and explore what led them to seek premarital counseling. We then identify and address the existing challenges and potential areas of conflict. Hot topics are finances, plans for children, family dynamics and overall expectations of marriage.  

PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Inventory

In the midst (and chaos!) of wedding planning, many couples miss out on the opportunity to connect on the more meaningful aspects of their relationship and marriage. We offer the PREPARE/ENRICH premarital survey, one of the most widely used and research-backed premarital inventory and couples assessment tool, to help couples navigate these topics. With the use of PREPARE/ENRICH, your therapist will help you: 

  • Explore strength and growth areas

  • Identify and manage major stressors

  • Resolve conflict by strengthening communication skills

  • Develop a more balanced relationship

  • Explore family of origin issues

  • Discuss financial planning and budgeting

  • Establish personal, couple and family goals

  • Understand and appreciate personality differences

Prior to starting counseling, your therapist will discuss what is right for your relationship with you. If you choose the PREPARE/ENRICH inventory, you and your partner will each complete a 30-45 minute online assessment in the comfort of your own home.  Next, you set up sessions with your therapist, who will use your results to explore important questions and facilitate exercises, aimed at improving communication. We recommend at least six sessions. You can buy a package of six for $1200 or pay as you go for $225/session. The PREPARE/ENRICH inventory is an additional $35.00 fee.  

"Brief is life, but love is long." —Alfred Lord Tennyson

Interfaith and same sex couples, as well as couples preparing to become blended families, face additional stressors in preparing for commitment and marriage. We offer individualized support to help you identify and explore these unique issues, and learn tools to enhance your relationship and take the next steps. 

PREPARE/ENRICH is also an excellent tool used for marriage counseling, couple enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement.  To learn more, please visit the website here. 

We help couples understand that disagreements are a part of marriage.  The ability to constructively communicate and resolve conflicts is the key to a loving relationship .  At a Good Place Therapy, we help couples learn the healthy conflict management skills and strategies that are the building blocks of long-lasting relationships.