Premarital Counseling

A Stretching of Heart and Imagination
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“In marriage we need ways to keep the soul in mind.” 
                    ― Thomas Moore

About Premarital Counseling

The decision to marry, while not usually taken lightly, is itself relatively simple. It is the decision to live as two instead of one. Yet, underneath this outward arranging of persons is an inward re-arranging of souls, each with its own set of hopes, dreams, fears, myths, sensations, emotions, images, and stories.

If we are to truly be the Soul Mates we claim to be, we must become adept at sifting through these pieces to find the truest, most precious parts of one another. We must learn the art of gathering the soul and revealing it to our partners. Premarital counseling proceeds with the goal of becoming clear and intentional about doing this from the very start. 

 We begin our marital journey wholly unprepared for what is to come.  This naivete is a kind of gift. Without it,  we might never enter into the cauldron of marriage in the first place! But another one of marriage’s gifts is that it will continuously strip us of this naivete (if we allow it) until all that is left is authentic relating. From this perspective, it is less important to be prepared for possible problems than to develop a willingness to be molded by our relationships. 

Benefits of Premarital Counseling

Create a culture of authentic, heartfelt expression from the start

Squash problematic patterns of communication before they take over

Solidify your commitment to one another

Evaluate each partner's working model of relationships

Clarify responsibilities in order to free up energy for loving connection

Become sensitive to one another's trauma histories and avoid repeated wounding

Co-create a vision for your life together

Establish a relationship with a trusted professional who can support your family in times of future need

I believe life is a spiritual journey that is given meaning through our relationships.  Central to my approach is the understanding that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the connections that we cultivate.  I don’t just want to help you and your partner sort out the money, deal with the in-laws, and get on the same page about household duties. I absolutely do! But I also want to help you re-imagine your relationship to create one that might be more challenging but, ultimately, more fulfilling. 

My Approach

The foundation of my work with any couple is an understanding of the challenge facing modern lovers. On the whole, we are wanting more from our relationships than any other time in human history. We still want the stability and comfort afforded by traditional marriages, but we now also crave emotional intimacy, intellectual stimulation, passionate sex, and spiritual connection…on into our golden years! Unfortunately, most of us are still operating under the rules that worked (or didn’t) for our parents and grandparents. We need a brand new set of skills to match our lofty vision. 

In light of this, I see myself as an emissary for a radically new kind of relationship, the intimate relationship. I believe intimacy is our birthright as humans, and that we do best when living in authentic connection. I also believe that being torn from this natural state is the single greatest environmental contribution to psychiatric and behavioral disorders.  For me, therapy is about returning to this natural state, and clearing up anything that gets in the way of true closeness.

The relationship you want is not out of reach, but neither is it for the faint of heart. If you work with me, I’ll be asking a lot of you, but it’s not just because that’s what I think you need. It is, without a doubt, what I think you deserve.

I am trained in a variety of modalities that I integrate to create the best treatment plan for your relationship. These include Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational Life Therapy (RLT), Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), and Gottman Couples Counseling. I also draw on somatic psychology, spiritual psychology, attachment research, polyvagal theory, trauma theory, multiculturalism, depth psychology, feminist psychology, and gender studies.

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