Couples & Family Therapy
You love your partner and your family, and yet you know your lives together are missing something. You long to be closer, or to support each other more effectively, or maybe you've each hurt each other and are looking for healing. Or maybe you're wanting to lay a solid foundation for your future together. Whatever is drawing you into therapy, I'm so glad you are taking the steps together to build a relationship that will fulfill each of you.
You've found the person you want to marry, and now you're ready to build a strong foundation. Or perhaps you're having a hard time deciding if you're with "the one." Premarital counseling on its own or guided by an assessment can be a great building block for a lifetime of love and partnership, or for deciding you are not as aligned as you had hoped.
Parenting or Co-Parenting
You knew having kids would turn your world upside down, but maybe you didn't realize it would be so earth shattering. Or maybe you did but figured it should have gotten easier by now. You might not be on the same page with parenting or the division of labor (both emotional and physical), or are separated and looking to co-parent effectively. It makes sense to have a neutral party to sort through these challenges with.
Communication has been a struggle recently. It seems everything you try to say turns into a disagreement. You're both grumpy and short with each other, or maybe you barely see each other and feel like roommates. It's common, but that doesn't mean it has to be like that long term. You're eager to get back to the ease, laughter, and support their once was.
My Expertise & Approach
I love working with couples of all types and backgrounds and have supported a wide variety of relationship types from dating, engaged, married, long-partnered, casual, etc. I've seen couples through all kinds of challenges both within their relationship and from external forces like family drama, complex needs with children, mental health challenges, workplace trauma, etc. I take a strengths based approach starting with asking about how you met and what the beginning of your relationship looked like, what drew you two to each other?. Then I support each person in sharing their authentic feelings underlying any "negative" communication to develop a deeper understanding of each other. After this, we focus on brainstorming skills and new ways of communicating to support a more effective partnership.
Premarital counseling can be a little different depending on if we use the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment or not. Either way, we will go through a semi-structured approach of discussing major aspects of a marriage and identifying commonalities, differences, and sticking points. I'll support you two as you talk through those and create a set of ground rules and expectations for your marriage.
As for my clinical background, in graduate school I received a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State University when my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling was conferred in 2011. I was trained in that concentration to utilize an Emotion Focused Therapy model. I also received certification in conducting PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital counseling in 2011.