Pre-marital, Couples, Marriage Intensives
Premarital & Marriage Counseling helps couples Prepare for and Enrich all aspects of married life. The goal of premarital counseling is to teach partners to build upon their strengths as a couple, as well as prepare for the potential challenges of marriage, to develop a strong, healthy and satisfying relationship.
Benefits of PREPARE/ENRICH
Improve your relationship
Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, the PREPARE/ENRICH has been scientifically proven to improve both your relationship dynamics and your relationship skills. Outcome studies have found couples who take PREPARE/ENRICH, then receive three to five feedback sessions with a trained Facilitator, have a significant improvement on 10 out of 13 relationship categories. They also report greatly improved relationship satisfaction.
Reduce your risk of divorce
Studies have shown couples who complete the PREPARE/ENRICH program prior to marriage have the potential to reduce their chances of divorce by as much as 30 percent.
Become more relationship-aware
PREPARE/ENRICH helps you examine your relationship on dimensions found to be important for sustained relationship health. You’ll learn how to communicate with each other more effectively, so you can continue to understand, connect, and relate in healthy ways, improving your relationship on an ongoing basis. You will learn and practice skills that will serve you, your partner and your relationship now, and in the future.
Are you engaged, thinking about getting engaged or married and looking to reinvigorate your marriage? Contact us today to find out more about how the PREPARE/ENRICH program can support you in getting the most of your marriage.
Are You and Your Partner Seeking to Reconnect? Relationships can be hard work. You may find that you and your partner are struggling to communicate. It may be that the energy you once put into your connection has become focused on children, career, or other distractions, leaving you feeling more like roommates than partners. Perhaps your pattern of bickering and small arguments has turned into bigger fights causing you to become emotionally isolated from one another. Maybe you’re just having the same argument over and over again, never getting closer to a resolution.
Whatever the reason, feeling out of alignment with your partner on things like money, child-rearing, and household responsibilities can be stressful. You want to feel like your relationship, and maybe even you, are a priority again. You want to feel understood and heard, loved for who you are, and rekindle the trust that you and your partner can thrive as a couple no matter what challenges you are facing.
Difficulty communicating or feeling disconnected from you partner is a much more common experience than you might imagine. We all have wounds that need healing and it is very often our intimate partners who set us off when it comes to those wounds. It may be unsettling for you to find that your partner is the one triggering your negative feelings. Having these kinds of feelings surface, however, can be a good thing. This is true not only for both of you, individually, but for your relationship, as a whole. Once you’re aware of what is happening, you can, as a couple, find a path toward growth, healing, and deepening connection.
Relationships are organic. They are constantly changing and moving. Once you settle into the rhythm of your relationship, you may find there is work to be done that you didn’t necessarily expect. The first few years of a marriage or committed relationship can often be the most difficult, because that is often when you are really getting to know someone. You may be wondering what happened to those carefree days. What happened to the relationship you had in the beginning.
Learning to balance each other’s needs, share space, and just plain old figuring out how to be as a couple can create conflict. Another issue you may be confronting is that, like many of us, you do not have a good model for what a healthy relationship looks like. On the other hand, while a certain amount of co-dependency is healthy, normal, and even necessary for a relationship to thrive, the stresses that come up in a marriage can cause unhealthy patterns of thinking or acting to arise, damaging self-esteem and self-worth.
The good news is you don’t have to work through all this on your own. Couples counseling can help. With the support of an experienced counselor, you and your partner can get to the root of your conflicts, while developing more effective communication tools supporting you in strengthening your relationship and deepening your connection.
Through effective couples counseling sessions, you and your partner can learn how to reframe your relationship to be healthier and more supportive. You will both discover tools for successful communication, find support and guidance, in a safe, nonjudgmental place. It is in this place you will work out your thoughts, feelings, and the ongoing issues and challenges keeping you stuck or in distress.
We can help you and your partner identify and explore the trigger points in your marriage, then find ways to better address them. Together we will reveal where your triggers come from, and how your unmet needs and expectation might be playing out in your current relationship. By developing a better understanding of each other’s experience, both past and present, you can transform your conflicts into a deeper, compassionate connection.
Research shows that, in order for a relationship to last, couples must become better friends, manage conflict, enhance communication skills and become emotionally aware of one another. Couples counseling can help you increase respect, affection, closeness, resolve conflict when you feel stuck and much more.
Depending on each couple’s individual circumstances, I use various methods of marriage counseling, but most often draw on the work of Drs. John Gottman, of the Gottman Institute and Sue Johnson, who pioneered Emotionally Focused Therapy. Gottman, who is the world’s leading marriage therapist, can predict with 96% accuracy whether a couple will divorce or not within the first 5 minutes of listening to a couple argue. This is based on his many years of research.
Along with Dr. Gottman, I fully believe marriages can be saved even when divorce is predicted if both parties are willing to do the work. It’s difficult because we often feel marriage should come easily, although at some points in our lives it simply does not work that way.
Sometimes a troubled marriage needs more attention than just an hour a week. My intensives are structured to facilitate growth while repairing and rebuilding your marriage. I have seen my clients experience great success with intensive marriage counseling. During your intensive, we are able to dive deeper and more quickly, getting to the root of the emotional issues. You attend a session for longer periods, but less often. While it’s difficult with work schedules, research shows the time spent in an intensive is much more effective overall, and couples actually spend less time than they would in a traditional weekly one-hour session.
Who Should Attend an Intensive?
- Any couple with limited time, who want to move through the process towards healing at a faster pace.
- Couples in severe crisis situations, such as on the brink of divorce, affair recovery, or trauma.
- Couples who find themselves stuck and need help moving their relationship forward.
- A couple that wants to jump-start their weekly sessions by combining the first four sessions into one three-hour session. Typically, this includes gathering background information, assessment and meeting one-on-one with each partner.
Are you looking to jump-start your entry into couples counseling? Marriage Intensives through Amy Wine Counseling can help you get started on the path to healing your marriage and helping yourself. Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment, so we can get you started on your journey!
While some find the topic of sex to be taboo, discussing problems and frustrations surrounding sex may feel downright shameful. Sometimes one partner has a low sex drive while another partner has a high sex drive, causing conflict in the relationship. For men, maintaining or even getting an erection may be a huge struggle, as well as experiencing vaginal lubrication for women. Men may worry about ejaculation issues, while women may be concerned about their ability to orgasm at all. Pain may be experienced during sex, making the thought of even trying feel hopeless. Problems in sex can be extremely frustrating, and you deserve to break free from feeling like a slave to sexual concerns.
How we can help:
We offer a judgment free zone to discuss your concerns fully and explore how to help you discover a healthier and happier sex life. Sex Therapy is a specialty of psychotherapy that focuses on specific concerns related to human sexuality. Individuals seeking sex therapy usually come in presenting issues around sexual desire/libido, difficulty with arousal, difficulty achieving orgasm, or sexual discomfort/pain. In addition to these concerns, couples seeking sex therapy are also usually struggling with differing perspectives on sex frequency, self-stimulation, and other sexual behaviors. It is important to note that sex therapy does not involve any physical contact or sexual activity among clients and therapists.
Sexual Desire (Libido)
While it is not uncommon for there to be one partner with higher sexual desire than the other in a relationship, therapeutic intervention may be necessary when the discrepancy becomes too great. Unfortunately, the partner with lower desire is often labeled as “the one with the problem.” While there may be specific factors that decrease one’s sexual desire, we will take a closer look to assess any relationship dynamics that may also be contributing. Once we have identified the cause(s), we will then design a treatment plan that may include individual or couples counseling.
Sexual arousal is the cognitive, emotional, and physical response to sexual stimuli. Some men have issues with maintaining an erection while others struggle with attaining one at all, despite the desire for sex. It can feel extremely frustrating when the cognitive and emotional arousal is present, but the body does not respond. While we recommend seeing a urologist to determine if there is a physiological cause, therapy can be helpful with working through psychological issues (i.e. anxiety). Women may also struggle with sexual arousal, in the form of difficulty with vaginal lubrication. Similar as in treating men, we help women determine what may be creating the disconnect between their mind and body.
While women usually come in with concerns over their ability to achieve orgasm, men tend to have issues around rapid, delayed, or even the inability to ejaculate. We work on strengthening your mind-body connection by incorporating mindfulness strategies, coaching on how to better understand your body, and providing assistance on communicating those needs to your partner. If deeper issues are the cause, we often take a look at factors such as self-consciousness, vulnerability, and trust in the relationship to determine how these may be interfering.
While it is more common for women to experience pain during sex than men, it can occur in both females and males. Sexual pain for women is usually due to vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the pelvic floor muscles) or vestibulodynia (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the vaginal and urethral openings). Sexual pain is best treated using a combination of psychological and physiological treatments, but therapy can help deal with any underlying anxiety, depression, or relationship conflicts that may play a role.
If you and your partner are ready to reignite your sex life and build a stronger, more intimate relationship, or if you have any additional questions about sex therapy, we invite you to call our office to schedule your first appointment or use our contact form here.