"Helping Others Navigate Their Life’s Journey with Grace, Love and Hope while Living out Their Purpose”
Couples: (Dating, Partners, Pre-Marital, Marital)
At EMBRACE, we believe that it’s possible to pursue and find a fulfilling romantic relationship. We want to help individuals understand the core components of healthy relationships, the way their individual traits are reflected in their relationships, and the techniques for applying core components and individual traits to the modern dating world. Our approach focuses on the idea of being a healthy individual!
Why is dating/relationship so difficult?
It doesn’t seem like it should be so hard to connect with another person in a world that seems to feel smaller and smaller. Does it feel like everyone you know has cracked the dating code while you’re alone on the outside looking in? In addition to these questions, we’re bombarded with discouraging dating messages –
- ONLINE DATING IS ONLY ABOUT FUELING A HOOK-UP CULTURE
- DATING IS A CONSTRUCT THAT IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED BY OUR SOCIETY
- YOU HAVE TO LET GO OF OLD-FASHIONED IDEAS ABOUT DATING AND ROMANCE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO END UP ALONE.
Whether it seems like you’ve been on a million first dates or like you haven’t had a date in a million years, dating challenges can breed a special kind of misery. Successfully navigating the dating world isn’t easy, but there are some skills that make it easier to survive the experience with your self-esteem and personal identity intact.
We love helping individuals date wholeheartedly!
We know that many of you feel isolated and lonely and desire a healthy romantic relationship in your life. We know that dating in today’s rapidly changing social context can be challenging, overwhelming, hopeless, and frustrating. Do you feel like there is a secret formula you are missing out on?
- In addition to addressing the topics from a broader relational perspective, we also discuss the practical challenges of applying our dating values to our cultural context. For instance, even though our priorities remain constant, our approach may need to adapt according to the context; online dating might warrant different boundaries, necessitate a different set of social skills and approach to communication.
- If you are in a relationship, you know that it is both exhilarating and challenging. Relationships are play, fun, supportive, and work! Every relationship will eventually hit a bumpy season – this may be the result of different expectations, needing to learn new skills, or something that one person has done to the other. You might need to learn to communicate, see something from a different perspective, resolve a conflict, or understand how personalities and expectations impact your relationship.
- Whether you just want to see your relationship grow, or you are in a crisis, we love to help couples (dating or committed) go from surviving to thriving. Additionally, we offer pre-marriage/pre-commitment counseling focusing on topics such as expectations, finances, children, in-laws, career, communication, managing conflict, etc.
- Counseling gives couples an opportunity to hear a different voice and get a fresh perspective on what they can do to build a healthy relationship together. It creates a safe place for identifying key issues that are affecting the relationship and identifying solutions to each of those issues.
Our team of therapists have specific training in working with couples who are in love, in conflict, or in distress. We use the Prepare/Enrich, Gottman and Symbis training to help couples identify their relationship strengths and weaknesses and tailor a unique plan for Couple’s counseling that will address their specific needs. We believe equipping you with the skills and resources you need is one of the most important things that we can do before you get married to help keep the spark in your relationship.
The GOAL of marriage is not just to stay together but to have a fulfilling, close relationship that enriches the lives of both partners. Premarital counseling provides the couple with the tools to live their best relationship possible. Marriage represents for many couples the formal transition from a single person to a couple. Taking another person’s needs and desires into consideration while honoring your own needs and desires can be tough at times. Premarital counseling optimizes each person’s ability to have a relationship that meets their needs while still maintaining personal passions and interests. Previous relationship challenges and unresolved childhood challenges can also weigh down otherwise healthy relationships. Premarital counseling can also help to identify possible growth areas for the relationship.
How is premarital counseling different from marriage and couples counseling?
Premarital counseling is different from couples and marriage counseling in that it is a preventative process as opposed to a curative one. Even though many of the same core issues are addressed in premarital counseling as in couples and marriage counseling, they are discussed from the perspective of helping both partners understand, reconcile, and integrate each other’s views/beliefs/lifestyles so that conflict can be minimized, and connection can be maximized.The Benefit of premarital counseling is to successfully transition from being a dating couple to a married couple!• Increase confidence in your ability to overcome future challenges• Heal existing relational wounds/disagreements• Feel close and connected amidst the stress of wedding planning• Have a joint plan for and vision of your marriage.
Premarital Counseling is a particularly important and time-sensitive process because research shows that most couples usually begin counseling after problems have already begun. Many couples initiate counseling because they are unhappy with their partner and/or something has gone wrong in their relationship. John Gottman, a leading researcher in the field of marital therapy has concluded that, “the average couple waits six years before seeking help for marital problems” (Gottman, 2004, Self Help & Tips section, para. 2). This statistic is particularly disconcerting considering that some studies suggest that more than 50% of all divorces occur within the first few years of marriage (Carroll & Doherty, 2003). In a meta-analysis of premarital counseling programs, the average person/couple who participated in a premarital counseling program was better off after the program than 79% of the people who did not participate in such a program (Carroll & Doherty, 2003). We offer pre-marriage/pre-commitment counseling focusing on topics such as expectations, finances, children, in-laws, career, communication, managing conflict, etc. We know fitting pre-marriage counseling into your busy life can sometimes be a challenge, so we have designed options to fit your schedule.
How is premarital counseling different from marriage and couples counseling?
Premarital counseling is different from couples and marriage counseling in that it is a preventative process as opposed to a curative one. Even though many of the same core issues are addressed in premarital counseling as in couples and marriage counseling, they are discussed from the perspective of helping both partners understand, reconcile, and integrate each other’s views/beliefs/lifestyles so that conflict can be minimized, and connection can be maximized.
The Benefit of premarital counseling is to successfully transition from being a dating couple to a married couple!
- Increase confidence in your ability to overcome future challenges
- Heal existing relational wounds/disagreements
- Feel close and connected amidst the stress of wedding planning
- Have a joint plan for and vision of your marriage.
Each couple is unique, so during the pre-marriage sessions we will cover topics in varying detail, depending on the needs of the couple. Topics will include Relationship Stages, creating a Relationship Vision, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Maintaining Positive Daily Interactions & Connecting, Finances, Cultivating Intimacy and Sex, Children and Parenting, and Interactions with Extended Family. We work on skills that are key components for healthy relationships such as communication styles, vulnerability, trust, boundaries, self-esteem, purpose of dating, attachment styles, self-awareness, and personal expectations. Using the results from the relationship assessment, we customize the time spent on each of these topics to reflect the individual client.
Family: (Traditional, Blended, Multi-generational and Co-Parenting)
Family counseling works to strengthen the family unit through utilizing the inherent strength of the relationships to resolve conflicts impacting the family’s level of functioning and help them to assume individual responsibility for the problems. Individuals and their families who are experiencing a wide range of issues including depression, substance abuse and relationship problems can benefit from a family therapy approach.
Licensed marriage and family therapists have been thoroughly trained and educated to assess and effectively treat psychological conditions and poorly functioning families. Which family members attend family counseling sessions will depend on the unique needs and circumstances and may include all or only some members, as well as individual sessions.
The counselor aids the family in understanding more clearly how their family functions and in what ways the family system is contributing to relationship conflicts and individual physical or psychological illness. Families learn alternate strategies for handling problems and developing more positive interactions. When family counseling is initiated due to the behavior or illness of a specific member, the counselor can work with other members to better understand the individual’s condition, how it impacts the family as a whole and in what ways their own behaviors may have contributed to maintaining the problem.
Families are all different in shape and sizes, but every family handles a variety of stressors as they navigate getting needs met, resolving conflict, and communicating clearly. Our therapists are specifically trained to understand and meet the unique developmental needs of each member of the family unit – children, teens, and parents.
Through a variety of techniques such as play, family collaboration, co-parenting facilitation, and parent education we seek to equip your family with the tools you need to be connected and strong.
We help to solidify the family unit and can greatly improve the overall well-being of the family team working together.
Parent-Child Conflict and Effective Communication Skills:
Some examples of problems encountered by families include: decisions regarding family planning, adoption, parenting, step or blended family issues, dealing with in-laws and other extended family members, adjustment to health-related problems, coping with emerging alcohol, drug or mental health concerns, etc.
Some common family goals are to communicate and problem-solve more effectively, to better cope with changes within the family, to debrief and cope with traumatic experiences, to resolve problems and conflicts, and to create a more positive family environment.