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Premarital Counseling

Preparation for a Successful Marriage

For many couples, the desire to seek counseling by one or both partners before making the commitment may be a positive step in reaffirming their intentions. For some, it may seem like a cause for worry or even an admission of failure. However, according to relationship expert and creator of Imago Couples Therapy, Harville Hendricks, Ph.D., the ability to be open and the desire to work on the relationship has more influence over the success of the partnership than the ability to choose the “perfect partner.”

Couples at crossroads may be confronting issues that have been present since the initial romantic infatuation has shifted to a more realistic view of each other. At first, differences may seem interesting, intriguing, and attractive. Over time, it is common to see differences as faults and potential threats to marital happiness. Yet the ability to respect each other’s individual perspectives, while working on the relationship interaction, can offer the opportunity to strengthen the bond and build trust going forward.

Areas of Focus:

  • Expectations of married life – Do you share common values about future goals in major areas?
  • Communication patterns – Are you each able to express your views and feel fully heard? What is you present style and would you like to see it change?
  • Sexual relations – What place has intimacy in the relationship and are there issues or concerns about fidelity?
  • Money –Share or keep separate accounts? Spend or save? How sensitive is this topic?
  • The role of in-laws – Are there existing or potential conflicts between family sides? Do cultural, religious or lifestyle differences play into the dynamic?
  • Family planning and or blending –What are your hopes for a new family or parenting children from a previous relationship?
  • Problem Solving – What triggers conflict and what steps are needed to reach agreements?

Create a Loving Partnership

In pre-marital counseling, problematic issues around planning the wedding itself may mirror other patterns of conflict between the couple. While this time may be framed in anticipation, focusing on underlying stress provides an opportunity to resolve potential problems before the big day.

At this stage of counseling we will explore your hopes and concerns about creating a loving partnership that lasts. I will guide you in healthy ways to maintain your individuality while investing in the positive bond between you. We will examine your expectations for married life, what you hope will change or remain the same. By practicing new methods of communication, you will learn how to express your feelings clearly, even in conflict, while maintaining trust and staying on the same team.

Joan Warren, LMFT

Joan Warren Therapy

Contact Details

Office Location

280 Madison Avenue
Suite 208
New York, NY 10016


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