Pre-Marital & Couples/Marriage & Family Counseling

We all are members of many overlapping systems or groups- our original families, families we create, friendship circles, neighborhood groups, and work communities; just to name a few. They all have different standards, boundaries, and expectations for us to navigate and balance. Counseling with a family systems approach can help you develop strategies for understanding and communicating appropriate expectations and possible roadblocks. This is true whether you’re hoping to take the next step in committing to a partner to move forward in your relationship; or you’re already struggling with a relationship.

Regarding Pre-marital Counseling:

According to a survey published in the Journal of Family Psychology, couples with premarital education reported higher levels of marital satisfaction and experienced a 30 percent decline in the likelihood of divorce over five years.

  • Are you in a relationship you’re excited and hopeful about, but not sure about taking it to the next level?
  • Have you been in a committed relationship before that caught you off guard when it ended, or ended badly?
  • Are you newly engaged and caught up in wedding planning but not marriage planning?
  • Are you in an inter-faith engagement?
  • Has your faith leader recommended pre-marital counseling, but you would prefer a broader perspective?

If you’re wondering if you should try pre-marital counseling, ask yourselves these questions. If you can answer yes to any of them, Pre-marital counseling should be very beneficial. If you want to learn more about pre-marital counseling, you can follow these links:

Regarding Couples Counseling or Therapy

I truly enjoy both the challenge and camaraderie I am able to develop in my work with couples. When you have put so much of yourself, your hopes and dreams into a relationship you believed was a true life love partnership, it certainly warrants effort to build on that initial hope and commitment. Building, maintaining, or reclaiming such a partnership takes work and I believe is another area for finding balance and harmony.

Every couple needs to balance the needs of each individual partner with the needs of the couple. All couples have disagreements, but they need to find ways to express and resolve those disagreements with respect and love. As a therapist, I need to balance my interventions with couples in a way that honors each individual fairly. I have worked with many couples and whether they discover that their disagreements are insurmountable; or learn how to deal with them in a way that meets both their needs, I have received appreciative feedback on my ability to stay balanced, objective and genuine.

I have extensive training in Family Systems theory, the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Adlerian counseling. I pull from these methods and theories what is most suited to your needs.

If you want to read more about couples counseling, here are some links to follow for more information:

Regarding Family Counseling

I have referred to my approach to counseling in other parts of this website as a “Family Systems” approach. There are as many theories about how to conduct family counseling as individual counseling. What they all have in common is the belief that what we do as individuals affects the dynamics of the relationships that we’re in and vice versa. Additionally, the system that we were raised in can have long term effects on how we relate to others. Some counselors believe that family counseling only refers to having all members of a family present in the counseling sessions, but I carry the family systems thinking into my work with individuals, so when I work with families, I may see individual members and sub groups of the family at different times, depending on the needs, motivations, and what is possible.

If different members of the family (or of a couple) require or want separate counselors, it is important to look at the pros and cons of such individualized focus in different directions. I have worked with clients who have had separate counselors for individual therapy, but may recommend communication between the counselors to coordinate recommendations.

For more information about family counseling, here are some links:


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Colesville, Silver Spring, MD 20904
(301) 887-3644

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