Hilary K. Robison, LCSW
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Most of us reach a stage in our lives when we decide to make a serious commitment to a romantic partner. Finding that right person to pair up with is a heady and wonderful experience. A healthy and loving relationship not only provides companionship and support- it also encourages both people to be their best as individuals.

Premarital counseling can be enormously helpful in setting the stage for a healthy and happy marriage. Premarital counseling is based on the premise that itís important to strengthen your relationship and prepare for future conflicts and challenges that everyone will inevitably face in their marriage, now while you have so much fresh, positive energy in your relationship. The research shows that there is a window of opportunity during the year before the wedding and six months or so after, when couples get the optimum benefit from marriage preparation. Later, under stress, negative habits and relationship patterns may become established and be much harder to resolve.

Couples may pursue therapy when they are feeling stuck, confused or disillusioned in their relationship. Often there is troubled communication, frequent arguments, feeling misunderstood or ignored; trouble balancing each partners needs. There may be a lack of emotional closeness; sexual difficulties; infidelities or trust issues. Sometimes there are great struggles and disagreements about parenting or financial issues.

Couples therapy can help you move beyond judging, blaming and defensiveness. You can learn to work in a collaborative manner that strengthens your love and connection.

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