I had the pleasure to host a special Healing Saturday workshop for the Girls Leadership Group from Women for Afghan Women. We met to learn about Positive Psychology and explore ways to improve well-being! For more details, visit: http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org/index.php/easyblog/entry/a-healing-saturday-with-waws-girl-leaders
Are you and your partner thinking about getting married? How exciting! You are beginning to realize that you have found “the one” and your daydreams about walking down the aisle and creating a family may soon become a reality (not to mention no more blind dates!). But have you and your partner had enough serious conversations to make sure you are compatible in the long-term? For example, do you really know that your partner wants children as much as you do? What if you discover, a month before the wedding, that your partner won’t even consider having kids? Is this issue a deal breaker or just a heart breaker?
Don’t wait until after the question has been popped, the cake ordered, the dress purchased, and the venue secured to start counseling! Pre-engagement counseling is an option for forward-thinking couples who want to make sure their relationship gets started on a solid foundation. Pre-engagement counseling provides a calm space to work through any issues before the whirlwind of wedding planning begins. Think of pre-engagement counseling as a form of preventative medicine. It allows couples the opportunity to examine their compatibility on a long-term basis. In fact, pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce and help couples better understand their compatibility, according to studies by clinical psychologists with the PREPARE/ENRICH pre-marital counseling program.
Perhaps there are ways that you interact now that you’d like to change before the unhealthy patterns become solidified in your relationship. The online assessments in the PREPARE/ENRICH program provide a wealth of information about your current relationship on a variety of topics that can help you and your partner identify trouble spots early on. With divorce rates in first-time marriages hovering around 50%, it might be a good idea to invest time and money in determining if the two of you are right for each other and work through any issues early in your relationship. Why not explore all the facets of each other’s personality with as much excitement as you explore the facets of your new diamond ring?
In pre-engagement counseling based on the PREPARE/ENRICH model, couples work with a trained marriage and family therapist to:
- Identify strength and growth areas
- Explore personality traits
- Strengthen communication skills
- Resolve conflicts and reduce stress
- Compare family backgrounds
- Comfortably discuss financial issues
- Establish personal, couple, and family goals
At Madison Marriage and Family Therapy in Midtown Manhattan, our therapists tailor sessions to meet the unique needs of each couple and find just the right exercises to strengthen your relationship and guide you on the path toward a healthier relationship. While many religious institutions offer pre-martial counseling, marriage and family therapists are in a unique position to offer secular, nondenominational counseling. We can also help interfaith couples who seek a safe, nonjudgmental space to explore how they will create a new family from their two different traditions. Call today to set up an appointment: 917.488.6364.
Fairy tales provide many of us with our first impressions of romantic relationships. We are witness to the constant message that women are passive bystanders to their love lives.
Rapunzel: Locked her entire life in a tower until the prince comes to rescue her.
Sleeping Beauty: Cursed to be in a deep unconsciousness and can only be awakened by her true love’s kiss.
The Little Mermaid: Gave up her voice and her life in exchange for legs, which caused her pain with every step. She did all this in hope of winning the love of her Prince. She never received her love and ended up dying instead.
We are presented with tales of women who are in poverty, trapped, alone or even unconscious until they are rescued and guided into a relationship and life long bliss. But what if the prince never showed up? Would these princesses be doomed to suffer lonely and tortuous lives because the prince never came to the rescue?
Take a moment to let your creativity guide you to imagine a “prince-less” fairy tale. You can also re-write one of the stories above, or create your own. Perhaps, “happily ever after” can still be found, despite what the books say.