What it is: Couples enrichment counseling at the TAP Clinic is designed to strengthen commitment, improve communication, and increase satisfaction for couples entering a new phase of their relationship (e.g., engagement, co-habitation, or starting a family). Sometimes referred to as "pre-marital counseling,” this is most appropriate for couples who are in a committed relationship, with both partners seeking to better understand and enrich the partnership. The goals of couples enrichment counseling generally include strengthening of areas such as effective communication, shared goals and values (including those around finances or parenting), awareness of relationship “land mines" related to history or family of origin, sexual satisfaction, and partnership expectations. Enrichment counseling is different from couples therapy, in that couples therapy is designed to help couples already experiencing relationship distress and often involves a more substantial time commitment. Couples enrichment work is time-limited and involves an assessment followed by skills training designed to enhance couple functioning.
Couples enrichment counseling satisfies the requirement of religious traditions that require pre-marital counseling. If you are seeking pre-marital counseling in particular, please contact us at least 4 months prior to your wedding day. For couples seeking enrichment counseling for transitions other than marriage (e.g., move-in, decision to proceed towards pregnancy, or adoption), we suggest initiating counseling several months prior to the transition in possible.
There are multiple modalities of couples enhancement counseling, most of which include both assessment and strengthening of areas such as effective communication, shared goals and values (including those around finances or parenting), awareness of relationship "landmines" related to history or family of origin, sexual satisfaction, and partnership expectations.
Associated Concerns: Couples who benefit most from enrichment counseling are those experiencing no to low-level distress in the partnership, have noticed slight changes in connection or vitality of the relationship, or are interested in preemptive ways of further strengthening communication and connection with each other. Enrichment counseling is designed for couples heading off issues before they have become serious relationship stressors or relationship threatening concerns. If the couple is experiencing significant distress, ambivalence of commitment to the partnership, or behaviors jeopardizing the partnership (e.g., infidelity, serious breaches of trust), the couple is likely more appropriate for full couples therapy rather than brief enrichment counseling.