Irina Firstien NYC Therapist CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York


Pre-marital Counseling is a great way to prepare for marriage and its ups and downs we all know that a high percentage of marriages end in divorce. Many marriages end because we make a wrong choice or a choice we have made no longer fits. Or, because, resentments, unmet needs and conflict erode empathy, connection and love. Oftentimes, attempts to communicate escalate into negative cycles (arguments) and spouses do not know how repair and nurture a shaken emotional connection. In, understandable excitement and focus on engagement and wedding planning “red flags” are ignored and not addressed early on.

Effective Pre-marital Counseling can help address and resolve budding conflicts before they blossom into “irreconcilable differences”. Just like any good Couples Therapy, Pre-marital Counseling is a great away to explore and address any potential differences early on, so the couple can feel on solid ground when they enter this important milestone in their life and relationship.

It is my belief that the more you know about yourself and your partner’s strengths and vulnerabilities, the clearer you are about what you agree and disagree about, the more realistic you can be about your marriage and keeping it growing, exciting and fulfilling.

Common Reasons People Come To Counseling Before Marriage:

  • Fighting, conflicts
  • Communication problems
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Stuck in blame/defense patterns
  • Questioning your choice of Spouse
  • Doubts about marriage
  • Trust issues
  • Feeling a need to address resentments that may have built up

Premarital Counseling Sessions

In Pre-marital counseling sessions I can offer you an opportunity to explore your relationship in an atmosphere of safety, honesty and trust. We can learn together what drew you to each other and what makes you a great team. Through a written questionnaire we can better understand your feelings and thoughts about important issues such as money and time management, your work and careers goals and plans, your relationship with your own and each others families, timing and number of children, thoughts about child care, needs for individuality within the context of a couple, household chores and duties and, of course, sex and romance. After reviewing the questionnaire we can together better understand whether you are “on the same page” on any particular issue. We can also identify potential areas of conflict and either choose to address these in premarital counseling or at some other point during the marriage.

It is unrealistic to think that a couple has to agree on everything. EVERY couple has “irreconcilable differences”. It is not the differences, it is how they are communicated and dealt with that makes or breaks marriages.

In my work with couples about to get married, I use psycho education, coaching as well experiential interactions intended to restructure communication to create connection, empathy and being a team.

Important tips about marriage:

  • Differences and disagreements are inevitable and do not mean you are not meant to be together.
  • All married couples have issues that they disagree about and will continue to disagree about throughout their life together.
  • Sex and Romance ebb and flow over time. It is important to make time for sex and create moments of romance and excitement. They don’t have to be compared to earlier times, but can evolve into something new.
  • Often marriages change after a birth of a child. It is normal and to be expected. It does not mean your love and romance are over. You are now parenting not just romantic partners. Hang in and find those special moments.
  • Be open to change within individual and couple. When getting married, we promise to stay together, we do not have to stay the same.
  • The most important key to marital satisfaction is how you repair conflicts.

Fix issues premarriage, before they become irreparable. Premarital counseling will help you create the best possible sustainable relationship together. To learn more about premarital counseling or to set up a session call (212) 953-1388 today and speak to Irina Firstein, LCSW.

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