For many couples there comes a time of evaluation and perhaps uncertainty. You may know that there isn’t anything wrong with the relationship, but you want to understand better how you, as a couple, interact and what areas you need to work on in order for your relationship to function to the fullest. Many couples come to couples counseling with confusion and don’t really know where to start. My recommendation is often the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment and follow up counseling. REPARE/ENRICH is an assessment tool for couples of all stages. PREPARE is the program for pre-married couples. ENRICH is the program for married couples.
Pre-marriage counseling is an essential tool for all couples considering marriage. (Side note: I personally recommend that pre-marriage counseling be a “pre-engagement” counseling process. Once a couple is engaged there is already a strong commitment and bond that is difficult to break if necessary. Pre-marriage counseling should be part of the process of deciding about marriage, not an afterthought or last minute attempt to get things in order before the big day). For pre-married couples, the PREPARE inventory is a wonderful tool to help you gauge the relationship and understand what will be the areas of relationship need as you progress towards marriage. Perhaps there is uncertainty about whether marriage is a viable option for you, or maybe you are just wondering what areas of the relationship need to be fostered in order to be more complete and healthy.
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One of the biggest benefits of the PREPARE assessment is a measurement called “Idealistic Distortion”. This is the “rose colored glasses syndrome” that many couples have with a new relationship. This phenomenon can often distort the relationship and keep people from seeing the relationship in the most realistic view. Seeing how much you view the relationship through “rose colored glasses” can be a tremendous help in viewing the relationship more realistically and in better preparing your relationship for the realities of married life.
Marriage counseling is often needed at various stages of marriage for many couples. It’s not uncommon for couples to run into uncertainty and/or difficulty during various stages of the relationship. Marriage is a big commitment and adjustment and requires us to continue to adjust to an ever changing landscape. Whether you’ve been married for 25 days or 25 years the ENRICH assessment tool can play a significant role in your relationship health, growth and/or maintenance.
As a licensed counselor, I am also certified to administer, interpret and counsel couples using the PREPARE and ENRICH couples assessment tools and counseling program. These tools are not used to diagnose or treat a particular problem or relationship dysfunction (although as a trained and experienced couples counselor I’m qualified to address problems/dysfunctions should the need arise), but simply to provide you with a visual representation of your relationship’s strengths and growth areas. Once we know where your strengths and growth areas are, we can often proceed with diagnosis and counseling to strengthen those areas that need growth and work to make the relationship as strong as possible.
To learn more about PREPARE/ENRICH, click here.
If you are in the Chattanooga TN area and are interested in finding out if the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment tools are right for you, please call 423-499-9335 to schedule a confidential intake interview. You can click here to find out more about me and the services I offer.
How much does the assessment cost?
The PREPARE/ENRICH assessment costs “$35 per scoring”. This is a one-time fee and is set by the PREPARE/ENRICH officials. It is NOT included in the cost of my counseling services. This is not a fee that I collect or profit from. The assessment fee is for the assessment only and goes to the PREPARE/ENRICH company for using their software and measurement tools. I do not get any sort of commissions or kick back for recommending/providing services based on this assessment tool.
In addition to the assessment fee, there is also a fee for the counseling sessions I provide. I do accept insurance, but many insurance companies do not cover this type of counseling. Please call our office at 423-499-9335 and discuss payment and insurance options with our knowledgeable office staff. Many times we can file insurance on your behalf and/or request that your insurance cover the service for you. If coverage is not available we will do our best to notify you before you are scheduled for any sessions of the options including a sliding scale fee structure if needed.
How many sessions will we need? How long does this type of counseling take?
I recommend that couples set aside time and make a commitment for at least 2 sessions (4 sessions if you are applying for the marriage license discount – see below). Session one will be an introductory, information gathering and history taking session. During this time I will evaluate your relationship to make sure you are appropriate for the assessment, discuss your unique relationship properties, evaluate your insight into the relationship, identify any problems areas that are concerns for you, answer any questions you have about couples counseling and the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment tool and provide you with additional information as needed.
After the first session (assuming that you are appropriate for the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment) I will enter your information into the system (all I need is an email address for each person) for you to take the assessment. I enter your email address into the system and you will be provided with a unique access code and instructions on how to take the assessment and what to expect.
The second session will consist of an overview presentation of the results and interpretation of the strength and growth areas of your relationship. All couples will be given a 10 page print out of their assessment results. Many couples, upon seeing and understanding the results, can then go on and work together at home, at their convenience. Some couples need additional sessions to process through the information and assistance with a guided discussion about growth areas. I provide such assistance with any growth areas that may come up for your unique relationship. For example: let’s say that the assessment showed that conflict resolution is a growth area for your relationship. I will recommend (but not require, it’s entirely up to you) that you attend a few additional sessions to work on conflict resolution techniques and skills with my assistance.
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Ultimately the number of sessions needed can’t be ascertained before the results are known. I openly discuss with each couple my recommendations for continued couples counseling based on your unique results. Some couples don’t need any additional help beyond the second session. Some couples, however, require extensive interventions once problem areas are identified. This will be discussed during the second session.
Does this qualify for marriage license discount?
Yes! Tennessee offers a significant discount on the marriage license if couples complete a 4 hour pre-marriage course or attend 4 hours of qualified pre-marriage counseling. I am qualified to provide such counseling. If you are interested in the PREPARE assessment and also interested in taking advantage of this marriage license discount you will be able to do both with my pre-marriage counseling service. You will need to attend at least 4 sessions to be eligible to apply for the marriage license discount. Please visit http://www.countyclerkanytime.com/marriage/marriagelaw.aspx for more information and to download the forms you will need. Please bring the necessary forms with you to your first session if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
What training and experience do you have working with couples?
I have specific specialized graduate education and training in relationship counseling and over 8 years (at the time of this writing) of clinical experience. In addition, much of my continuing education has been dedicated to this type of work.
What expectations do you have of the couples you are counseling/educating?
I expect that couples will make a commitment towards the therapeutic process and the personal growth/change efforts discussed/recommended in the sessions we have together. I expect that couples will maintain an open mind and a willingness to learn. I expect that couples will mindfully seek greater understanding about the therapeutic process, their individual and couple uniqueness and the process of growth needed to enhance their relationship. I expect openness and honesty. I expect the couples I work with to make a good-faith effort at personal growth and engage in the counseling process as an important priority at this time in their relationship. Your full cooperation is crucial. You may be asked to complete assignments between sessions. The more effort you put into the change process the better your outcome will be. More information about my personal Policies and Procedures will be provided during our first session together.
Are you a licensed counselor or therapist? If yes, in what field?
Yes. I am licensed in the field of professional counseling in the states of TN and GA. You can find out more about my credentials here.
Do you work from a specific faith tradition?
Yes. Although I do not necessarily make a systematic presentation on the subject, I do hold to the Christian worldview. I do not, however, follow strict Christian doctrine, traditions and beliefs. I have come to forge my own spiritual path in my own spiritual journey. This path, however, is colored by my personal Christian heritage. Although I do ascribe to a Christian worldview, I am perfectly comfortable with and will, when necessary, participate in counseling goals that are opposed to my personal value system. In other words, I do not allow my value system and/or spiritual/religious beliefs to get in the way of the therapeutic process. My interest is only in what the best interest of the people I work with. I am more than capable of flexing to a wide variety of needs, values, beliefs and perspectives. I do not force my personal value system on others and do not expect that others will share or even approve of my value/belief system.
The PREPARE/ENRICH program is also designed to accommodate a wide range of spiritual beliefs and can measure couple strength regarding spirituality if that is your desire.
If you have further questions please call 423-834-7209 or you can email any additional questions by Clicking Here.