Elizabeth Sloan - Marriage & Family Therapist
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Premarital Counseling

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 Premarital Counseling

Studies show that couples who learn proven relationship skills and increase their understanding of each other before marriage have happier, stronger marriages that last. In fact, more and more couples are choosing premarital programs as a way to prepare for marriage. Overwhelmingly, married couples say that premarital counseling programs helped their marriage. One university study of 1,235 couples found that during their first year of marriage, more than 92 percent of couples said their premarital counseling program was valuable. After four years of marriage, about 80 percent of couples still thought so.

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Click to Contact Us Feel free to contact us by E-Mail or phone toll free (866-588-0477) to learn more about our practice, and schedule a free half-hour phone consultation with one of our clinicians. Our offices are conveniently located in McLean, Virginia & Glenn Dale, Maryland.

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  Last year, out of the 2.8 million American couples who got married, about 50 percent had some form of premarital counseling. Just 10 years ago, only about 10 percent had any. For about the cost of a wedding cake, Happily Ever After (a Premarital Counseling Program offered by Caring Couples, Happy Lives) helps couples:

  • Communicate effectively, even during times of conflict or stress.
  • Learn the emotional habits that build happy, long-lasting marriages more than 90% of the time.
  • Discuss individual goals and preferences, in areas such as lifestyle, career, faith, parenting, money, and sex.
  • Figure out how to make prior marriages, or children from earlier relationships, strengthen rather than weaken their marriage.
  • Address fears or reservations about making a lifelong commitment.

Helpful Books and Resouces

We have included resources here that we think will create a roadmap for your continued work towards a happy and fulfilling marriage.

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What Is Included?

Happily Ever After is a streamlined, brief program that includes:

  • A personalized report showing where you and your partner stand on the life areas known to predict marital success.
  • Safe and gentle exploration of areas in your relationship that may get in the way of future happiness, and concrete steps you can take to strengthen these areas.
  • Practice using skills shown in scientific studies to help people get respect, understanding, and caring from their partners, even during times of stress or conflict.
  • A workbook with all the materials used in the program, your assessment results, and tips and tools you can use throughout your marriage.
  • A beautiful Certificate of Completion for you or your pastor.

How Does It Work?

The program runs for approximately 4 sessions, with brief tasks that you and your partner complete between meetings. The program can be customized to meet your particular needs or the requirements of your pastor or celebrant, and is offered in either secular or Christian format.

Session 1: We discuss your goals for premarital counseling and any unique circumstances or questions you want to address as you prepare for your marriage (1 session).

  • Homework 1: At your convenience, you and your partner take an online assessment and complete three paper-and-pencil exercises.
Session 2 and 3: We review the results of your assessment and exercises, highlighting any flagged by the results as possible areas for focused discussion and answering questions about the results and what they mean (2 sessions).

  • Homework 2: At your convenience, you and your partner watch a Relationship DVD and read a few worksheets on the bad habits that cause couples to break up, and how successful, happy couples communicate.
Session 4: We review how the ideas presented in the DVD apply to your relationship, and what you can do to avoid the known factors that end relationships. We then practice the communication skills needed to build a strong marriage.

  • You are presented with your Certificate of Completion.

What It Won't Do

The program won't tell you whether you will be happy together, whether you are ready for marriage, or whether you should get married. However, learning powerful & effective communication skills and healthy ways to relate to each other in a loving manner can dramatically improve your marriage and make it more likely to be happy, long-lasting, and successful.

How Do We Get Started?

Contact us for a free telephone consultation on whether the program is right for you. The program is offered in Glenn Dale, Maryland and McLean, Virginia. Fees are based on actual hours of face to face time, and are payable at each session. Payment may be by cash, check, VISA/MasterCard, or Discover.

Get ready to embark on the most incredible journey of your life - marriage!

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