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       Renée Gilbert, Ph.D.
       Licensed Clinical Psychologist

40 Lake Bellevue Drive, Suite 100
Bellevue, Washington 98005
(425) 455-5400


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Premarital Counseling . . . . . .

What is pre-marital counseling?    If you're reading this, it's likely that you're about to embark on a new life with someone special. Pre-marital counseling is one way to help insure that your love is protected in ways that help it flourish and grow.

By taking the time to explore the reasons you came together, your similarities, your differences, your hopes and your dreams, as well as your expectations of one another, it is sometimes possible to avoid the disappointments that many couples face with the passage of time.

Pre-marital counseling offers the opportunity to explore your differences in a relatively safe, supportive, constructive environment. And while some couples may choose to postpone their union until key differences can be resolved, most couples find that pre-marital counseling helps to prepare them for the kind of life they would like to build together.

What happens in pre-marital counseling?    There is no one standard program for pre-marital counseling. Pre-marital counseling programs differ in everything from the number and length of sessions provided to their content and configuration (i.e., whether counselors meet with individuals in a relationship or if they simply meet with the couple as a whole). As with most forms of therapy, pre-marital counselors and clergyman typically personalize their approach to accommodate their own personal style and the needs of the people they serve.

After twenty-plus years of doing couples counseling, I've developed a healthy respect for the fragility of relationships that is reflected in the pre-marital counseling model I have chosen. My work has led me to believe that most relationships fail for one of two reasons: 1) people are unaware of or choose to ignore core differences in who they are and what the want from life; 2) and perhaps more importantly, people lack the skills to resolve their differences and grow through the inevitable disappointments that life hands them. It is my belief that many otherwise wonderful relationships fail because people are both unaware of their differences and lack the skills to resolve them in constructive ways.

Pre-marital Counseling Model. My model of pre-marital counseling evolved in an effort to address the threats to happiness outlined above through a combination of:

  1. Assessment and exploration of personal goals and individual differences
  2. Skills training in key relationship areas and
  3. Development of a long-term plan of action to help you keep your love alive.

You will be asked to complete surveys designed to identify your similarities, differences, personal strengths, personal weaknesses and expectations of your relationship; to review essential relationship skills and practice them between sessions; and actively participate in the development of an ongoing plan to help you protect your love.

How often will you need to come?   I typically ask people to commit to at least five 50 minute sessions for pre-marital counseling. The actual number of sessions can vary upward or downward depending on your previous relationship experience, skill level, goals and/or present concerns.

The cost of the basic five session program is $1,050.00. Additional sessions are available at $200.00 per session.

Feel free to contact me at my office for more information: (425) 455-5400.



Renée Gilbert, Ph.D.
40 Lake Bellevue, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 455-5400 Email: socialskills@reneegilbert.com
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