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Holding Hands

Prepare-Enrich Counseling

White Sheet

The Joy and Stress of Planning a Life Together

Out of all of the people in the world, you and your partner have chosen one another. You’ve decided to spend your lives with one another, and this is likely one of the happiest times in your relationship. When you think about connecting with your partner over the course of a lifetime, you likely feel hopeful and excited. You look forward to getting to know your partner on a deeper level, having adventures together, and starting traditions of your own. 


As wonderful as this time is in your relationship may be, perhaps you also feel stressed and anxious. Planning a ceremony and merging two worlds can feel daunting. This may be especially true for couples navigating complex family relationships outside of their relationship with one another. In addition to feeling stressed, perhaps you feel nervous about how you and your partner will address the inherent challenges of a long-term relationship. You may wonder if you and your partner will be as connected down the road as you feel with one another today. 

If the excitement, joy, stress, and anxiety that often comes with making a life commitment feels relatable to you, I’m glad you’re here. The fact that you’re reading this means you take your thoughts, feelings, and relationship seriously. It shows that you want the best for both you and your partner, and that you’re committed to helping your relationship thrive.

White Sheet

Feel More Confident, Excited, and Hopeful About Your Relationship

Prepare-Enrich is a therapy program that can help you and your partner feel even more confident about moving forward in your relationship. It’s designed to help newly engaged couples learn more about one another, strengthen relationship skills, and increase their chances of having a successful partnership for years to come. The program can also help couples who have drifted apart reconnect with one another. The name says it all; this program helps couples prepare for their future and enrich their connection.

What to Expect

Prepare-Enrich counseling can take place with you, your partner, and your therapist or in a group or workshop setting. Research suggests that the effectiveness of the program is not impacted by the format in which it’s delivered. All formats of the Prepare-Enrich program have been shown to increase couple satisfaction. 


The process begins with each person in the relationship taking an online assessment to determine communication patterns, strengths, and areas of growth. After taking the assessment, you and your partner meet with your therapist to discuss the results and determine the skills you’d like to focus on during your premarital sessions. 


Following the assessment, the process looks different for each couple. For example, some couples learn from their assessment that while they are intentional about spending time with one another, they struggle to share their feelings openly and resolve differences in a way that allows both partners to feel understood and cared for. A couple with this pattern of relating to one another might use premarital counseling as a time to strengthen conflict resolution skills and explore what gets in the way of emotional expression. Couples with children from previous relationships might focus on how to merge their families and create new traditions. A third couple might use sessions to examine how each partner manages personal stress so that their individual patterns don’t become barriers to connection and intimacy. If the Prepare-Enrich program is completed in a workshop or group setting, your therapist will focus her individualized time with you and your partner on the skills that would be most helpful for you. 


Deciding to share your life with someone is a significant commitment and the Prepare-Enrich program helps couples learn more about one another and strengthen their commitment in a setting that is encouraging and collaborative. While pre-marital counseling may feel appropriately challenging at times, it’s ultimately an opportunity for partners to learn more about one another, celebrate their strengths, and get excited for their future!

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Our Experience

Dr. Casey is a licensed psychologist with years experience treating individuals, couples, and their families. She has completed all three levels of advanced training on the Gottman Method, one of five validated treatments for couples therapy.  Dr. Casey specializes in the assessment and treatment of substance use disorders and she is uniquely suited to help couples who are distressed by one or both partners' relationship with drugs or alcohol. Dr. Casey uses a balanced approach when working with couples; she helps partners develop concrete skills to use in and outside of session while also helping partners to develop a richer understanding of themselves and the deeper issues within their relationship. 


Interpersonally, Dr. Casey is open-minded, nonjudgmental, and warm. She is also compassionately direct when needed. She truly believes that the most significant contributor to a person’s mental health is the quality of their relationships, and she particularly enjoys helping couples strengthen their bond and find ways to grow alongside one another.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we take the assessment and how long does it take to complete? Are the results likely to be an accurate reflection of our relationship dynamics?


The assessment is taken individually and online. Your therapist will email you a link to the questionnaire. Before starting the assessment, each individual should find a quiet private place to reflect upon and answer the questions without input from others. It takes approximately 30 minutes for each partner to complete the series of questions. 


The results of the assessment can be trusted; they are likely to be an accurate reflection of your relationship dynamics. The questions on the Prepare-Enrich assessment have high reliability and validity. Said another way, the questions have been found to accurately measure what they intend to measure and, if taken repeatedly over several days, individuals and couples are likely to score similarly. Importantly, the Prepare-Enrich assessment has been shown to be an accurate measure for couples from various racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

What are some of the skills my partner and I might learn from participating in Prepare-Enrich counseling or workshops? 


The skills taught in the Prepare-Enrich program result in a deeper understanding of oneself, one’s partner, and their relationship with one another. There are 20 exercises within the program, and couples are able to focus on the exercises that would be most helpful for them. Exercises include dialogue about values and roles, intimacy, emotional expression, empathy, communication patterns, navigating relationships with extended family members, and conflict resolution skills. 


Does participating in the prepare-enrich program really strengthen relationships? 


The Prepare-Enrich program has been shown to predict relationship satisfaction up to three years following the initial assessment. That is, couples who take the assessment as newly weds and receive feedback that there are significant stressors within their relationship are more likely to be dissatisfied in their marriages three years later compared with couples who take the assessment as newly weds and receive feedback that their connection is strong. Beyond predicting marital satisfaction, participating in a Prepare-Enrich program has been shown to help couples who have been identified as being in distress improve their communication skills and feel more connected with one another. However a couple scores on the assessment, participating in a Prepare-Enrich program is likely to strengthen their bond and increase the chances of a long and fulfilling relationship with one another.

Love isn't a feeling. It's a practice. 

~Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving 

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