Clarity Counseling Seattle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Pre-Marital & Pre-Commitment Therapy

How can we help you?

Of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through:

Pre-Marital & Pre-Commitment Therapy

We completely understand this request. The reason why we're careful not to start someone with one of our therapists without first establishing a weekly or biweekly time slot that works for both you and the therapist is that there are very few openings in our schedules. So if we don't reserve one of those few available time slots for you right now then most likely the weekly or biweekly spot that's available now will be claimed by someone else by the time you've first met with the therapist.

Most times, the people who start with our therapists decide to work with them on an ongoing basis, so we want to avoid a scenario where you get started with a therapist, decide to work with them, but then find that they have no available time slot in their schedule that works with your own. In the past, we've had moments at the end of a first session that go something like this:

Client: "You're great, I can't wait to work with you! Let's get it in the books!"

Therapist: "Wonderful, well I'm excited to work with you too! So the spots I currently have available are every other Tuesday at 2pm and every Thursday at 9am...which would you like?" 

Client"Oh shoot, neither of those work for me."

So we need to first make sure that your availability and the availability of the therapist align, which means deciding on which weekly or biweekly time slot you'll be claiming.

It's worth noting that you're not signing a contract with us, so you can end therapy at any time. We just need to first make sure you have a weekly or biweekly day & time reserved for you before moving forward, which is why our intake coordinator will discuss with you during an initial intake call which time slot you'd like to sign up for, should you wish to continue working with your therapist on an ongoing basis after your initial session.

Given that telehealth is a great option, absolutely! So many of the people we've helped since Covid hit have been in locations that are often hours away from our Seattle office, allowing a great number of clients to receive needed services. Our therapy license does not extend outside of Washington State but it does allow us to help anyone within the state if they are open to using the telehealth approach, which has worked wonderfully for hundreds of couples and individuals over the past few years.

Typically people attend therapy for a number of months. How long you stay in therapy is completely up to you, as you're not signing a contract with us, but usually people find that they need to be in therapy longer than they initially thought they would have. And it's rare that people get what they need from therapy from just a few sessions, so if you do start with us then we encourage you to do so with the understanding that therapy is a process that takes a while.

The therapists in this practice work very hard in sessions to get you in and out of a course of therapy as soon as possible, but for most people it usually takes a while. People and relationships are complex!

What we know about therapy is that it simply can't meet your goals if therapy sessions don't occur at least every 2 weeks, so nearly all therapists everywhere will require that sessions have a frequency of either weekly or every other week to start.

You're very welcome to scale back your frequency later on but we always need to start treatment on a weekly or biweekly basis. People we work with have access to our online calendars, so at some point in therapy some folx decide to give up their weekly or biweekly time slot and instead start using our online calendar to book appointments at a frequency of their choosing.

Man sitting at desk writing in notebook | Therapy Seattle WAHere are some steps to ensure that you are getting the most of or your therapy sessions in Seattle, WA:

  1. Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to incorporate your therapy experience into your day-to-day life outside the therapy office.
  2. The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.
  3. Be as honest with your therapist as you are willing, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information.
  4. Trust that when moments in therapy are difficult, or the therapeutic work you do outside of the therapy session is difficult, that this is growth and positive change.

Book your next therapy session at Clarity Counseling Seattle

If you are looking for a new therapist, contact Clarity Counseling Seattle and we can discuss options for you. 

Woman sitting on yoga mat | Seattle WA CounselingThere are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective or, at a minimum, disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to and working on the real issues at play in their situation, and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change.

It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well. 

Importance of Relationship Between Therapist and Client

For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, research shows that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. *This applies to both individual and couples therapy.

A common question we’re asked is if our premarital or precommitment therapy is a set program that lasts a certain amount of sessions. Though we all do premarital or precommitment therapy a little differently, as would most therapists, we don't require that you are on any kind of program. From the moment you arrive at your first session, we work to help you to understand the components of your relationship that need your attention, and then how to skillfully and effectively improve those areas. How long that takes can certainly vary, but we find that most premarital couples stay with us for at least 10 sessions. Couple in premarital therapy Seattle

What Happens During a Premarital Therapy Session?

We use the Gottman Relationship Checkup, which takes about an hour to complete at home, to be able to quickly get to the areas of your relationship that need attention. We teach you skills, provide helpful information, and support you in having necessary conversations that will pave the way for the two of you to work as a team with whatever your marriage or commitment will challenge you with.

The Benefits of Precommitment Therapy

Selfishly we all love to work with premarital or precommitment couples! It’s just so neat to be able to help couples to avoid the common pitfalls of long-term relationships that would creep up if the couple didn’t take these preventative steps. All relationship skills can be learned, and really you can never start too soon in gaining some knowledge and establishing healthy couple habits that will allow for a stable and rewarding lifelong union.


Contact Clarity Counseling Seattle if you wish to start premarital or precommitment therapy.

Premarital counseling exists to help couples better prepare for marriage while they are still dating or engaged. 

At Clarity Counseling Seattle, we love working with couples in our premarital counseling sessions because we know the difference that a solid foundation built before marriage can make to a couple during their marriage. 

Pre-Marital Therapy in Seattle, WA

Premarital counseling in Seattle gives you and your partner a chance to discuss some of the “big ticket” topics in a safe, private environment before beginning your marriage. According to the Mayo Clinic, common areas of discussion include:

  • Goals for your marriage
  • Perceptions of how politics, religion, and belief systems will impact your relationship
  • Finances, debt, and career aspirations 
  • Attitudes toward sex, intimacy, and affection
  • Your individual families and your hopes for your new family
  • Feelings about gender roles and sharing household chores and responsibilities 

Premarital counseling sessions help you learn healthier communication and anger management skills and practice resolving conflicts in a way that benefits both partners.

Contact Clarity Counseling Seattle for More Information

At Clarity Counseling Seattle, our licensed therapists and marriage counselors know how to help couples strengthen their bonds early on and prevent problems from escalating once those couples enter into a marriage. Partners who participate in premarital counseling typically have a better understanding of what the other person wants and expects from them going into their commitment than partners who don’t.

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