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Family Therapist Tips for Healing a Broken Family

Whether something has just happened to cause a family rift or there’s a long history of problems, broken family relationships can seem impossible to mend. The good news is if you really want to heal, there are steps you can take to help you get there. Start with these six tips from a family therapist: […]

Whether something has just happened to cause a family rift or there’s a long history of problems, broken family relationships can seem impossible to mend. The good news is if you really want to heal, there are steps you can take to help you get there. Start with these six tips from a family therapist:

Check In With Yourself

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Before you can reconcile with your family members, you’ll need to check in with yourself, and make sure you’re ready. If you’re not mentally in a place where you feel like you can move on, don’t push it. Trying to force things too soon will often lead to failed attempts and disappointment. If you go through this exercise and decide you’re not ready, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply decide to table it for a while, and check in again later. 

Let Go of Your Anger

Holding onto anger and grudges robs you of your inner peace. Decide to let it go, whether the person who has upset you has made amends of not. Forgiveness is the first step toward healing, and doing so allows you to give yourself the gift of happiness.

Set Realistic Expectations

Our state of mind often influences the outcome of a situation, whether we intend it to or not. When you reach out to reconnect, a healthy perspective is important. Staying optimistic with minimal expectations is the best way to keep from getting frustrated or disappointed and takes the pressure off of the person you’re trying to reconnect with.

Take It Slowly

Remember, the person you’re reaching out to might also need time to decide whether they’re ready to move forward. Think about sending a letter, sending a private message on social media or simply making small talk at your next family function. This allows both of you to ease into interactions without feeling forced or obligated.

Decide If You Need to Get Closure From the Past

Some people can make amends by agreeing to let the past go. Others won’t get the closure they need until they hash things out. If you decide you need to revisit previous issues, do your best to come from a place of peace. Listen to the other person’s side with an open mind, and calmly express your feelings. Be willing to agree to disagree for the sake of family harmony.

Seek Professional Help

If you and your family member aren’t able to resolve your conflict, don’t give up. A qualified family therapist can help you work through your issues and find a resolution that works for all parties involved. Agreeing to go to therapy together is a huge first step because it shows you’re both committed to working on repairing your relationship.

To learn more about what to expect during a therapy session, connect with a family therapist in your area today.

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Healthy Relationship Tips from Couples’ Therapy

Understanding the factors that go into building a healthy relationship can bring you and your partner closer together and help you avoid common pitfalls that can weaken your bond. Here are a few important elements to a happy relationship discussed in couples’ therapy: Keys to a Healthy, Happy Relationship Self-confidence Many of the unhealthy things people […]

Understanding the factors that go into building a healthy relationship can bring you and your partner closer together and help you avoid common pitfalls that can weaken your bond. Here are a few important elements to a happy relationship discussed in couples’ therapy:

Keys to a Healthy, Happy Relationship

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Self-confidence

Many of the unhealthy things people do to sabotage their relationships come from a place of low self-esteem and insecurity. If you are overly self-critical, you may find yourself being more critical of your partner as well. When you love and accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all, it’s easier to accept and love others. In addition to couples’ therapy, seeking individual counseling allows you sort your feelings, leads to better communication and helps you come to a place of self-acceptance, confidence and joy.

Shared Values and Goals

People in healthy relationships often have different interests, religions and cultural backgrounds. You and your partner may be miles apart in the way you grew up but share core beliefs and goals about what’s important to you, like the value of spending time with extended family and your methods of raising happy, healthy children. Working together toward common goals like buying a house or saving for retirement can strengthen your bond.

Trust

Trust is one of the most vital elements of a good relationship. Trusting yourself and your partner to do the right thing shows you care about and respect each other. Being dependable, respecting your partner’s boundaries and making sure your words match your actions can create a strong, long-lasting bond and allow you to be your authentic self.

Mutual Respect & Open Communication

It’s okay to disagree, but mutual respect is a must in a healthy relationship. All couples argue. It’s not necessarily what you’re arguing about that’s important — it’s how you argue that matters. Combative or abusive behavior like yelling and name-calling isn’t productive for anyone.

If you find yourself in conflict with your partner, one of the best things you can do is listen to what they’re saying. When they’re done, then you can talk. Sometimes, you just have to agree to disagree or seek couples’ therapy to improve your communication skills. 

Agreement on Finances

Even if one person makes more money than the other, it is vital to have equal input about where your money goes. Large purchases should always be discussed before buying. If you’re the one who’s responsible for paying the bills, make sure they’re paid on time.

Don’t hide money from your partner. If you want a separate account, that’s fine, but be open about it. If you have an account with your own money to spend on what you’d like, it can actually cut down on conflict.

Sex & Intimacy

Healthy physical affection and intimacy are vital to maintaining a happy relationship. Make time for sex and be honest about what you like, what you don’t like and how you’re feeling. 

Laughing Together

Don’t forget to have fun! Finding the humor in everyday life and laughing with your partner can help you feel more joyful and less stressed.

Attending Couples’ Therapy

If you feel couples’ therapy would be beneficial for you and your partner, contact one of the therapists at Kayenta Therapy directly.

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Realistic Ways to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but have trouble sticking to them. A positive attitude and determination will help you make your goals a reality. Below are five effective practices that will enable you to achieve your resolutions this new year. How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions Be realistic and honest with your capabilities. […]

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but have trouble sticking to them. A positive attitude and determination will help you make your goals a reality. Below are five effective practices that will enable you to achieve your resolutions this new year.

How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Therapy Can Help You Combat Anxiety and Achieve Your Goals This New Year

  1. Be realistic and honest with your capabilities. The first step to sticking with your resolutions is to know which goals you can realistically reach to avoid getting quickly discouraged. Examine your overall goals and determine what steps you need to take to achieve them, and how long it will reasonably take to do so.
  2. Set specific, measurable goals. One of the most effective ways to stay focused on your goal is to be able to track the progress you’ve made. For example, many people make resolutions to lose weight. If the overall goal is to lose 20 pounds, break it down into 5-pound increments. You can measure how far you’ve come since you started and have a clearer idea of what you must do to fully achieve the goal.
  3. Start with small goals you can focus on one at a time. If you set multiple goals, try to accomplish the smallest ones first to build momentum. For instance, before setting a goal to lose 20 pounds, set a goal to exercise once or twice a week. When you meet that goal, you can then set a goal of losing 5 pounds while keeping your exercise routine.
  4. Understand it’s okay to get discouraged at times. Achieving your goals will take time, and it’s natural to get discouraged now and then. The important thing is to not let those feelings of discouragement keep you from moving forward. Use dissatisfaction as motivation to keep pushing yourself.
  5. Let others help and support your resolutions. You don’t have to try to reach your goals alone. Build a support system that will motivate and encourage you to stick with your resolutions. Involving other people keeps you accountable and makes it more difficult for you to give up.

The Importance of Support & Motivation When Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the goals you’ve set for yourself, therapy can be a beneficial outlet. Speaking with a therapist will give you the tools you need to overcome these feelings of doubt or anxiety. Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule a session.

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How to Prevent the Post-holiday Blues and Enjoy the New Year to the Fullest

The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, but after the festivities end, many people find themselves feeling sad, lonely or discontent. The following weeks are a return to normal activities like work and school, often leading to stress, which can wear a person down emotionally, mentally and even physically. These feelings during […]

The holiday season is a time of joy and happiness, but after the festivities end, many people find themselves feeling sad, lonely or discontent. The following weeks are a return to normal activities like work and school, often leading to stress, which can wear a person down emotionally, mentally and even physically.

These feelings during the post-holiday slump are referred to as the “January Blues.” Researchers have studied this mood disorder and have suggested ways to combat it and try to stay hopeful and happy after the holidays.   

How to Prevent the January Blues

Seeing a Kayenta Therapist Can Help You Overcome Post-holiday Depression

Spend time outside. The cold temperatures and limited daylight can tempt you to stay inside as much as possible. Sunlight has a positive impact on your body that can help regulate sleeping cycles and improve your mood. Make sure you take the time to get as much sunlight exposure as possible.

Identify possible causes of your depression. Try to find the source of your unhappiness and understand what makes you feel sad, angry or alone. Once you acknowledge these issues, you can begin resolving them.

Take the pressure off of yourself. Many people get high hopes about their New Year’s resolutions only to become quickly discouraged when they can’t immediately accomplish their goals. You can still achieve your goals no matter what time of the year it is! Avoid putting pressure on yourself and realize working toward a goal is still a huge accomplishment.

Practice self-care. With so much focus on others during December, January is the perfect time to focus on yourself. Treat yourself to a relaxing day of pampering, set aside time to do your favorite activities or plan a trip, so you have something to look forward to as you roll through January.

Talk to a Professional About Your January Blues

If you’re struggling with the January Blues, it may be beneficial to speak with a licensed therapist, in addition to taking the above steps. Contact a therapist at Kayenta to schedule an appointment today.

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How to Overcome Caregiver Burnout

Although caring for a loved one can be rewarding, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Neglecting your own needs can lead to caregiver burnout and take a toll on your mental health, physical health and relationships. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you take care of yourself, especially if you feel yourself getting […]

Although caring for a loved one can be rewarding, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Neglecting your own needs can lead to caregiver burnout and take a toll on your mental health, physical health and relationships. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you take care of yourself, especially if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce stress and achieve a sense of balance and joy in your life.

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

Avoid Caregiver Burnout With These Tips

Caregiving is often a long-term challenge, and if you don’t get the physical and emotional support you need, the stress of caring for a loved one can lead to problems such as exhaustion, anxiety and depression. Some other symptoms of caregiver burnout include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Health problems, such as a weakened immune system
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of resentment and hopelessness
  • Overeating, smoking and substance abuse
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Decreased desire to do the things you once loved
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Relationship conflict
  • Disregarding your own needs

How to Deal With Caregiver Burnout

It’s easy to feel powerless when your loved one is ill, and you feel like nothing will change. These empowering tips for self-care can help you find more happiness and joy in your life while allowing you to provide the care your loved one needs.

Take a break. Letting caregiving take over your life can leave you feeling stressed, depressed and physically ill. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to take some of the weight off your shoulders by cooking a hot meal, running errands or staying with your loved one so you can have some well-deserved time off. Whether it’s in-home care, an adult day care center or nursing home care, professional respite care is also a good option to give you the time you need to relax and recharge. Spreading responsibilities around exposes your loved one to people and activities that may help them as well. Check in with friends and family occasionally, and be honest when they ask how you’re doing.

Take care of your physical health. Eating well, exercising and getting plenty of sleep can improve your mood, give you more energy and help you handle stress more easily. Meditation, deep breathing and yoga are powerful tools that can help you reduce stress and give your overall well-being a boost.

Do things you enjoy. Simple things like reading a book, gardening, taking a leisurely bath, or pampering yourself with a pedicure can go a long way to make you feel happier and more grounded. Laughter really is the best medicine – watching a funny movie or hanging out with a friend who makes you laugh will lift your spirits and help you find humor in everyday situations. Maintaining relationships and sharing your feelings with friends and family allows you to vent and keep a more positive outlook.

Join a support group. In-person and online caregiver support groups can help you find people who understand what you’re going through and let you know you’re not alone.

Seek counseling. Confiding in a therapist and being able vent without judgment can make you feel less isolated and allow you to cope with stress in a more positive manner. A skilled therapist can help you learn how to set boundaries, process your feelings, strengthen your problem-solving skills, and improve communication in your relationships.

The skilled counselors at Kayenta Therapy can help you develop the tools you need to live a happy, healthy life while caring for your loved one. Contact a therapist to schedule an appointment today.

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Coping With Holiday Stress and Depression Through Counseling

The holiday season is a joyful time of year. Getting together with friends and family, holiday parties, and exchanging gifts are a special part of the season for many people. But, even during “the most wonderful time of the year,” stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health and leave you feeling anxious, […]

The holiday season is a joyful time of year. Getting together with friends and family, holiday parties, and exchanging gifts are a special part of the season for many people. But, even during “the most wonderful time of the year,” stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health and leave you feeling anxious, depressed and irritable. Below is a look at some key factors for holiday stress and depression, and how counseling can help.

Stress Is Common During the Holiday Season

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Unfortunately, holiday stress is almost seen as a given these days. Many people have unrealistic expectations and want everything to be perfect for the holidays. Planning, shopping, decorating, and entertaining can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. Overloading yourself with all of these activities can cause you to feel irritable, impatient and even depressed. There is also a lot of financial pressure many people experience during this season.

The Holiday Blues

The holidays can also be a depressing time for some people. Expectations of joy and happiness that seem to be everywhere this time of year can intensify feelings of loneliness, sadness, loss, and anger. Other factors that may contribute to the holiday blues include:

  • Unresolved family issues or memories of a painful childhood
  • Suppressing feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression because you “should” feel happy and appear cheerful to others
  • Missing loved ones with whom you used to share holidays
  • Having unrealistic expectations of loved ones
  • Feeling isolated
  • Focusing on disappointments or losses that may have occurred over the past year
  • Coping with changes in family dynamics such as a recent marriage, divorce or child custody issues
  • Consuming more alcoholic beverages – alcohol flows quite freely during the holidays, and drinking often makes depression worse

Counseling and Other Coping Techniques

It’s important to take care of yourself year-round but practicing self-care during the holidays is particularly important. Taking time to do activities that restore your inner calm, getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well. Planning ahead, having realistic expectations, and sticking to a budget can help you cut down on stress. Seeking help with therapy can make you feel more positive, less stressed, help you sort out your feelings and find tools to cope, so you and your family find more joy and peace during the holiday season.  

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed, our knowledgeable and compassionate therapists at Kayenta Therapy offer counseling and other resources to help you get through the holidays. Contact a therapist directly to schedule an appointment today.

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How Counseling Can Help You Avoid Emotional Eating During the Holidays

Many people turn to food for comfort when they’re feeling sad, stressed, depressed, or angry. The holiday season can be particularly challenging for many, and frequent gatherings with friends and family can make it easy to overindulge. Counseling sessions with a therapist can help you overcome emotional eating and help you find other ways to cope […]

Many people turn to food for comfort when they’re feeling sad, stressed, depressed, or angry. The holiday season can be particularly challenging for many, and frequent gatherings with friends and family can make it easy to overindulge. Counseling sessions with a therapist can help you overcome emotional eating and help you find other ways to cope and experience comfort.

How to Rein in Emotional Eating

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Eating to relieve stress or squelch negative emotions can lead to weight gain and exacerbate conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. The following tips will help you identify the reasons you may reach for food when you’re stressed and help you become more aware of how to break the cycle:

1. Make Time for Self-care

Sometimes it seems like everything you need to do to prepare for the holidays is urgent — but in reality, it isn’t. Taking even 15 minutes a day to nurture yourself with something besides food can reduce stress and lift your spirits. Read a book, take a bubble bath, go for a leisurely walk, or do something else you enjoy.

2. Practice Mindfulness and Self-compassion

Meditation, yoga and journaling can allow you to find your inner voice and help you observe your thoughts and feelings without becoming wrapped up in them. If you feel anxious or stressed, take some slow, deep breaths and focus on releasing the tension from your body before diving into the refrigerator to find something to eat. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Most times, the answer will be no. Avoid beating yourself up if you overeat or comfort yourself with food — being self-critical often leads to more emotional eating, not less.

3. Plan Ahead

Stock your pantry with healthy and nutritious food. If you’re going to a party or family gathering, take time to prepare yourself mentally, and remember, “No” is a complete sentence. If someone pushes you to eat or drink something you don’t want, it’s perfectly fine to decline without offering an explanation.

4. Ask for Support 

Reaching out for help instead of suppressing your feelings with food can change your life, not only during the holiday season, but year-round. Talk to trusted friends and family about how you’re feeling, and ask for assistance with tasks if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Seeking counseling from a qualified therapist provides an opportunity to uncover the root causes of your emotional eating and can help you develop effective coping skills to deal with all types of issues that have been holding you back from self-growth.

Find a Therapist at Kayenta Therapy

The experienced and compassionate therapists at Kayenta Therapy offer counseling that can help you overcome emotional eating and lead a healthier, more joyful life. Contact a therapist directly to schedule an appointment today.

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5 Ways to Cut Down on Technology and Make Life Healthier (and Happier!) for Young Adults

Advancements of the internet, smartphones and other technology have made it easier than ever to stay connected and informed. Technology can be beneficial for staying in touch with friends and family, working remotely and learning about other parts of the world, but it can also become detrimental to your mental and physical health. These tips […]

Advancements of the internet, smartphones and other technology have made it easier than ever to stay connected and informed. Technology can be beneficial for staying in touch with friends and family, working remotely and learning about other parts of the world, but it can also become detrimental to your mental and physical health. These tips for healthy internet and social media use can help you become more mindful of the impact technology has on your life and your health.

1. Be Respectful, and Think Before You Post 

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Hiding behind a keyboard can give you a false sense of confidence, obscurity and safety. Everything you do and say online can come back to bite you, whether it’s in the form of screenshots, social media posts or forum entries. Irresponsible behavior can have consequences in your real life and negatively affect your relationships and reputation. Before you react, stop, take three deep breaths and think about the repercussions of your actions before you hit send.  

2. Don’t Share Passwords – Ever

Even if only for a temporary situation, sharing passwords increases the risk of someone obtaining private information or impersonating you online. Although you may think there is no harm in sharing your information with someone you trust, relationships can change, and you don’t want anyone having access to your personal information.

3. Don’t Believe Everything You See 

Most people are very mindful about the image they want to project on social media. Everyone has bad days, but few people post about them the majority of the time. Take everything with a grain of salt and make the effort to connect with the people in your life outside of social media.

4. Don’t “Google It” for Professional Advice 

Although the internet provides a wealth of information on any topic you can think of, using it to diagnose a health issue or other issues can be a big mistake. Not all information is accurate or helpful and can end up harming instead of helping you. If you need help with something, ask a professional.

5. Don’t Waste Your Time 

Be conscious of how much time you spend on your devices, mindlessly scrolling through apps like Instagram or playing video games. Although it can be fun, limiting the role technology plays in your life can improve your physical and mental health. Instead of sitting in front of your computer, take a walk, catch a movie with friends or read a book. Put down your device when you’re spending time with family and friends. The world offers so many rich experiences, and if you don’t look up from your phone, you could miss many amazing moments that make life memorable.

Do you feel like your use of technology has become unmanageable? Therapists at Kayenta Therapy are here to help. Contact one of our therapists to schedule a counseling session today.

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Reducing Conflict Between Parents and Children and How Family Therapy Can Help

Conflict between parents and children is usually unproductive and tends to escalate quickly. If you want to reduce the conflict in your home, there are some highly effective techniques you can implement. Family therapy will help you put these techniques into consistent practice, as well as gain additional tools to help mitigate tension. Keep Your […]

Conflict between parents and children is usually unproductive and tends to escalate quickly. If you want to reduce the conflict in your home, there are some highly effective techniques you can implement. Family therapy will help you put these techniques into consistent practice, as well as gain additional tools to help mitigate tension.

Schedule Family Therapy Sessions at Kayenta Therapy

Keep Your Cool

When you get frustrated with your child, it can be challenging to maintain your composure. As soon as you feel yourself becoming upset and irritated, remind yourself that most of the time, it’s not so much about what you say, but how you say it. Even when it’s difficult, learn how to keep your cool in these challenging parenting situations.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a breather if you need to regain control of your emotions. Stepping away is much better than escalating the problem. Tackle the situation when you are able to discuss it calmly with your child. While they still might not always like what you have to say, their reaction will usually be completely different when you treat them kindly and with respect.

Establish Eye Contact

Imagine you are trying to get your child’s attention, but they are distracted by a toy or the TV. You become frustrated and raise your voice to grab their attention. This gives the impression you are upset with them, leading to needless conflict. Instead of raising your voice, focus on establishing eye contact with your child. Once you make eye contact, you can calmly discuss whatever you need to.

Stick to a Routine

Children tend to benefit from a structured routine. Create daily schedules for things that tend to create conflict in the family – like doing homework or going to bed. It will be an adjustment period as your child gets used to doing things at a set time every day, but the conflicts should subside once the routine becomes a habit.

Why Attend Family Therapy

The therapist will help your family talk and work through the difficulties you are facing and offer specific, personalized advice. They can also provide a fresh, healthy perspective. For more than 10 years, therapists at Kayenta Therapy have provided family therapy and low cost therapy options to patients. If you’re ready to schedule a session for you and your family, contact one of our therapists today.

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Why Premarital Counseling is a Good Idea

Becoming engaged to the one you love is an exciting experience. Although you may be focused on planning your wedding and envisioning your life together, it’s important to consider the complexities of your personalities, lifestyles and relationship dynamics, as well as how these factors will affect your marriage. Many relationship experts recommend premarital counseling, as […]

Becoming engaged to the one you love is an exciting experience. Although you may be focused on planning your wedding and envisioning your life together, it’s important to consider the complexities of your personalities, lifestyles and relationship dynamics, as well as how these factors will affect your marriage. Many relationship experts recommend premarital counseling, as it gives you both the opportunity to communicate your needs and desires. It also allows both parties to go into the marriage with proper expectations.

What Is Premarital Counseling?

Premarital counseling is a type of relationship counseling that helps couples get ready for marriage and can help you and your partner identify and deal with issues that may become problems once you’re married. This type of relationship counseling can help you get to know your partner better and increase your chances of having a strong, happy and healthy relationship.

Issues Addressed in Premarital Counseling

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You can discuss any subjects or issues you choose in relationship counseling. Common topics include:

  • Communication styles
  • Value and belief systems
  • Dealing with anger
  • Marriage and gender roles
  • Decision making processes
  • Finances
  • Intimacy
  • Affection
  • Sex
  • Desire to have children
  • Parenting styles
  • Extended family dynamics and relationships
  • Career goals
  • Life/work balance

In relationship counseling, therapists use different techniques and exercises to help you gain a deeper understanding of your partner, improve communication and guide you through any issues that may arise.

Benefits of Premarital Counseling

Many religious institutions require couples to attend some sort of counseling before marriage, and for good reason. Many people who tie the knot believe marriage will fulfill their emotional, social, sexual, and financial needs, but differing expectations can throw a wrench in any relationship. Studies have shown after participating in premarital counseling, couples reported an improved ability to communicate, resolve conflict and solve problems. They also reported higher levels of relationship quality and satisfaction than couples who did not receive premarital counseling. Premarital counseling helps partners set realistic expectations for marriage and can make them feel more comfortable about seeking help down the road.

Who Provides Premarital Counseling?

Although many different types of counselors offer premarital counseling, marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) specialize in family and relationship counseling. Each therapist has their own approach to counseling, and the number of sessions you’ll need depends on your individual circumstances. Keeping an open mind and being honest about your feelings can help you get the most out of premarital counseling, allow you and your partner better understand and support each other and lead to a long, happy and fulfilling marriage.

If you’re ready to give premarital counseling a try, check out our online directory of licensed counselors at Kayenta Therapy and contact one directly to get started.

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