Tampa Premarital CounselingTampa Premarital Therapy

Planning your wedding can be exciting, fun, and at times stressful, but it’s even more important to prepare for your marriage. Research from the Journal of Family Psychology suggests that couples who undergo premarital education reported significantly higher marital satisfaction and are 30% less likely to divorce. The positive effects of premarital counseling are so notable that the state of Florida offers a discount to couples applying for a marriage license who participate in a minimum of four sessions of premarital counseling.

What is premarital counseling?

Premarital counseling is about building a solid foundation for the future by openly discussing relationship wants, preferences, hopes, concerns, and goals. Premarital counseling is about having open and honest discussions with your partner, with the assistance of Dr. Barbash, who has extensive experience in couple’s therapy. Relationships that endure are not without conflict, and premarital counseling can help you and your partner learn better ways to respond to and manage conflict, both through increased communication skills and an increased understanding of each other. During the course of premarital therapy, it is possible there will be disagreements, and even arguments, as you and your partner explore topics that have not yet presented themselves or those that already have and are sensitive areas in your relationship. Conflict is a natural, healthy, and important part of any relationship, and there is no better time to address such important relationship issues.

Common topics discussed include communication, conflict resolution, finances and career, sex, division of labor, parenting, family planning, friends and family, romance, beliefs and values, and health and habits. Premarital counseling can help undo fears about marriage, set realistic expectations for timing (e.g., children, career moves, relocating), learn or improve communication and conflict skills, and identify possible areas for future marital stress in order to create preventative plans. However, no relationship is alike, and for that reason Dr. Barbash does not offer pre-set or pre-packaged premarital counseling, but rather the first session is spent understanding the couple in terms of their history, strengths, and concerns, and the remaining three sessions are spent exploring these identified areas, with the option of continuing for additional sessions if the couple wants or needs more time. Additionally, many couples opt to schedule occasional check-in sessions to assist them in staying on track or with solving new relationship challenges after they marry.

Interfaith and Same-Sex Pre-Marital and Marital Counseling

As a psychologist, Dr. Barbash approaches all aspects of psychological treatment with an open-mind and with the goal of creating a non-judgmental and relaxed therapeutic environment.  This can differ significantly from seeking treatment in a religious setting.  Dr. Barbash is well-researched, educated, and experienced in working with interfaith couples and same-sex couples.  She is aware of the unique challenges that can occur for these individuals, and is skilled in helping all couples through their specific difficulties.

Why Turn to Tampa Therapy for Your Marriage Counseling

There are many providers of premarital counseling in the Tampa area, however, most are clergy members without the specific clinical training and experience that Dr. Barbash can provide. Additionally, Dr. Barbash provides interfaith marital counseling, which is often not the case with clergy counselors. Upon completion of at least four premarital sessions, Dr. Barbash can provide the certificate necessary for the state of Florida’s marriage license discount. Additionally, Dr. Barbash also offers same-sex premarital and relationship counseling.

Dr. Barbash is a current provider for premarital counseling with the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court. For client’s seeking premarital counseling to complete the required “course” for Hillsborough County, a certificate for the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court is provided at the completion of premarital counseling.