Strength-Based, Solution Focused & Integrative

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling is for those entering into marriage, civil unions or life partnerships. Our 6-10 session approach is strength based, solution focused and integrative based on our years of training. We use techniques from The Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

What to Expect

We’ll learn what’s most relevant to your relationship so that your needs are met! You may have discussed some of the topics already; however, our sessions allow a more in-depth assessment and conversation. Throughout we’ll provide you with custom-tailored tools, support and guidance, evidence based techniques, insight, thought-provoking discussions and problem solving skills as needed. You’ll walk away knowing your individual and relationship strengths along with safeguards for potential challenges down the road.

"You’ve taken the time and worked hard to find the right person and relationship. Now, more than ever, it’s time to invest in the quality, longevity and health of it!"

- Ilene Kastel, M.A., LCPC
What do you consider a healthy relationship?

What does a long-term happy relationship mean?What does that look like?

There's a reason that couples who underwent premarital counseling had a 30% higher marital success rate than those who did not.

Our Premarital Counseling is custom-tailored based on your interests and relationship needs. We are equipped to work with both monogamous + open relationships, as well as any gender identity or sexual orientation.

What You Can Achieve

Typical benefits & goals of premarital counseling:


Learn Your Love Languages and Attachment Styles

Identify you and your partners’ love languages and attachment style and how these affect your relationship.

Enhance Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills

Assess and work on your communication and conflict resolution styles. Gain insight, strategies & increased emotional intimacy.

Foster Longing, Desire, Physical Intimacy and Emotional Intimacy

Discuss and learn how to keep your connection, sex, and desire healthy in long-term relationships

Identify, Articulate, and Resolve Partner Role Expectations

Identify spoken and unspoken expectations such as: role responsibilities, boundaries in marriage, decision making, finances, parenting, etc.

Clarify Short and Life-long Goals and Values

Ensure alignment on life goals and values and how to negotiate differences when your preferences and ambitions contrast.

Mindfully Manage External Influences

Converse about family of origin issues, extended family problems, blending them and the impact on your relationship

Common Questions & Concerns

When is the right time for couples to start premarital counseling?

Clients do not have to be engaged or solidifying a step in their relationship. Pre-marital counseling can benefit those who are at a crossroad in their relationship and looking to gain understanding or feeling comfortable around the idea of taking the next steps to commit or address ambivalence.

Why is it beneficial to partake in premarital counseling?

Premarital counseling is preventative work that focuses on how to improve what’s already working, create richer insight, find and sort through potential hiccups, as well as provide you with concrete tools to get through those future relational challenges.

How exactly does premarital counseling differ from couples counseling?

Couples typically come to counseling when there are already concerns or issues negatively impacting the relationship. Premarital counseling is preventative work and focuses on how to improve what’s already working, create richer insight, find and sort through potential hiccups as well as provides you with concrete tools to get through those future relational challenges.

Contact Us. 

Pay Us a Visit

70 E Lake St #222
Chicago, IL 60601

Serving Chicago, Streeterville, Gold Coast, West Town, West Loop, River North, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Bucktown, Ravenswood and surrounding areas.

Common Questions

Do you accept insurance?

We are in network with the following insurance carriers:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice Advantage
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Choice Preferred
  • United Behavioral Health, aka United Health Care
  • Optum Veterans Affairs Community Care Network

However, if you have a carrier that we don’t accept we can still work together! Using your out of network benefits, many insurance companies will provide you with 20% to 80% reimbursement for sessions. We provide you with an invoice, you send it into your insurance company and they mail you a check. If you’d like to know what your out of network benefits are call the number on the back of your card and ask, “What are my out of network benefits for mental health counseling?” Please contact us to provide you with additional information about this.

Is there parking available at your office?

All el lines are within 1-2 blocks, and, there are two parking garages nearby at 60 E. Lake St. and 20 E. Randolph.

I tried therapy and didn't like it. How's this different?

Therapy varies depending on the personalities of the counselor and client, as well as the particular concerns brought forward. Sometimes the chemistry between the counselor and client or the counselor’s style or approach just isn’t a good fit. The relationship between the client and the therapist is of utmost importance. Therefore, we work to create a safe environment where open and honest communication is encouraged so that concerns or questions about treatment or the relationship can be addressed in session. This often benefits the therapeutic process and deepens the therapeutic relationship.

What can I expect from the first few sessions?

During the first and second session, we will gather information about what has brought you into therapy including your concerns, what you’d like to work on and information about your current and past emotional health and life history. This information helps us gain a deeper understanding about your situation, you as a person and how to best help you. As noted earlier, since it is important that clients feel comfortable with their counseling, we encourage clients to also use the first session as an opportunity to assess if this is a good fit for you as well.

What can I expect during a typical therapy session?

During therapy you will begin to discuss and share your feelings, thoughts, and reactions in order for you to begin to gain insight, develop new thinking patters, coping skills and overall improved quality of life. It is natural to feel uncomfortable about opening up at first but this process because much easier after a few sessions. Since self-growth is possible through commitment and work I will encourage you to practice the things you discuss and learn outside of session.

How long will I need to be in therapy?

The number of sessions needed is different for everyone depending on a number of factors including but not limited to your goals, severity or intensity of your concerns or symptoms, how long you’ve been dealing with your concerns, current levels of stress, and the progress you make towards reaching your short or long-term goals.

Is what I say in therapy confidential?

In general, all communications between a client and counselor are confidential and can only be released with the client’s written permission. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • When there is a reasonable suspicion of child/dependent abuse or of an elder adult.
  • When the client communicates a threat of bodily injury to others.
  • When the client is suicidal.
  • When disclosure is required pursuant to a legal proceeding.
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