Couples & Pre-Marital

COUPLES, FAMILY & PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING

Peace in your heart, peace in your home,
peace in your community, peace in the world.

— The Jewish Prayerbook

Judaism places great value on marriage, home and family, because it wisely understands these to be the wellspring of peace in the world at large. Therefore, the goal of creating Shalom Bayit (“a home filled with wholeness, wellbeing and contentment”) is understood as a sacred responsibility for spouses. It is all too easy, however, to lose sight of this, especially when various stressors from within ourselves, between family members, and from the outer world, come into play.

leaf imageFulfilling the role of a spouse and parent is some of the most important work we do in life, yet we receive precious little practical training in how to achieve this! If we are fortunate, we may at least have had good role models for family life growing up, however many people aren’t that lucky. Most of us need some degree of guidance, and often some personal healing, in order to become the kind of spouses and parents we really want to be in our hearts. Without it, painful patterns from the past are often activated and played out, or passed along to the next generation, causing needless sorrow, and hobbling the hopes and dreams of everyone involved.

How I Work

As a clergy person, I have seen all too often the damage that unhealthy marriages and families can do, and for this reason, I have taken special training and committed myself to helping guide couples and families to wholeness and harmony as an important part of my work.

leaf imageMy main training is in the Gottman Method (Levels I & II), which helps couples build what is called “The Sound Relationship House”. Based on years of careful research, this positive, strength-based model is very powerful and effective for healing strife and creating strong marriages and families. The Gottman Method is very well mapped out, with clear assessments, steps and goals, and contains an optional spiritual component. (For more information, see www.gottman.com.)

For family systems work, I like to work with the Genogram system. We start by creating a multi-generational map that brings deep insight into family patterns.

In all of my work with couples and families, my deepest operating principle is, as in my work with individuals, the worth and dignity of each holy soul. Based on the profound contribution of Gary & Joy Lundberg, I work to guide couples and family members to the universal healing principle of communicating validation and respect to our loved ones. Everyone has a basic human need to know, and to hear:

I am of worth, my feelings matter, and someone really cares about me.”
Gary & Joy Lundberg

I also teach the all-important skill of how to listen, not only to the surface of what is being said, but to the deeper needs and implications behind the words of our loved ones, and I help spouses and families develop the ability to respond with wisdom, rather than react.

As in my individual counseling, I always take a positive, strength-based approach, helping you to identify your positive qualities, and those of the people dear to you, and to put them to work creating a wonderful life together, while simultaneously finding ways to identify and release what is not serving you well.

Some frequently asked questions about couples, family
and pre-marital counseling . . .

How much does it cost?

I work on a sliding scale between $110 and $150 per hour. I also offer a special student/senior rate.

How long are the sessions? How often?

Because two or more people are involved, 90-minute sessions are best. This allows ample time for each person to feel fully heard. During the assessment phase at the beginning of our work, we may schedule shorter, individual meetings as well.

Most often, weekly sessions are best at the outset. From there it can certainly be workable to move to twice a month, especially if we set up some “homework” for between sessions. This can take the form of deciding to take a new approach to a challenge, trying out an agreed-upon “gift” of heart to your spouse or family member, taking fun assessment quizzes, doing reflective reading, finding out family information, and/or journaling.

Do you have evening and weekend times available?

I am available on a limited basis on Sundays and evenings.

Do you take insurance?

I am not taking insurance at this time. However, I am happy to provide an itemized invoice for those with medical/counseling savings plans.

There is a way forward to a joyous life together!

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If you are interested in couples, family, or premarital counseling,
please feel free to call me at [916] 442-7315,
or email me at info@rabbishulastevens.net.
Or, visit my CONTACT page.
I would love to hear from you.
Midtown Sacramento | info@rabbishulastevens.net | [916] 442-7315