Relationship Maintenance Program for Couples

at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

For Couples who are committed to one another but having challenges in reaching a happier equilibrium.

Relationship Maintenance Program for Couples
In Grand Rapids, MI and West Michigan At Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, MI

Health for Life Counseling is now offering a relationship maintenance program for couples incorporating Gottman-trained therapists. This relationship maintenance program includes an initial 8-12 meetings and aims to help a couple ‘recharge’ their relationship. 

Health for Life Counseling’s program is available in the West Michigan area including in-person in Grand Rapids and Ada, Michigan as well as online throughout the State of Michigan. 

Relationship Maintenance Couples Counseling can help build a foundation of understanding, compassion, and skills to create stronger relationships for goals of longevity, commitment, and intimacy.

(Note: Health Insurance Plans do not cover premarital or couples counseling).
Relationship Maintenance Program For Couples 3
  • Exploring new ways of thinking, behaving, and expressing oneself as an individual and as a couple to maintain and continue the relationship in the healthiest way possible.
  • Recognizing that goals, family dynamics, intimacy, and aging impact the effort of “maintaining a relationship” in various and complicated ways.
  • Addressing potential solutions to bring back and/or maintain satisfaction in the relationship.
  • In addition, this program can help couples create a vision for what they want the relationship to look like going forward.
  • This MAY be for you if you are desiring or experiencing the following:
    • Committed but feeling emotionally distant.
    • Experiencing unhelpful communication habits.
    • Wanting to be together but have lost “the spark” or “excitement.”
    • The couples that say “everything is great EXCEPT…(sex, closeness, fun, talking).”
    • Wanting to show a better example to their children or other people in their lives about what a healthy relationship looks like.
  • This may NOT be for you if you identify with any of the following:
    • “Saving a marriage” (This is an expression often used when a couple has lost the basic tenets of respect, and love and perhaps one or both members of the couple is already moving “out the door.”)
    • Not to figure out if “we want to stay married/committed” if someone is already having second thoughts or is “half way out” (Mediation may be more appropriate).
    • Dealing with the repercussions of recent affair(s) (Individual Counseling is often recommended first).
    • Not for couples who are actively in domestic violence and/or abusive relationships

Couples that are suffering due to various addictions or are actively using substances (Individual or Addiction Counseling is often recommended first).

Relationship Solutions
Relationship Help

Therapists That Provide The

Relationship Maintenance Program for Couples

Brittani Decess

Counseling through a trauma-informed, inclusive, and equitable lens for individuals, relationships, and families.

To discuss which programs could work for you, call (616) 200-4433 or complete the form below.

What to Expect

Relationship Maintenance is a great way to prepare for the next phase in your relationship and learn how to communicate effectively, resolve conflict, and build a strong foundation for your relationship. Here is what you can expect from the initial 12 sessions of the Relationship Maintenance Program at Health for Life Counseling:

Sessions 1-3:

  • Rapport Building and Intake: The counselor will get to know you and your partner and gather information about your relationship history, current concerns, and expectations for counseling.
  • Education on Fight-or-Flight-Freeze-Fawn Responses in Relationships (Lid Flipping): You will learn about the different types of stress responses and how they can manifest in relationships. You will also develop coping skills for managing stress and preventing lid flipping.
  • Gottman-Rapport Communication Method: You will learn a structured approach to expressing feelings and needs in a respectful and constructive manner. You will practice the method with the counselor to help you develop effective communication skills.

Sessions 4-6:

  • Emotional Literacy: You will learn how to identify and understand your own emotions and those of your partner. You will also develop strategies for expressing and managing emotions in a healthy way.
  • Assumption Checking: You will learn how to check your assumptions about each other’s thoughts and feelings to avoid misunderstandings. You will be encouraged to practice open and honest communication to prevent misinterpretations.
  • Assessment to Set Up Second Half: Areas Most Concerning to Couple/Relationship Grouping: Based on the intake session and ongoing discussions, the counselor will identify the areas that are most concerning to you and your partner. Related topics will be grouped together to create a structured plan for the second half of counseling.

Sessions 7-9:

  • Love Languages: Meeting Bids for Attention: You will learn about the concept of love languages and identify your primary love languages. You will be encouraged to express love and appreciation for each other in ways that resonate with your partner’s love language.
  • Finances: You will discuss financial concerns that may be affecting your relationship. You will receive guidance on developing a shared financial plan and managing money effectively.
  • Sex/Intimacy: You will address any issues related to sexual intimacy and satisfaction. You will receive education and resources on healthy sexuality and intimacy.

Sessions 10-12:

  • Religion and/or Politics: You will discuss how to navigate differences in religious and/or political beliefs. You will develop strategies for respectful communication and compromise.
  • Parenthood: You will address parenting challenges and concerns. You will receive guidance on effective parenting strategies and communication with children.
  • Closure and/or Reassessment to Additional Sessions: The counselor will evaluate the progress you have made in counseling and determine if additional sessions are necessary. You will receive closure and recommendations for continued healthy relationship maintenance.

Additional sessions may include:

  • Family relationships/in-laws
  • Time spent together/leisure time
  • Dealing with anger or other intense emotions
  • Work/life balance

Please note that this is just a general overview of what you can expect from premarital counseling. Your specific experience may vary depending on your individual needs and goals.

Investment

Level 3 (Enhancing Your Love)

12 sessions at $120= $1440 Total

What does this include? What are the differences between programs?

Includes: 1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, Assessment to garner areas of focus, 4 sessions directed on common relational topics, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1300 Total

Level 2 (Growing in Love)

10 sessions at $135 = $1350

What does this include?

Includes: 1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, Assessment to garner areas of focus, 2 sessions directed at common relational topics, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1200 Total

Level 1 (Foundations of Love- )

8 session at $145 = $1160

What does this include?

1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1000 Total

(Note: Health Insurance Plans do not cover premarital or couples counseling).

Research about Relationship Maintenance Program for Couples​

Premarital counseling is an effective type of therapy for couples who try to prevent marital challenges before a change in level of commitment, like marriage. Some couples find it appropriate as soon as they get engaged, while others wait until just a few weeks before their wedding. In either case, it’s appropriate for people who just want to mentally prepare for an engagement, marriage, or living together. However, premarital counseling may not be suitable for couples that already have communication or intimacy issues before getting married. These are some of the specific cases where more intense or individualized care is needed:
  • Significant mental health issues – If one or both partners have unresolved mental health issues like severe depression, anxiety, or trauma, individual therapy might be more suitable.
  • Domestic violence – In cases where there is a history of abuse (either emotional, physical, or sexual) specialized therapy is needed to ensure safe and effective treatment.
  • A major ongoing affair – This often indicates deeper relationship issues that require intensive therapy or a prolonged couples counseling program.
  • Couples trying to ‘save’ a marriage – Premarital counseling is preventative, not a crisis intervention tool. For example, when one partner is already considering leaving the relationship, premarital counseling won’t be effective as it’s designed for couples committed to working together on their relationship.
This means that premarital counseling is not an appropriate type of counseling for everyone. Studies prove its effectiveness for couples without significant immediate crises who just try to strengthen their future marriage (Carroll & Doherty, 2004). However, couples who face severe relationship crises should resolve their problems using a different, more individualized approach, like couples counseling. The last decade of research has provided compelling evidence for the effectiveness of relationship counseling. According to studies, couple therapy positively affects the majority of couples who undergo treatment. Specifically, 70% of couples feel better after getting professional help from couples counselors (Lebow et al., 2012). A 2012 study published in BMC Public Health, couple counseling is effective in promoting healthy relationships. This large-scale study evaluated the effectiveness of couple counseling and found significant improvements in relationship satisfaction from pre-treatment to post-treatment and even up to 1-2 years after counseling (Schofield et al., 2012). A comprehensive meta-analysis by Roddy et al. (2020) also aimed to explore the effectiveness of relationship counseling. An analysis included 58 studies with 2,092 couples. The study found a large effect of couple therapy on relationship satisfaction. Besides, the therapy also had significant positive impacts on self-reported and observed communication, emotional intimacy, and partner behaviors. In contrast, couples on waitlists showed no significant improvement. The latest studies also prove the effectiveness of premarital counseling. For example, according to Alizadeh et al. (2021), premarital counseling helped couples gain awareness of reproductive health issues and establish a strong foundation for their sexual relationship. Besides, the counseling aided in identifying personal risk factors and increased personal flexibility Dr. John Gottman, a pioneer in the field of relationship and marriage research, conducted studies at the University of Washington’s “Love Lab”. Gottman and his colleagues built this apartment laboratory in order to explore how friendship and intimacy relate to conflict. Most of his participants were hetero normative couples. Through this extensive research, Gottman identified the concept of “bids” for connection, where one partner reaches out for attention or support and the other can either ‘turn towards’ or ‘turn away’ from this bid. According to his findings, the way couples respond to these “bids” is a key factor in relationship satisfaction and stability.

Relationship Maintenance Program for Couples

  • Exploring new ways of thinking, behaving, and expressing oneself as an individual and as a couple to maintain and continue the relationship in the healthiest way possible.
  • Recognizing that goals, family dynamics, intimacy, and aging impact the effort of “maintaining a relationship” in various and complicated ways.
  • Addressing potential solutions to bring back and/or maintain satisfaction in the relationship.
  • Reignite the spark: Find solutions to overcome obstacles and bring back the joy and satisfaction in your connection.
  • In addition, this program can help couples create a vision for what they want the relationship to look like going forward.
  • This program may be for you if you want or experience the following:
  • Committed but emotionally distant.
  • Developing negative communication habits.
  • Looking to reconnect yet without “the spark” or “excitement.”
  • Express your feelings by saying “everything is great EXCEPT…(sex, closeness, fun, talking).”
  • Aim to set a positive example of good relationships for everyone around me.

This may not be suitable for individuals who identify with the following:

  • “Saving a relationship” refers to restoring a couple’s essential values of respect and love after one or both members have left.
  • If someone is wanting to separate or is on the verge of leaving entirely; mediation may be a better option.
  • Individual counseling is often recommended first when dealing with the aftermath of a recent affair.
  • Not for people involved in domestic violence or violent relationships.
  • Partners/ Couples that are suffering due to various addictions or are actively using substances (Individual or Addiction Counseling is often recommended first).
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