That Works

That Works

Stop wasting time on the wrong advice.

A newly married couple press their heads together, joyously to demonstrate the effects of Empathi premarital counseling.

So many couples go into marriage thinking they’ll never hurt each other.

They think that as long as they are skilled communicators, know each other’s love languages, and can compromise, they’ll be too good to each other to fight, feel rejected, or feel abandoned.

But surface-level solutions and counseling styles simply cannot give you the tools to make relationship work for the rest of your lives.

EFT gives couples a life-long framework for leaving conflicts and coming back stronger.

Not all counseling is created equal. Emotionally-Focused Therapy is shockingly effective because it is built on the reality that when human beings are really important to each other, they experience moments of disconnection—and they hurt.

Our counselors will teach you to understand deeply how you are built, the negative cycles you will create together, and how to repair conflict so that you will feel more loved, connected, and understood than you could have without those difficult moments.


Clinical research shows that 86% of couples improve after a brief period of EFT guidance, and 73% have maintained their improvements when we check back two years later.

Empathi's Methods
are proven to help

Each of our therapists are trained to use our proprietary blend of the Empathi Method and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). We’ll help you understand both your intrapersonal and interpersonal struggles in a way that guides you to communicate better, repair after fights, and feel more deeply and securely connected.

Clinical research shows that 86% of couples improve after a brief period of EFT guidance, and 73% have maintained their improvements when we check back two years later.

Premarital Counseling Solutions |

Do I need Empathi Premarital Counseling?

Congrats! You’ve reached a pivotal point in your relationship and you’ll soon be entering into a phase that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced up to this point and unlike anything you expected. Marriage can be a rewarding and fulfilling adventure.

It has its ups and downs—anything worth doing is going to—but when you and your partner grow closer, standing in solidarity with each other, it’s easy to see that it’s worth it.

couples therapy empathi

Marriage is also a serious commitment. You merge your life with that of another person, becoming a unit legally and as partners in life. As such, marriage also has its own unique challenges.

Give your future marriage the benefit of premarital counseling. Counseling before marriage helps set the stage for the long-term, past the honeymoon phase and beyond. It helps you and your partner to get to know each other more deeply, manage expectations, and develop skills for the road ahead.

Couples who attend premarital counseling tend to have longer-lasting, more fulfilling marriages.

Marriage is also a serious commitment. You merge your life with that of another person, becoming a unit legally and as partners in life. As such, marriage also has its own unique challenges.

Give your future marriage the benefit of premarital counseling. Counseling before marriage helps set the stage for the long-term, past the honeymoon phase and beyond. It helps you and your partner to get to know each other more deeply, manage expectations, and develop skills for the road ahead.

Couples who attend premarital counseling tend to have longer-lasting, more fulfilling marriages.

marriage counseling that works

What is premarital counseling and why do I need it?

Premarital counseling helps couples prepare for the next big step in their life together.

Under the guidance of a skilled professional, you and your partner can develop a deeper understanding of each other’s inner worlds, build skills that will last you and your partner a lifetime, and keep a lot of unnecessary friction out of the relationship.

Marriage is all about building a life together. Whether it’s owning a home vs renting, children biologically or adopting, or choosing what city you ultimately want to settle down in, pre-marriage counseling gives you a head start on developing a plan for the future that you and your partner can share.

In a deeper process than discerning communication styles, Empathi’s Premarital Counseling helps each partner to reframe negative interpretations of each other, communicate deeper truths, and find a shared story.

Beyond communication techniques, counseling before marriage gives couples tools to resolve disagreements in a healthy, mutually-beneficial, and—most importantly—emotionally satisfying way.

Understanding your partner and yourself better through premarital counseling means you’re able to make well-informed decisions for your partnership. When you are able to work together to make choices—big or small—it builds teamwork and trust within the marriage.

Empathi counselors have extensive training and experience with every type of committed partnership and are familiar with the issues that come along with them. We know how to help you set the stage for your life together.

What issues does premarital counseling address?

Premarital counseling is all about preparing a couple for a life together.

Sometimes there are conflicts between partners which are already difficult, even though the love and commitment is there. Sometimes there are dynamics at play which are easily handled in the present, but which could grow to an explosive degree if left alone. Sometimes partners assume that the other shares their views and priorities on most critical matters without ever actually talking about it, leading to conflict and confusion down the road.

Two women sit against a wall, looking away from each other.

Counseling gives couples the opportunity and the tools to resolve conflicts, get on the same page about future expectations, and bond more deeply.

Addressing critical topics before marriage helps to eliminate unpredictability and instill a sense of security in the relationship. Secure and stable marriages tend to last longer and be more fulfilling.

Here are some of the topics we address with people during premarital counseling:

In every relationship—marriage or otherwise—individuals tend to take on specific roles regarding tasks and emotional dynamics (sometimes, whether or not they’re happy with them.) By establishing each partner’s strengths and expanding their understanding of these roles, counseling helps set realistic expectations and guide couples to a happy, symbiotic partnership.

Money is a key piece of any married relationship. Some people feel uncomfortable talking about finances, but it’s essential for each partner to know where the other stands in terms of priorities, expectations, and attitudes about money.

You may go into the marriage with a solid understanding about your partner’s take on the world, politics, and religion, but sometimes, one or more of these important topics don’t come up until circumstances warrant their discussion. Counseling encourages partners to open up about their view on big-picture topics. These subjects often cause tension in relationships, but by getting it out in the open, the counselor is able to help the couple work through whatever differences they may have.

It’s surprising how few people talk about their desire for children before discussing marriage. This is another one of those topics where each partner often assumes they know where the other stands on the issue, without ever having discussed it. When partners find out that the other has dramatically different priorities when it comes to starting a family, it almost always causes immense friction in the marriage. And that’s before getting to topics around raising children! (Luckily, we also offer couples counseling for parents.)

At Empathi, we help you work through these and other issues so that you can begin your marriage on a firm footing.

At Empathi, we help you work through these and other issues so that you can begin your marriage on a firm footing.

couples therapy

How can you help me prepare for marriage?

Empathi counselors have extensive experience with relationships of all sorts.

We use established methods to help you construct a strong foundation for your marriage.

Here's why our approach works:

Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. Some people find it difficult to trust others for a variety of reasons—negative experiences in past relationships in childhood or adulthood, traumatic experiences, temperament, etc. We apply attachment theory to guide you through establishing strong trust bonds with each other which will reverberate throughout all your relationships. 

Spouses will always have experiences from before their meeting which will shape their relationship—for better or for worse. Unresolved trauma, however, has the potential to wreak havoc on a relationship, twisting positive, bonding moments into re-enactments of past heartache.

Through experiential psychotherapy, we use activities, roleplay, and healing re-enactment to help work through past trauma and unhealthy thoughts. In facing the source of your pain, you and your partner can come out of it healthier and better equipped for your future together.

Disagreement is normal in relationships, but inescapable, repetitive conflict stretches and damages committed partnerships.

Through emotionally focused therapy (EFT), Empathi teaches you and your partner how to turn conflict into productive communication.

Is it hard to start pre-marriage counseling?

Premarital counseling can seem intimidating if you’ve never been to counseling or couples counseling before, or if you’ve had a negative experience in the past. But we at Empathi know counseling before marriage can not only be emotionally rewarding and even funny, it’s also the best first step in a healthy life-long commitment. 

Basically? It’s worth it. But starting premarital counseling doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth.

Here’s how we make it easy:

empathi couples therapy

Here are the ways we make it easy:

couples therapy that works

Empathi Premarital Counseling Can Help You…

Stop suffering in its tracks. Book now.

Now is the best time to strengthen your relationship

Your Premarital Counseling Questions, Answered

Sharing with a stranger can be tough, so we’ll start sharing first.

Counseling ranges on average from $120 to $250 per therapy hour. Larger metropolitan areas tend to see higher prices than smaller communities.

Our pricing ranges from $150-$500. Schedule a free consult and we’ll find an Empathi therapist in your price range.

Many studies show that pre-marriage counseling benefits couples in the short term and in the long run. Couples who opted for premarital counseling have a 30% higher success rate than those who didn’t undergo counseling before marriage. Couples who underwent counseling also report being happier and having fewer negative conflicts. In recent years online premarital counseling has become more popular and is proving just as effective.

Empathi’s proprietary blend of techniques builds on EFT to repair connections and build a stronger bond between partners. Through EFT, 86% of couples with issues see real improvement right away. This improvement continues long-term for 73% of relationships.

In a statistical analysis, pre-marriage counselors are placed into the same group as marriage and family therapists. The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places around 54,000 people employed nationally as couples or family therapists—many of whom perform premarital counseling as well.

Due to the sheer volume of therapists available, people often turn to web searches looking for “Best relationship counseling near me.” Look no further: a search of the best couples counselors in the San Francisco area places Empathi founder Fiachra Figs O’Sullivan in the top 10 list on Yelp and the top 5 list on GuideDoc.

There are many qualified counselors and centers that offer premarital counseling, but counseling is typically more effective when a client seeks out and finds a professional who is actually a good match for them and their partner.

Qualifications and reviews are important, but the best way to figure out if a pre-marriage counselor is the best fit for you is to schedule a consultation and give them an interview.

To find that pre-marriage counselor who is just right for you, prepare questions for them, schedule a consultation, and give them an interview.

Try these premarital counselor interview questions:

  • How long have you been practicing premarital counseling?
  • What training/qualifications do you have related to pre-marriage counseling?
  • How long does premarital counseling typically last?
  • What can I and my partner expect to get out of counseling?

Most premarital counseling programs are eight to 10 hour-long sessions. People who follow their counseling program all the way through have the best long-term results, so finding the right counselor and sticking with them is your best bet.

When the time comes to get married, premarital counseling provides you and your partner with tools and strategies that will enhance your relationship and draw you closer to each other years to come. Contact Empathi today and prepare for your bright and wonderful future together.

Empathi's Premarital Counseling Process

Your expert counselor is here to teach you how to find each other using Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and the Empathi Method.


The hardest part is just getting started.

Healing starts with accepting you need help, booking a free consult, and showing up as you are. Everything that comes next will be easier as you’re held by an Empathi therapist and a proven process. From now on, you’re not alone in this.


Feel like you’re on the same team again.

Explore your process and discover a unified narrative where neither of you are wrong or right, “the good one,” or “the bad one.” Learn to approach suffering and conflicts as an “us” problem instead of a “them” problem or a “me” problem.


See the hurt and love behind their reactivity.

Strengthen your new narrative by accessing empathy to recognize the root of each other’s reactivity, how much you matter to each other, and what love is. Understand the cycles you get into with the help of your expert Empathi counselor.


Share the hurt and love behind your reactivity.

Get to know, live in, and share your vulnerable feelings. Then, learn to let in the ways that those feelings are understood and accepted by your partner through the power of the Empathi method and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy.


Feel deeply and securely bonded to one another.

Mend your relationship and your wounds through the understanding that you matter to each other. Learn to grieve, show up for, heal, and accept the most vulnerable parts inside of each other without sacrificing those parts in yourselves.


Rely on your bond to get out of stuck moments.

Having proved your ability to resolve long-standing issues, heated conflicts, and negative cycles, face your future together with a certainty that you will not only survive those moments, but grow stronger and more connected because of them.

We are passionate about healing relationships.

Our team of couples counselors, relationship coaches, and marriage therapists can help you reconnect and discover that loving feeling.

Yelp Rates Us 5 Stars!


Why Yelp Chooses Empathi Premarital Counseling

Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) provides our team at Therapy With Figs with an understanding of the emotional bonds between partners so that we can identify and work toward moments that strengthen and harmonize that emotional connection.

We use attachment-based frameworks to understand the ways very early bonds inform our adult behavior and choice of partner, as well as the ways our relationship with our partners inform how we understand those early bonds today. Being in a committed partnership then becomes more than just an agreement between two lovers – it is a healing art, a restorative power in the lives of both individuals.

Seeking the safety and containment of professional psychotherapy is a monumental first step on the road to turning painful patterns into a productive partnership. Committed exploration and a willingness to be curious and vulnerable about what is motivating one’s own behavior, reactivity, patterns, and choices can bring about positive change for your relationship – whether it’s steering a particular issue, transitioning toward compromise, or simply bringing about a newly deepened sense of passion and commitment.

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Don't take it from us,
hear from our clients!

Check out our reviews with this direct feed from our Yelp page.

Sue Johnson, creator of emotionally-focused couples therapy

"With Empathi, Figs has created a fun and creative way to help people feel more connected in their relationship and to become acquainted with the transformational power of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy."

Dr. Sue Johnson

Creator of Emotionally-Focused Therapy

It's quick, easy, and free
to get started!

Between the emotional hurdle of accepting you need help and the logistical nightmare of finding a therapist you trust, actually starting therapy is the hardest part…

That’s why we keep it simple:

Don’t Waste Time Feeling Stuck

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