When Rachel responded to my request for wedding industry vendors to participate in this little venture, I had not even considered including marriage counselors! I LOVE that she reached out and I have been so excited to share this interview with you all. I am a huge proponent of therapy and counseling and I’ve been doing a lot of work on my own relationship over the past year, so I found this interview very compelling. Ladies and gents – without further ado – Rachel Butler!
Lizzie : What led you to wanting to be a premarital / relationship counselor?
Rachel : I’ve watched so many of my friends, family, and past clients struggle with their relationships. They didn’t know how to communicate effectively, resolve conflict, and had trouble with the various other aspects of relationships like finances, dealing with family and friends, intimacy expectations, and relationship roles. Since probably middle school, my friends came to me to ask for advice and have someone to vent to. I loved being able to help them through their problems and this eventually led me to get my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Kennesaw State University and my Master’s in Counseling from University of North Georgia.
L : Why do you recommend people go through premarital counseling?
R : I encourage any couple, whether they are dating or engaged to attend couples counseling. You have a chance to build a sturdy foundation for your relationship and find ways to communicate your wants and needs in a healthy way. Couples have a chance to explore some of those awkward or touchy conversations in a safe environment without judgement. You also get a discount on your marriage license in the state of Georgia for attending premarital counseling.
L : How long before the wedding do you recommend couples starting counseling?
R : I recommend that couples start counseling early on in the engagement before trying to settle on vendors, venues, etc. If you can’t communicate well in the first place, this added stress will likely make things difficult and have you more at risk for arguments.
L : What kind of things do you routinely cover in counseling with engaged couples?
R : We work on: communication, conflict resolution, financial management, spending time together and apart, relationships with friends and family, accepting your partner as they are, relationship roles, sexual expectations, spiritual beliefs if applicable and any other concerns the couple may have. I tailor each session to the couple and where they are. We set goals together and celebrate successes along the way.
L : Are there any behavioral patterns you consistently see with engaged couples going through counseling?
R : Yes! Many couples I work with have had the most trouble with communication, conflict resolution, and financial management. The reasons behind these struggles vary from the way partners are raised, to social media, and past relationship experiences.
L : Do you think counseling is beneficial to couples who aren’t experiencing any relationship difficulties?
R : Yes! Every couple can explore ways to better meet their partner’s needs, speak their love language and explore each other’s hopes and dreams for the future. Many of us are so busy that we rarely take the time to have these deep conversations and counseling sessions allow that to happen and slow things down a bit.
L : What is the hardest part of your job?
R : I would say the hardest part of my job is learning how to run a small business. Graduate school doesn’t prepare therapists for how to do the business side of things. However, I’ve enjoyed learning everything along the way and mentor newer therapists with the knowledge I’ve gained.
L : What is your favorite part of your job?
R : I LOVE helping people have those lightbulb realization moments and connecting with them. When couples have healthy conversations and breakthroughs in sharing their life experiences, it’s so worth it.
L : Are there any resources (blogs, books, etc.) that you recommend couples utilize?
R : Yes! So many: I’ll include a list below! They can also follow my blog: https://www.rachelbutlercounseling.com/the-blog/
L : If people want to contact you for more information about your services, how can they do that?
R :Individuals and couples seeking therapy can contact me in a few ways:
Follow my instagram: @rachel_butler_counseling
Email or call me: firstname.lastname@example.org
404-490-1566 (direct line)
May 8, 2020