Premarital Counseling, is a type of therapy which is usually provided by a professional who specializes in relationships, or marriage and family counseling. The goal of Premarital Counseling is to identify and address potential areas of conflict before they become a concern and effect your marriage. Throughout counseling partners learn strategies for discussing and resolving conflicts, setting expectations of one another, and addressing any significant differences that may exist within the relationship.
BENEFITS OF PREMARITAL COUNSELING
Premarital Counseling can help partners identify and discuss important areas in the relationship that have the potential to cause conflict later on. These areas include topics like - children, career goals, finances, religious beliefs, and family dynamics. By working on any challenges within these areas early on in the relationship, you can prevent them from becoming serious problems down the road. A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, showed couples who had participated in some type of premarital counseling program were 31% less likely to divorce.
Find a Premarital Counselor
Beginning a commitment such as marriage with couples counseling is not only helpful because it can help each partner address their thoughts, concerns, and expectations for the partnership, but also because it can help couples feel more at ease with therapy if they experience difficulty later on.
There are many Couples Workshops that are available in your community. Your town library or religious institution is a good place to check for local resources. Couples Counseling can also be provided through a licensed talk therapist, in person or online.
CHALLENGES OF PREMARITAL COUNSELING
Counseling may pose challenges for some individuals or couples who may try to avoid it out of fear or anxiety over what will be discussed. Some of the topics that will be discussed in counseling can be very sensitive areas that may have been avoided up until now. While discussing some of these areas, it may be discovered that you and your partner have wildly different views on certain topics or beliefs. Discussing those differences may help some address and resolve them together, but others may decide that certain issues are irreconcilable. Therapy offers participants a safe space to discuss these concerns while being guided by a professional who specializes in relationship dynamics.
Finances can also be a challenge as not every couple may have the means to access private premarital counseling. Some community centers or hospitals may offer low-cost counseling services. Doctors or other health care professionals may also be able to provide information about low-cost counseling resources. Premarital counseling also requires a time commitment, and busy couples may find it difficult to make the time for counseling. Some therapists may offer flexible scheduling. Online therapy can be very convenient for couples with busy schedules who don’t have the time to make it to an office. It also is typically more affordable than in person therapy.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A PREMARITAL COUNSELING SESSION
During premarital counseling, partners will have the chance to describe their ideal marriage and any steps they have taken toward that goal or any challenges they see barring its achievement. In joint sessions, partners can discuss these issues together and, with the help of the therapist, explore ways to cope with these and any other challenges that may develop over the course of the marriage.
The format and style of may differ by therapist. Some therapists may choose to see each partner individually for a session or two, while others may work with the couple as a unit throughout the length of therapy. These individual sessions offer the therapist the chance to work with each partner to identify and address any concerns, strengths, and weaknesses in the relationship. Doing so individually in the beginning may help each partner be able to speak more realistically and openly about their goals for their partnership. The act of participating in premarital counseling can be a positive beginning to a marriage because of the commitment each partner has to improving and strengthening a relationship.