Premarital Counseling

Most Couples Could Benefit From Premarital Guidance And Deepen Their Foundation of Trust, Empathy and Passion.

Premarital counseling isa special form of couples therapy that helps you strengthen your relationship and identify any blind spots or challenge areas before making a lifelong commitment. It’s different than couples therapy as it is short-term and focused on helping both of you to identify and resolve issues that could be below the surface. It helps you and your partner get to know each other on a deeper level.

In premarital counseling you focus on the topics that matter most to you. By exploring individual and shared desire for the future, couples can gain confidence and excitement about themselves, their mate and their future. If a problem already exists, I’ll help you communicate productively and find creative solutions.

Despite how weighty premarital counseling might feel or sound, it’s often fun and one of the most joyful experiences a couple can have together on the road to marriage.

Compatibility Assessment

The primary tool I use to assess marriage compatibility is PREPARE/ENRICH, which begins with an assessment completed by each individual that identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. Over 2.5 million couples have taken the PREPARE/ENRICH since it began in 1980. It explores areas such as communication, conflict resolution, roles, sexuality, finances, spiritual beliefs and other couple, family and personality factors.

Marriage Skills

There are several goals of the PREPARE/ENRICH Program. In order to achieve these goals there are exercises designed to help couples improve their relationship skills. The program helps couples:
  • Explore strength and growth areas.
  • Strengthen communication skills.
  • Identify and manage major stressors.
  • Resolve conflict using the
  • Ten Step Model
  • Develop a more balanced relationship.
  • Explore family of origin issues.
  • Discuss financial planning and budgeting.
  • Establish personal, couple and family goals.
  • Understand and appreciate personality differences.

Examination of Risk Factors

In premarital counseling is it often helpful to identity and explore risk factors. Every couple has, or will have their challenges. That is normal. An awareness of where you might be at risk for these challenges down the road can be instrumental in meeting those challenges, or seeking help early. Possible risk factors include:
  • Different or unrealistic expectations of marriage.
  • Poor communication and problem solving skills.
  • Financial problems.
  • Dual career demands.
  • Peer group is either unmarried or unhappily married.
  • Differences in the level of commitment.
  • Sexual problems.
  • Cultural or religious and spiritual differences.
  • Child discipline problems or disagreements.
  • New baby in the home.
  • Isolation or geographic separation from friends and family.
  • Young age at the time of marriage.
  • Short engagement or no premarital counseling.
  • Chronic unresolved life stressors.