Do you require and do we need pre-marital counseling?
Answer: Great question! I highly recommend that all engaged couples participate in pre-marital counseling. I don’t, however, with some exceptions, require it.
Here’s one reason why I recommend pre-marital counseling: You can never know enough about you and the person you are marrying!
There are two parts to that thought. Let me explain…
First, you need to know as much about yourself as you possibly can. You may think you already know all there is to know about you, your personality, likes/dislikes, preferences, and idiosyncrasies. After all, you have lived with yourself for quite some time! But if you’re typical, you and I most often ignore, overlook, deny, or otherwise forget those parts of ourselves that might become problematic or fail to realize the true strengths we have. I continue to discover things about myself everyday not only in my interactions with others but also through deliberate self examination. Knowing who you are is a life-long process! And, yes, it does require conscious effort and work.
Second, the need for self-awareness is even more important in relationship with others, especially with the person you are going to marry. Therefore, in addition to your own personal self-awareness, you’ll benefit from knowing as much about your future spouse as possible. This pro-active process of discovery with a neutral third party guiding the conversation can only benefit your future married relationship. Of course, learning about one another is also a life-long, intentional process that can’t happen in one or two counseling sessions. However, you and your future spouse can benefit from a head start on knowing better who you are individually and as a couple through the pre-marital counseling process.
Both of these goals, self-awareness and awareness of your fiancé, are addressed through pre-marital counseling.
Here’s how my process works: First, I will ask that each of you independently take an online, confidential pre-marital questionnaire. This online survey takes you about 30-45 minutes to complete and costs $35/couple. The items you respond to are based on research and are intended to help you identify the unique strengths
and potential growth areas of your premarital or married relationship.
Once you have completed the pre-marital survey and I have received the results, I’ll schedule a two-hour session with you. (I charge $50/hr.) The first hour will focus on your personal results from the survey and exploring the relationship implications of those results. During our second hour, we will focus on effective marital communication–the foundation for any successful marriage.
You will receive a personalized report of your response to the pre-marital assessment as well as a thorough workbook.
Following that initial conference, you may elect to schedule follow up sessions on such topics as the following:
- Identify and manage major stressors
- Resolve conflict
- 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
If have questions or would like to sign up for pre-marital counseling with me, just let me know and I’ll get you registered to take the online assessment.