What is Pre-marital Counseling?
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
In this post you will learn what premarital counseling is and its benefits for engaged couples. If you’re thinking about getting engaged and don’t need pre-marital counseling yet, click here to learn about pre-engagement counseling. I am a Prepare / Enrich (P/E) trained facilitator and will be speaking in regards to that program.
What do Pre-marital Counseling sessions look like?
After setting up the first session, you and your partner will be sent a link to individually take an assessment. This isn’t a compatibility test but rather a snapshot of where your relationship is at that moment. The assessment guides the conversations during pre-marital counseling sessions by identifying strengths, weaknesses, and potential problem areas.
The P/E program is designed to meet for a minimum of 6 sessions. In the first session, couples set goals for what they hope to get out of pre-marital counseling. This way couples build a solid foundation for their relationship without the overwhelming, indefinite commitment that can come with traditional couples therapy. If couples find things they want to continue working on, they are welcome to continue after the original 6 sessions.
Couples also get a friggin-sweet certificate of completion when they finish all the P/E program.
What do couples get from the Prepare/Enrich program?
The results of an assessment provide insights to your relationship. Research shows taking the P/E assessment improves the quality and brings increased awareness across multiple aspects of the relationship.
Assesses Your Relationship
Various areas assessed in P/E include:
family of origin
With over 30 customized categories, P/E ensures your experience with your results will feel accurate and relevant to your relationship.
Reduces Your Risk for Divorce
Research indicates participating in the P/E course, prior to marriage, reduces the risk of divorce by 30%.
P/E celebrates your strengths as a couple and uses that momentum to grow the relationship. The assessment primes meaningful conversations as you mature as a couple.
Enhances Your Relationship Skills
P/E provides skill-building exercises to help strengthen your relationship. Developing skills such as assertive communication and active listening allows support and growth in all areas of your relationship.
What can couples NOT expect from Premarital Counseling?
A prediction of the future based on past history
A pass/fail compatibility test
A guarantee for a successful relationship
A measure indicating whether you should break up or get married
A replacement for professional relationship therapy
Is Premarital Counseling right for us?
I might be bias, but I feel it's right for any engaged couple. Premarital Counseling doesn't mean something is wrong with the relationship. Rather, it ensures couples have the important conversations before they say “I do!” Premarital Counseling focuses on skills, tools, and the strength of the couple. When going through P/E, couples are able to share their needs and get on the same page around marital expectations.
If you are interested in therapy, I am located in the KC metro for in person session or telehealth services.
“Premarital counseling.” July 24, 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/premarital-counseling/about/pac-20394892.
DeAngelis, T. "Premarital counseling: A vital, untapped niche" April 2017, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/04/premarital-counseling