Frequently Asked Questions about Pre-Marital Counseling
Many of your questions about pre-marital counseling may be answered by reviewing the FAQ for Marriage Counseling located on that page of the website. However, there are some specific questions that are directly related to pre-marital counseling.
What happens in Pre-Marital Counseling?
In pre-marital counseling, both partners are given the chance to share what they see as the strengths and challenges that their unique relationship presents. In addition, through a discussion of the Transformational Marriage™ concepts such as hope, forgiveness, selflessness, and praise, couples learn skills that will help them in their marriage. Skills such as disengaging from destructive conflict cycles, understanding different communication styles, and identifying when family of origin issues are affecting the marriage are all addressed.
Pre-marital counseling includes aspects of cognitive psychology, family systems theory, and spirituality. Both partners are asked to respectfully listen to each other and attempt to understand what concerns their partner has. Pre-marital counseling focuses on building strong relationship skills and has a very positive, future focus. Although the principles of Transformational Marriage™ are completely consistent with principles of Biblically-based Christian theology, they are also applicable to people with a variety of spiritual belief systems.
How often will we meet and how long can I expect pre-marital counseling to last?
We will schedule an initial intake session so that we can get to know each other and determine if we both feel that I am the right person for you to work with. If so, we would then schedule at least 6 (six) additional sessions of pre-marital counseling.
The length of treatment will depend on you, your fiancé, and the issues you are dealing with in your relationship. Some couples are only interested in 6-12 weeks of pre-marital counseling to identify and understand potential challenges they may face in their marriage.
However, many couples prefer to continue their counseling through at least some of the first year of their marriage, as that is when the real challenges develop as your relationship matures. I highly recommend that couples continue their pre-marital work during the first year of marriage to continue the work they have begun.