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Should You Seek Pre-Marital Counseling as a Couple or Individually?

Pre-marital counseling is counseling that is meant for people engaged to be married to attend together as opposed to separately. It is important to bear in mind that pre-marital counseling (also sometimes referred to as pre-marriage counseling or pre-marital preparation) is not a form of therapy and does not involve confessions or discussions of the mistakes a person has made in his or her life but instead is a form of counseling education about what key elements are involved in making a marriage work and also what key elements can encourage the success and longevity of a marriage.

Some of the topics discussed in premarital preparation classes are:

  • the effective coping and communication skills
  • the proper way to manage finances
  • child rearing
  • how to become interdependent as a couple

If a person gets engaged and suffers from a serious problem that could impede a marriage wants to end destructive patterns then the person might wish to seek individual traditional counseling.

Some common problems that may interfere with marriage are:

  • memories of child abuse
  • memories of domestic abuse
  • addiction
  • fear of cheating
  • fear of falling out of love

After the problem has been addressed, the couple can seek premarital counseling. Studies show that premarital counseling decreases the chance that couples will divorce by as much as 30 percent.

If you plan to get married in a church then premarital counseling through the church is often a prerequisite. The church will schedule the premarital counseling sessions for the couple. Premarital counseling offered by a church is usually a free service.

Not all churches follow the same type of format for their premarital education. Many churches first put on group counseling sessions where all of the e couples planning to marry within a specified period of time participate in the classes together. Each premarital counseling class has a different topic and there is a period of time where the topic can be discovered among the tables of couples. There are usually simple exercises that must be completed by each couple at every session. Once each couple completes this portion of the premarital counseling they are presented with a certificate and then move onto the second phase of premarital counseling. The second phase of premarital counseling involves talking with a qualified counselor who is associated with the church to discuss openly and honestly a variety of issues.

Secular counseling

It is also possible to retain the services of a secular counselor to obtain premarital counseling. Secular counseling usually does not involve religion. Premarital counseling is only useful if it involves the participation of both the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be.

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