Premarital Counseling is a specialized type of therapy to allow couples an opportunity to identify and address any potential areas of conflict before entering into a long-term commitment such as marriage. By addressing any significant differences, couples can identify areas likely to cause conflict later on, while building a strong foundation in which to thrive.
It is also the first step in showing each other that they believe in marriage and are willing to do the work to sustain a healthy relationship.
Licensed marriage and family therapists provide a safe and neutral environment for couples to remain focused, and express any expectations they have for the relationship. They teach effective communication strategies that prove to be helpful in resolving any difficulties that could arise throughout a lifetime together.
During the initial session, a therapist may ask each partner to participate in individual counseling in order to provide an opportunity to speak freely and realistically when it comes to addressing any strengths and weaknesses they believe exist in their relationship.
Premarital Counseling facilitates discussions that encompass the most common reasons married couples choose to divorce, such as a couple’s expectations as far as financing, child-rearing methods, intimacy, career goals, or family dynamics. Because each partner is encouraged to share their fears, values, beliefs, needs, and desires, this form of therapy also provides an ideal environment for couples to learn new things about each other. Take note that being truthful about relationship doubts, expectations, or goals for the future may lead to short-term conflict between partners, but it is best to resolve them before the nuptials rather than after.
Once this occurs, the couple can come together to discuss issues and explore ways to cope with these and any other challenges that may develop over the course of a marriage. Therapists will also encourage the couple to develop habits such as showing empathy, fighting respectfully, effectively asking for what they need or want, and keeping the spark in the relationship.