What is the purpose of premarital counseling?

The purpose of premarital counseling is to prepare you, your partner, and your relationship for the commitment you are about to embark. It’s about reaching greater understanding of your relationship and gaining knowledge to sustain a fulfilling life-long marriage.

What do you learn in premarital counseling?

The first six sessions are dedicated to the SYMBIS assessment. The SYMBIS assessment results will go over each partner’s marriage mindset, individual well-being, relationship well-being, social support, finances, expectations, personality dynamics, how you view and define love, sex, resiliency, adaptability, reactions to stress, how your partner may perceive you under stress, communication, preferred styles of communication, top needs, conflict challenges, hot topics, and spirituality.  

The last two sessions are dedicated to the latest research on marriage and relationships. These days there is actual research that states what occurs in lasting and fulfilling marriages and relationships. There is no guess work needed. During these last two sessions you will learn what research shows fuels relationships to succeed and flourish and what causes relationships to deteriorate.

Do you suggest it for every couple? Or just those with concrete issues?

Every couple can benefit from premarital counseling.  Research shows attending pre-marital counseling or education lowers couples rate of divorce by 31% and increases marital satisfaction and fulfillment by 30%.

What if  we are already married?  Or are getting remarried? Or never want to get married?

The SYMBIS assessment is designed for couples that are about to be engaged, already engaged, or within the first few years of marriage. Couples may be previously married and blending a family or may be marrying for the first time. Couples that have been dating less that three years and have made the decision not to get married, but do have a long-term commitment are also in a prime place to benefit from premarital counseling. 

Do you suggest couples come to you with specific concerns?

Yes, please. If you come in with a list of concerns, we will certainly make time to address and tackle those concerns. 

On average, how many sessions do you suggest? What if I can’t commit to that many? What if we want more? What if we can’t make it there in person?

Eight sessions is standard. Six for the SYMBIS assessment and two for the marriage and relationship research. Every couple will move at their own pace, some may finish the SYMBIS assessment in four sessions, others may take eight, and others may decide they want more sessions.  Every situation is different, if you are in a time crunch, you can schedule multiple sessions a week or longer sessions. If you have more time, but money is an issue, you can spread the sessions out over time. If getting to the office is an issue, let me know and we can schedule skype or google hangout sessions. All in all, I am flexible. I care about this work and genuinely want you to get the counseling and knowledge needed to prepare you for this new chapter of your life.

Is the counseling religious based? 

No, but the SYMBIS does have a spirituality component. We will discuss spirituality as it relates to your relationship whether you are religious, spiritual, agnostic, or atheist. All beliefs will be respected.  

Are there downsides to premarital counseling?

Premarital counseling may bring up issues that are causing conflict or being avoided by a couple. Though this may be difficult in the moment, learning to resolve conflict is an essential skill needed for marriage.