PRE-MARRIAGE TEST QUESTIONS by Dr Myles Munroe (Very Funny Must Watch)
How to Choose a Premarital Counselor
Before saying “I do,” many couples choose to go to counseling. Premarital counseling is a special kind of therapy that helps prepare you and your partner for marriage. This type of counseling will also help you and your soon-to-be spouse spot relationship patterns that may become problematic down the road. Not every therapist works for every couple, however. Find the right premarital counselor for you and your partner by seeking referrals, thinking about counseling dynamics, and testing them out for fit.
Ask the person who’s marrying you.If you are already planning your wedding, you might connect with a premarital counselor by checking with the person who’s marrying you. Although many premarital counselors are licensed marriage and family therapists, you might also receive counseling from a religious or spiritual leader who facilitates the marriage ceremony.
- Even if your priest, minister, or officiant does not conduct premarital counseling, it might be helpful to ask. They have probably worked with countless couples who’ve gone through counseling, so they may be able to suggest a therapist for you.
- You might say, "Do you offer premarital counseling services or know someone who does?"
Get recommendations from your social circle.Do you know anyone who’s recently gotten married? You might ask newlyweds for a referral to a premarital counselor in your area. You might also reach out to family, friends, and coworkers to see if you might locate a counselor who suits your needs.
Check with your insurance provider.Since most premarital counselors are licensed therapists, you can usually find some candidates by checking with your insurance company. This might be a better route anyway, since your insurer may reimburse you the cost of the counseling sessions.
- Call the phone number on the back of your insurance card or visit your insurer’s website to locate premarital counselors in your area.
- You might also reach out to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) at your job that can refer you to a counselor. There are also insurance plans that cover counseling, so check with your insurer about mental and behavioral health benefits, and ask for a list of covered counselors.
Think about finances.If money is an issue (which it often is for couples planning a wedding), you might reach out to community resources that offer financial assistance or low-cost services to couples. Such services are often available at local churches, mental health clinics, and teaching hospitals.
- You might also research therapists through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to find professionals who meet your budget constraints.
Choosing the Right Dynamic
Think about your goals.There are a number of reasons why couples may choose to go to premarital counseling. You and your partner should clarify your specific, unified goals so that you can find a therapist who is most capable of meeting your needs as a couple.
- For example, some couples may require premarital counseling as a criteria before marrying within a specific religion or at a certain religious location.
- Others may desire better communication skills or conflict resolution techniques. Still others may simply want to strengthen their relationship on all counts to reduce their chances of divorce.
- For premarital counseling to be beneficial, both partners should be interested in and committed to going.
Choose a counselor based on your religion.Are you getting counseling because of your unique religious or spiritual beliefs? If so, you may reach out to your religious or spiritual organization to see if they can connect you with an experienced premarital counselor.
- Similarly, you may also interview potential counselors to determine their religious or spiritual beliefs. This may help you find a therapist who aligns with your values and can help you work on your marriage with those factors in mind.
- Furthermore, if you and your partner have different beliefs, you might locate a counselor who has experience working with interfaith couples.
Decide between individual or group counseling.The two most common formats for premarital counseling are individual and group. Individual therapy involves just you, your partner, and the therapist. This is a very unique and personalized format. Group therapy may include you and your partner along with a few other couples.
- Group therapy enables you to learn vicariously through the problems of other couples. Plus, you can find support from others who are preparing for marriage.
Assessing the Fit
Review each counselor’s background and experience.The purpose of premarital counseling is to increase your odds of having a healthy and satisfying marriage. Therefore, you’ll want to better your odds by working with a counselor who has experience. Ask each counselor how many couples they’ve worked with and also narrow your list down by reading reviews of each counselor online.
- While anyone with a background in relationship dynamics may be able to help you, you will get the most help from a professional who has been trained as a marriage and family therapist or who has a certification in premarital counseling.
Do a trial session.Once you’ve narrowed down a few candidates (maybe one or two), arrange to have an initial session with them. Come prepared with a list of questions, such as the therapist’s theoretical orientation, their belief system, and their approach to working with couples.
- Questions to ask might include:
- "What's your experience with premarital counseling?"
- "What's your approach?"
- "Will we have homework?"
- "What will determine when we are finished with counseling?"
- Questions to ask might include:
Find out which program or framework the counselor uses.During your trial session, ask your counselor which marriage education and training program influences their work. Most premarital counseling services will be based on the principles of research-based marriage education programs like the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP).
- Once you learn which program your counselor is using, research it to make sure it aligns with your values and goals.
- Many programs also use books or videos to supplement exercises. Ask your counselor if you need to go out and purchase any of these materials or if they will be provided.
Make sure they can help you achieve your goals.One of the most important aspects of premarital counseling sessions is helping a couple prepare for marriage. However, that's a very broad objective, so you'll want to size your therapist up to ensure they can cover what's most important to you.
- For instance, you might ask, "Will we cover money management in our sessions? That's an issue for us." or "Do you have any experience working with blended families? We both have kids from previous relationships."
Make sure you both feel comfortable.After you’ve scheduled one session, sit down with your partner and discuss your comfort level with the professional. It’s very important that you both feel safe and capable of sharing sensitive or intimate information with this person. Only move forward with the sessions if you both feel comfortable with this person.
- Feeling like therapy is a safe place is quite significant. Many couples may see a therapist for premarital counseling and then continue to see them throughout the life of the marriage as new issues arise.
- Ideally, you should feel as comfortable with this professional as you do with your family physician.
- If you can’t find a counselor that you’re comfortable with or you realize that private therapy isn’t for you, consider attending premarital groups or taking premarital classes as an alternative.
Be prepared to work.Premarital counseling isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. For most couples, these sessions will bring up difficult issues that must be resolved for the benefit of the marriage. Both partners should begin therapy with the understanding that it will be challenging and uncomfortable at times. Both must be willing to work during and after the sessions to enjoy lasting results.
Video: 5 CONVERSATIONS TO HAVE BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED - Q's from my premarital counseling.
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