Q: We're getting married! What is premarital counseling and when should we start?
A: Congratulations!! Premarital counseling is the time for you to sit down with a counselor/mentor/therapist and discuss your expectations for marriage.
There are several formats that premarital counseling can come in:
Professional: Assessment-guided counseling led by a trained professional, specific to helping the couple uncover details about various areas of their relationship: i.e. PREPARE/ENRICH or SYMBIS
Mentorship: Often seen in Christian church settings, a couple who has been married for a while sits with the newly-engaged couple to share an experience-driven guidance of what to consider in marriage. Can be integrated with spiritual principles.
Groups/Workshops: You’re sitting alongside other couples in the same stage as you, led by either a professional or a mentor couple
Choose any of these that work for you (or more than one!). You can begin premarital counseling at any time, but I would recommend doing so at least six months before your wedding. Time can be scarce during the wedding planning haze; by getting started early, you allot enough time to move through sessions (at our practice, we offer 6 sessions pre-wedding, and a free follow-up session one year after you've tied the knot!). You will also give yourselves a buffer to relax in the month or two before your wedding.
Not engaged yet? Can I introduce a new concept to you?
Pre-engagement counseling. Before anyone gets down on one knee. Read more about it in the blog.