Premarital counseling is a specialized form of therapy for couples that are engaged or considering marriage.
Through discussion between a couple and their therapist, premarital counseling identifies any areas of conflict and helps resolve them before they become bigger problems in the future.
Guided by the therapist in a safe environment, couples can have frank and honest conversations and express their concerns & insecurities.
Ultimately, people become more cognizant of how their past shapes their present in a relationship.
Premarital Counseling – What’s on The Table?
As is true for all forms of therapy, couples are encouraged to bring up everything that comes up for them in the context of their future marriage.
Areas that are focused on include:
- Financial values
- Religious/spiritual beliefs
- Cultural values
- Sex and intimacy
- Having children
- Communication and emotions
- Family dynamics
- Work-life balance and career aspirations
The goal of premarital counseling is not just to work through issues in the present, but also equip the couple with the tools to handle them in the future.
Finding the Right Premarital Counselor
As therapists vary greatly in their approach and methodologies, finding the right premarital counselor can be somewhat difficult.
However, here are a few tips to determine if you and your significant other have found the right person for the job:
The therapist you choose should have at least a Master’s degree, ideally in Marriage and Family Therapy. This indicates that their education and training have prepared them specifically for this field.
2. Additional Qualifications
Therapists often supplement their degree with further training or education relevant to their chosen field of therapy.
If your chosen therapist holds certifications or diplomas in addition to their degree, this shows their commitment to learning and improving their skills.
Ensure that you’re working with a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), as their license is proof that their knowledge and expertise has been assessed & verified.
A free consultation isn’t offered by every therapist.
However, it’s the best way for you to determine if a therapist is right for you and your partner. A normal therapy session lasts for 50 minutes, so expect the consultation to be around 20 minutes long.
Summing it Up
Regardless of whether you’ve proposed and your sweetheart has accepted, or if you’re bypassing a formal engagement and just getting married instead, you can benefit from premarital counseling.
If you plan to elope, rest assured that confidentiality and nonjudgment are the most important things for an LMFT. Truth be told, they can prepare you for the future far better than an Elvis impersonator in a Las Vegas chapel.
At Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling, Azizeh E. Rezaiyan, the leading marriage counseling therapist in Palo Alto with over 2 decades of experience, helps you build a better relationship and a stronger future.