PRE-MARITAL THERAPY: WORKING ON THE RELATIONSHIP BEFORE THE WEDDING TO INVEST IN A LONGER MARRIAGEBy: Jordan Killebrew
How a couple handles stress and commitment can be strong factor on how they handle their marriage. Newly engaged couples enter a world where the stress of planning may take over. Finding a third person to help guide a couple through their feelings and cover issues concerning marriage can help relieve some of the stress. Many couples find that they may already know everything there is to know about their partner, but after pre-marital counseling find themselves saying, “I never would have thought about a situation that way.” Not only will counseling allow the partnership to explore things they did not expect but prepares them to have answers for situations and a plan of action to main a healthy, happy, marriage.
Pre-Marital counseling is a great way to address concerns and fears both on issues that come before the wedding or issues that will come after a wedding. A lot of couples get caught up in the romantic bliss and forget to look at the bigger picture. “I vow to be financial responsible with our money.” This is not the typical vow you hear being exchanged between partners, but why not? Money is a leading cause of marital strain and conflict. Not covering how you plan to handle money in your marriage could lead you to spending a lot of money down the line to either save your marriage or the worst case scenario, divorce. Deciding on holidays and what family you will be with is an early problem you might have already stumbled on while dating; Are you lucky enough to have an easy solution or is this something that is difficult to deal with on an annual basis? These and many more topics can and should be discussed in pre-marital counseling. There are tools that can be used like PREPARE and ENRICH assessments that can help guide and keep the topics structured and organized while processing and exploring each other’s feelings.
Therapy in any sense is a risk; it is something that Marriage and Family Therapists are ethically obligated to inform the client. There is no guarantee that people come to counseling and magically no longer have problems or concerns. Therapy is a place for clients to learn how to express themselves, learn skills to help manage problems, and make changes if they so chose. Pre-marital counseling is not intended to decide on whether or not a couple should get married but can be a place where couples realize it is not right for them at the time or to confirm their decision and leave them feeling stronger to maintain a lifelong marital commitment.
As a Solution Focused therapist I believe all couples and individuals have the ability to work with their strengths to improve their relationship and reach their goals. I work from a Solution Focused methodology with aspects of Cognitive Behavioral and Experiential Humanistic and can tailor my methodologies to fit the couple’s needs. Working on the relationship before the wedding is an investment for a longer marriage. I am happy to work with a couple and plan and prepare for a lifelong marital commitment. While addressing the stresses of the upcoming nuptials, helping the couple learn skills to communicate better, fight fairly, compromise, and help pin point issues they may disagree on or strengths that can help them build a road map to a successful marriage.
Some couples may prefer group counselingwith other couples to feel understood by peers and exchange feedback and support. Group therapy is dependent on availability. My website is an excellent place for updates regarding individual, couples, and group counseling and other information about my services overall. Look for tips to have a healthy relationship and reach your ultimate potential atwww.TherapistSB.com on my blog.