Marriage is a major commitment between two people. Before finalizing this commitment, couples are encouraged to attend premarital counseling. Any term that has the word “counseling” in it, often times scare couples. Counseling makes you wonder if there are any disagreements that each other is unaware of. In fact, premarital counseling is a type of therapy that prepares a couple for marriage. It is an opportunity for the couple to assure one another that they have a strong, healthy relationship. There are three ways to go about marital counseling including through the church, through the state, and through a psychologist.
Through the Church
The first way to get premarital counseling is by finding an officiant through the church of your preference. If you are getting married in the church, it is required to go this route. In addition, it saves you time looking for a counseling place. Many churches and synagogues provide faith-based marriage classes for soon to be married couples. They work with couples on the different elements of a marriage including finances, morals, etc. It is very important for the couple to be on the same page about all aspects of life. It is also the opportunity to correct anything that needs work. According to the Counseling Today article, Rogers’s states, “Knowing the couple makes it easier because I know the social sphere that a couple is a part of.” Priests are generally familiar with their parishioners and take the time to get to know them. They know the types of families that the individuals come from, which make it easier for him or her to relate. Couples may feel more comfortable opening up to someone they already know rather than someone that does not know anything about them.
Through the State of Florida
A second way to get premarital counseling is by taking courses through a state operated program. A program called the Florida Premarital Course is a premarital course operated by the state of Florida. It educates couples how to increase their chances of creating a fulfilling marriage, learn more about each other, ways to improve communication, how to work through conflicts, how to create your own blueprint as a guide for your marriage, and how to increase understanding of your partner’s perspective on important issues. They provide you with activities and information relative for you and/or your partner. For those couples whose partners live in another state or country, one can attend the courses to get the information and later Facetime with them to review the information. Dawn Lipthrott, LCSW is a licensed counselor who specializes specifically in marriage and adult relationship counseling and premarital education. If you sign up for this program, Dawn will work with you on the necessary steps for a long. Healthy marriage.
Through a Psychologist
Lastly, you can seek marital counseling through a psychologist. Psychologists are licensed therapists also referred to as marriage and family therapists. They have graduate and postgraduate degrees. Many people prefer seeking the guidance of a professional because they have the proper education and knowledge about couples counseling. Some choose to receive their credentials by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). You can find these professionals by asking married couples, your health insurer, clergy, or state/local mental health agencies for a good referral. If you know of any friends that use a psychologist, ask them for a good referral. You can also do online research of professionals in your local area. Ensure that you make it clear what type of counseling you are looking for. Keep in mind that premarital counseling is when you and your partner sit down together and discuss everything you need to know about one another before finalizing your commitment including finances, morals, roles of marriage, etc.
- Premarital counseling: Clergy or clinician? (2014, March 24). Retrieved July 13, 2017, from https://ct.counseling.org/2013/09/premarital-counseling-clergy-or-clinician/
- Hillin, T. (2014, February 22). Everything You Need To Know About Premarital Counseling. Retrieved July 13, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/22/pre-marital-counseling_n_4784568.html
- The Benefits of Premarital Counseling & How to Find a Therapist. (2015, February 10). Retrieved July 13, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/20/the-benefits-of-premarital-counseling-how-to-find-a-therapist/
- Premarital counseling. (2014, November 25). Retrieved July 13, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/premarital-counseling/basics/definition/prc-20013242
Florida Premarital Course. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://www.floridapremaritalcourse.com/index.html