Premarital Counseling



Premarital Counseling is a therapy form that helps prepare partners for marriage by ensuring that the relationship is sound and rewarding. Therapy gives two people an opportunity to express their issues, needs and desires so that the counselor can help the partners create a stable marriage. This is efficient in helping the couple acknowledge weaknesses that could result in a bigger issue during the marriage. Although it is conducted by a licensed counselor there are also religious leaders who require premarital counseling before the institution takes place. This is implemented to eliminate any issues that will arise during the marriage and create a mutual understanding that helps each other with personal goals and long-term desires.

Goals of Premarital Counseling

The goal of counseling is to create realistic standards and improve communication between two people to resolve current or probable issues. It helps to develop a positive mindset in relationships so that if problems do persist, there is a way to go about resolving them without resulting to separation. It is the focus of the counselor to recognize the partner's values and history - then see how they fit into the relationship. When two people are open and honest about their marriage expectations they will soon possess a deeper understanding of each other which promotes longevity and communication. Encouraging this at an early stage can reduce the risk of divorce significantly.

The primary job of the sessions is to guide the couple through a relationship and use problem solving to resolve differences. The two will learn skills that contribute toward mutual collaboration instead of one-sidedness. By teaching them how to use tools and maintain an emotional tone the couple will come to appreciate one another and become more affectionate. Premarital counseling focuses on looking into the partner's childhood, habits and current behavior to determine emotional states and figure out how they can be eliminated for smooth relationship operations.

When is Premarital Counseling Used?

Premarital counseling may be used when a couple is dealing with communication issues and value indifferences. It assists them in organizing finances before a marriage institution and illustrates how to be open-minded when both partners are making critical decisions. By acknowledging the roles of the marriage the therapist can help organize equality toward both partners. Premarital counseling promotes respect, success in parenting, acceptance of family ordeals, sexual health and integrity toward each other's needs.

How Premarital Counseling Works

Sessions vary although there are often between 5-7 meetings with each couple. Both partners are asked to take a premarital assessment questionnaire which motivates them to recognize the feelings associated with the other partner. By taking the test they will soon acknowledge strengths and weaknesses. By creating awareness and encouraging problem-solving the two can address issues when they arise instead of neglecting dysfunction in the relationship. With a neutral therapist both parties are supported in discussing parts of the relationship they are worried about or currently unsatisfied with.

It is likely that the counselor uses a Resource Map to identify support and resources. The couple will create a map with each other to help understand and manage differences. The counselor elaborates on mutual integrity and respect. Throughout the sessions both partners will have a safe environment in which they can express their views to a therapist who will use identification and problem solving to resolve issues. It's common that the root of a conflict is due to underdeveloped communication. There are many problems that also stem from fear, trauma, distrust and infidelity concerns. All of these areas are acknowledged and cleared up before a marriage.

The counselor creates an awareness of bad habits in relationships that tend to thrive and worsen with a lack of understanding toward each other. When the two can communicate and be vulnerable they'll soon be able to address issues without the use defense mechanisms or selfish tendencies. By learning about relationship tools and trust the couple will grow and feel confident in their decision to finalize the marriage. The therapist will show them how to take baby steps and change patterns if they are affecting the exchange. There may also be trusting tools learned that can be applied toward fear and infidelity issues.

Criticism of Premarital Counseling

Experts critique Premarital Counseling and feel that it can be a form of relationship manipulation. They argue that if two individuals are not right for each other, new values and desires may not be effective in maintaining happiness for one or both parties. Some point out that counseling doesn't acknowledge separation in an unhealthy relationship.


Premarital counseling. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Premarital counseling for a strong relationship foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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