What is Premarital Counseling? This involves the method of guidance and advice prepared for those who are intending to get married to each other soon, in other to understand each other and to improve the quality of their life. This service is based on persuasion and communication skills which improve the ability to take a decision after gaining the necessary information required without coercion since the couples are the one to take the decision. The aim of premarital counseling is to make the provision for the baseline assessment of the partners who are intending to get married to each other soon. It helps to raise their health level, identify and reduce any generic or emotional risk that may occur later in life.
Premarital counseling is very important as it will also help to prevent the occurrence of future conflict that may arise. Premarital counseling began in Iraq from a very long time and has been practiced in most specialized centers across the same country.
There are various types of premarital programs and I will be discussing some of them, based on the scope of this article. One fact you should take note of is the fact that premarital counseling is very important before you think of getting married as it helps you and your partner identify your lapses, differences, psychology, and needs. It also serves as a means for you to plan for your future together as a spouse. This is normally done by a therapist, who asks both of you some therapeutic questions in order for you to understand each other better.
- 1 What a Pre-Marital Counselor Must Know
- 2 Type of Premarital Counseling Programs
- 3 Benefits of Premarital Counseling
- 4 How to Achieve a Successful Premarital Counseling
What a Pre-Marital Counselor Must Know
- You must make sure the room is properly neat and arranged.
- Ensure that writing and graphic materials are available.
- Try and review the training plan before it begins.
- Review the steps and methods to carry out during the class.
- Ensure that all material needed to make the training or counseling successful are available.
Type of Premarital Counseling Programs
I have mentioned it earlier that there are different types of premarital counseling programs, and we are going to discuss them one after the other.
Religious Premarital Counseling
Religion bodies also engaged in premarital counseling based on their doctrine in order to help the would-be couples understand each other better and to also be aware of what their religion marriage demands, i.e. the right of the husband and the wife in the case of a Muslim marriage or in the case of a Christian marriage where the couples we be made to know that only one wife is involved and that they will be together for better and for worst.
Many religious bodies have their requirements for the premarital counseling, therefore, it is advisable that you should know those requirements before you go for it and the counselor must be an expert who has the full knowledge of what your religious marriage is all about. You will be taught how to live with your spouse and principles or strategies for self-discipline will be revealed for both of you to learn and apply in your married life.
This counseling program is also very effective because it is full of wisdom and moral principles to guide couples on how to live together in love and respect.
Premarital Counseling Programs Online
Unlike the olden days in which you will have to be one-on-one with the therapist, today, the internet as a technological discovery has made life easier in that perspective. It may be that you or your partner prefer the counseling to be private i.e. without a physical encounter with the therapist, you can both apply online. Mostly, you will spend half of your day receiving this type of therapy online. Depending on your schedule, you should prepare for it. The online program facilitates conversations between you and your partner and also provides for your information that will guide you on your expectation and conflict when you married and how to give a positive response. At the end of the course, you will be awarded a certificate.
One-on-One Physical Premarital Counseling
In this type of counseling, you and your partner will sit one on one with a professional counselor or a cleric that will give you the therapy needed to build a healthy relationship during your married life. the counselor may teach you strategies and principles you must hold on to in order to enjoy a healthy life in your marriage or will ask both of you several questions about your needs, expectations, differences, attitude and many other matters so that you will get to know each other better. It is very important to see a therapist that can handle this method properly as it is one of the most effective ways you can use to save your marriage.
Questions and Answers Therapy
These questions are highly intimidating but help to identify the partners’ level of respect, communication, self-awareness, expectations, and plans and so on. The questions will deal with the difference that exists between the couples and also strategies principle to revisit and address them. Couples will spend more time discussing one each and giving a solution at a time. Remember, marriage, is no joke at all, it must be taken highly seriously and sincerity must be involved in other to get a good result. Every single issue that needed to be re-addressed must be re-address and you must not leave a single one untouched.
This method involves general questions the partners are going to answer separately and the answers must be honest. It is possible some of the answers may not be sincere but that may be a hidden reason by the couples as it is not part of the guidelines in premarital counseling that you should conceal an answer to a question. At the end of the therapy test, you will get to know or understand if you are compatible with each other or not. These questions come in multiple versions.
Group Discussion Therapy
It is not highly recommended that couples should rely on forum discussion but it can give them some idea of how married life may look. However, we are different humans involved in a common goal but our approach, needs, expectations, plan, and strategies to deal with issues have to be different. What works for couple A may not work for couple B. this is the reason why group discussion should not be totally relied upon. This method, for sure, will involve few or many married couples who will share their ideas and experience. Through this act, you will learn some ideas on how to handle your marriage.
Prepare Inventor Program
It is known as 195 item inventories that are designed to deal with issues that have to do with marital, communication between spouses, expectations of the couples, sex relationship, conflict resolution, issues of financial management, and the parental responsibility. This session will involve lots of questions that will address the issues. Depending on the questions that are answered, a therapist will place the couples into four sorts, which include; traditional, conflicted, harmonious and vitalized. There will be serious discussion and scrutiny of the couples as it is so that the will therapy will take good effect and then yield a good result.
Through this method, the couple learns how to improve their relationship. They will get to know each other very well; their communication skills will be developed since they will always be in contact with the therapist who engages them in deep discussions with each other.
A group of family educators to be précised, professors, educators, and Institute of relationship developed this method of effectively engaging couples in series of sessions in order to help them find a solution to their future marriage. This is in contrast with the first method explained above i.e. Prepare as it focuses more on soliciting the spouse’s perceptions about the partner rather than himself alone. The one undergoing the therapy will get the feedback rather than only the professional. This tool over the years has been used as an instrument to predict both marital satisfaction and stability.
This is similar to prepare, however, it involves a religious approach rather than the normal therapy conducted by a counselor. The result is similar to that of prepare.
I have previously discussed this topic as a whole article, but the scope is very important for this article too, therefore, I have to re-discuss it in another dimension that will put more light on the benefit.
- It Helps Create Common Goals and Resolution: Through premarital counseling, couples will be able to come to a conclusion on a common goal and will also have the opportunity to identify future problems and how to solve them when they arise. You will find the opportunity to discuss your differences and how to handle them so that they don’t affect your marriage in a negative perspective.
- It helps you improve the communication skills: Since both of you will be engaged in conversations for several hours and days discussing what really matters to the relationship, your expectation, and personality, it will enhance your communication skill as it is one of the key factors for a successful marriage. You will find the opportunity to discover and also discuss potential problems. The counselor may suggest important principles you can apply to tackle future problems together.
- To identify future problems and handle them before they get out of hand: for instance, if you have present issues and they are not resolved, this can issue a threat to your marriage. You must learn how to save in case an emergency arises something terrible may not happen if there is no money to handle it. Some couples make mistakes of not discussing their problems during premarital counseling. If they have done so, it will have helped them in identifying how to make decisions that will reduce or stop the conflict in the marriage.
- Don’t Fear for Marriage: In as much as couples have undergone proper premarital counseling, it will reduce their anxiety in getting married since, by now they must have understood each other’s weaknesses, expectations, and plans. They must have acquired enough knowledge on how to deal with issues when they arise. Therefore, marriage will no longer be a treat or nightmare to them.
How to Achieve a Successful Premarital Counseling
Now, you have decided to go for professional premarital counseling in agreement with your partner. How will you ensure that it is successful? There are many ways you can do that of which some, I will discuss here.
- You must take note that premarital counseling may be a tough, challenging and fun experience. You are going to discuss things that ordinarily, will have preferred to leave and get married in that condition. It will have been the best if you discuss it with a therapist, who will find a solution or strategies to reduce conflicts in the future.
- You must be sincere in your entire opinions; otherwise, the counseling will not be successful. You don’t need to be blind by love and decide to feign that you are compatible with your potential partner. Be outspoken and truthful. Even though you have some problems, your partner can decide to still move on with you. This is less dangerous than for him to discover that you have a certain problem while the marriage is on. It may lead to violence, divorce or sometimes murder.
- Premarital counseling is not for kids but for two mature minds and a professional counselor or cleric, therefore, you must understand that it means serious business. Forget about the “I am the winner and you are loser game”, it will not help your counseling at all.
- Your counselor will definitely schedule his time. What you must not do is to disrespect that time. If you both want the counseling to be successful, you must have resolved maturely than the scheduled time must be respected.
- Keep your feedback to yourself, the counselor and your partner. Don’t even discuss it with your closest friend. This may break the strength of trust that exists between you.
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