The rings have been purchased, the big question has been asked, and wedding plans are well on their way. You may be asking yourself, “what steps can I take to help my marriage get off on the right foot”. Prior to their marriage, many couples wish to engage in premarital counseling as a way to better understand their future spouse, avoid common marital pitfalls, and learn how to communicate in ways that are effective. Premarital counseling is an important step in building a strong foundation for your future marriage, and is a place to develop skills that will last a lifetime.
Areas commonly addressed in premarital counseling include: marriage expectations, cohabitation issues, marital satisfaction ideals, personality issues/differences, communication, conflict resolution, financial management, leisure activities/interests, sexual expectations/preferences, children and parenting, family and friends, gender roles/expectations, spiritual beliefs, life transitions, and health issues.
Premarital Counseling FAQ
Traditional “Premarital counseling” is a structured form of counseling for couples that are soon-to-be married. Each session may be set with a specific topic to discuss such as communication skills, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, future parenting skills, etc. Sessions are usually brief, between 3-5 sessions and is didactic/educational in nature. Couple will seek premarital counseling in efforts to prevent future distress rather than discuss current distress occurring in their relationship.
Couples looking for premarital counseling will present for their first session and outline the topics to be discussed in future sessions. The couple may be assigned reading or an assessment to better understand their personality and how they work together as a couple. This form of counseling does not unusually involve in depth processing of thoughts, feelings and emotions and is more educational in nature. If couples decide that they would like services more similar to couples counseling, they can redefine their treatment goals and their counselor can also include this in their work.
Couples that are dating may feel uncomfortable discussing certain topics prior to marriage. Premarital counseling seeks to help couples have the safety, structure, and information to best navigate topics like communication skills, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, future parenting skills, etc.
Having discussed these topics prior to marriage, the couple is seeking at prevent future distress. The research indicates that couple that are better able to understand their emotions, attachment needs and communication style when distressed are better able to heal injuries to their relationship and utilize effective repair techniques. As such, they are better able to address distress early and more effectively, leading to less long-term distress more associated with divorce.
The topics discussed in premarital counseling can be helpful to a couple in any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). Yet, most couples seeking premarital counseling are usually engaged. This is because some religious organizations require premarital counseling prior to marrying the couple. With a release of information/couples consent, our psychologist and counselors can document that the couple has attended pre-marital counseling.
No, conflict resolution can be included in premarital counseling, but it is usually didactic/educational in nature. Processing of conflict and resolution of hurt in the relationship is more commonly the focus of couples counseling rather than premarital counseling.
The most common presenting complaints for premarital counseling are the following:
- Inability to resolve conflict
- Intimacy difficulties/disconnection
- Feelings of detachment
- Deep sense of hurt from a specific event
- Deep sense of hurt from numerous nonspecific events
- Infidelity or boundary crossing
- Phase of Life distress
- Repetitive arguments about parenting, finances, in-laws, work/life balance, etc
Our office is out-of-network, so we do not accept insurance directly. However, if your insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits, we can provide you with a receipt so that you can bill your insurance directly.
Depending on the individual insurance plan, many will be reimbursed for a percentage of their payment. To determine if you have out-of-network mental health coverage, contact your insurance and ask about whether your plan includes out-of-network mental health coverage. Feel free to contact our office with any questions.
Biltmore Psychology and Counseling clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and counselors are known for being the best in their field. Counselors are held to the highest standards of excellence and bring the best of their education, experience, and professional knowledge to their practice.
Our professionals build strong relationships with each person based on a mutual trust and confidence, and value each person’s perspective of his or her own life. Counseling at BPC is a dynamic, active process. Counselors work with each person to understand, engage and overcome even seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and facilitate each person’s process of transformation and hope.
Meet our Team
Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), relationship / marriage counseling, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD / Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling, Immigration Evaluation Services
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Arizona State University
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), relationship / marriage counseling, individual therapy, PTSD / trauma, faith-based counseling, grief and loss, parenting/coparenting issues, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, work/life stressors
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy, Arizona State University
B.S. Family and Human Development, Arizona State University
Practice Areas: Relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, grief and loss, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, life changes, work/life stressors
M.S. Counseling and Human Services, University of Toledo
B.S. Psychology, Bowling Green State University
Practice Areas: relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, parenting, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, career decisions, caring for aging relatives, life changes, work/life stressors
Our Location in Phoenix, AZ
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Our premarital counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in Phoenix, AZ.
A 10-min consultation can help you determine whether our services would be the right fit for you. Call us today for a free phone consultation.