Often premarital counseling is overlooked or overshadowed by wedding plans.
And while the wedding planning is very exciting, it is crucial to make sure you and your partner are on the same page with your core beliefs – and have ways of navigating the inevitable differences.
You certainly will not agree on everything – in fact your differences are a lot of what brought you together. But knowing how to discuss the tender issues in ways that bring you closer is what makes the difference between a so-so marriage and a great marriage.
Premarital Counseling and Newlywed Counseling Can Help With:
- Resolving old hurts, misunderstandings, and betrayals
- Preparing for the inevitable stressors (inlaws, finances, work-life balance)
Questions about Premarital Counseling.
We only have a few weeks before the wedding – should we begin premarital counseling?
Yes! You can begin premarital counseling and then continue as a married couple. The purpose is to help you understand common marital struggles and have the tools to manage them and become closer.
How long does premarital counseling take?
Couples usually meet with their therapist for 6 to 8 sessions although some meet for additional sessions to ensure a stronger connection and improve their relationship skills. After all, it is easy to talk about happy things but when things get difficult, you want the skills to be able to get through those times easily. It is better to learn the skills while things are still happy. Difficult times hit all families and knowing what to do when they hit is wonderful and powerful
Does premarital counseling work?
Studies have shown that a few weeks of premarital counseling can reduce the divorce rate by 30%. This seems like a great investment! Of course, as with all therapy, there are no guarantees. If you have a solid relationship, why not set yourself up for more happiness and to “beat the odds?”
At OC Relationship Center, we offer two types of Premarital Counseling – traditional couples counseling with relationship skills building as well as The FOCCUS© Inventory Premarital Counseling. FOCCUS© is a 5-step process designed to help engaged couples appreciate their unique relationship, learn more about themselves, and discuss topics important to their lifelong marriage. Each partner fills out a FOCCUS© Inventory (questionnaire) which results in a FOCCUS© Couple Report. This report shows patterns of strengths and areas that need the couples’ attention. A trained FOCCUS Facilitator counselor guides the couples’ discussion based on their FOCCUS© Couple Report.
How does newlywed counseling work?
If you are recently married, you might have noticed that misunderstandings and miscommunications are more frequent than you expected. Let our trained counselors help you resolve any old issues and help you with the skills to manage conflict and be on the same page about your life together. We want to help you build a happy partnership.
Do we need to have problems to attend premarital counseling?
Gosh no! Premarital counseling is designed to help you identify your strengths as a couple and to identify future (possible) areas of difference. And as noted, to help you with the relationship skills to navigate difficult times. Think of it as skills-building for the future.
What if premarital counseling brings up issues that might break us up?
This is a widespread concern. However, for most couples, premarital counseling brings couples closer rather than farther apart. And it is normal to be a bit nervous because of the depth of commitment you are making – and the usual jitters that come up with it. In a few cases, premarital counseling can reveal larger issues that need to be addressed before both parties feel comfortable moving forward. While this is certainly not the norm, it can happen and processing them with a therapist can help bring clarity and resolution.
What do you charge for premarital counseling or newlywed counseling?
Our team of highly trained, seasoned marriage and family therapists has been carefully chosen to help you. And we will be direct here – if you want low-cost counseling, we are not your option. Our rates are between $160 and $215 for each 45-minute session depending on the therapist as they set their own fees. We are out of network providers for many insurance companies and are happy to check your benefits.
For those on a bit of a budget, we have an associate marriage and family therapist, Jordan who charges $145 per 45-min session. While she is gaining her experience hours toward full licensure, she is supervised by a senior therapist, Marni Reinhardt. You get the best of both worlds! Jordan’s enthusiasm and passion and Marni’s experience and wisdom.
How do we choose an excellent premarital therapist?
Most therapists have been trained and are experienced with individual therapy. But sadly, many psychotherapists who perform Couples’ Therapy have not been trained to do so. We have found through experience and research that the most effective couples’ therapy combines skill-building with feedback and insight on communication patterns and processes and often include regular homework assignments. You do not need a couple’s therapist to listen to the fight of the week and act as a referee. These type of sessions do not teach you how to be better partners and are not likely to produce any long-lasting changes in relationship patterns.
So when you’re choosing a couples’ therapist, be sure to ask them how active and directive they are in their sessions. Finally, you should also ask your therapist how many couples’ or marriage counseling sessions they do every week. If it’s less than 5-10, they are doing couples’ therapy as a minor sidelight, not as the main thrust of their practice and they may not be as experienced in working with this modality.
Rest assured, the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center in Newport Beach, CA have advanced training in working with couples. Each counselor has a full caseload of at least 50 to 75% couples. You will be in good hands with us.