Did you know premarital counseling can reduce your chance of divorce by 30%? If you're looking into premarital counseling options now, congratulations! You've already taken the first step in building a love that lasts.
But where does one begin when it comes to finding quality relationship coaching in a big city like New York? Based on my experience as a therapist providing premarital counseling for hundreds of couples in the city and guiding over 12 churches in creating premarital counseling programs, here are some of my best tips:
1. DECIDE ON THE BEST STYLE FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIPWould you benefit from a group environment or more personalized attention? Select a premarital counselor who offers the style that works best for you. It’s even better if your counselor offers both private and group meetings so you can take advantage of both options if needed.
2. CHOOSE A COUNSELOR WITH PROFESSIONAL TRAININGWhile older married couples, pastors and family members are great at providing support and advice, there is no substitute for clinical training. Make sure you’re meeting with a counselor trained in psychology who can meet your needs objectively. Marriage and family therapists specialize in working with couple dynamics and are often the best options.
3. LOOK FOR A COUNSELOR WITH EXPERIENCEWhen it comes to counseling, years don’t matter as much as sessions or clients. Meet with a counselor who has provided therapy for at least twenty couples or led a minimum of 100 sessions. You’ll benefit from their expertise.
4. PICK SOMEONE WHO OFFERS AN ONLINE ASSESSMENTResearch shows that the best premarital education includes both skills training and a relationship assessment so you know exactly how to apply what you learn. Make sure your premarital facilitator can register you for a Prepare Enrich or SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) assessment. *BONUS: If you want your personalized relationship assessment online now from Prepare Enrich, click here to register. Use promo code "marriageprep" to get 10% off. Only one registration is needed per couple.
5. ASK ABOUT THE COUNSELOR’S PROCESSLearn about how your counselor approaches preparing you for marriage. You’ll want to know how long sessions last, what’s expected of you while you’re there and what kind of ongoing support they may provide.
6. ASK ABOUT THE COUNSELOR’S FEEBe sure you’re clear on how much the counselor charges either for each session or for a package. Remember that an experienced counselor will likely charge more, but it’s a better investment in the long-run. You’ll have fewer sessions with an expert who can quickly assess your patterns.
7. GET RECOMMENDATIONSReach out to friends and family for recommendations on people they have enjoyed working with in the past. Word of mouth is often a great last resort.
If you are engaged or pre-engaged, I would love to help you get started with premarital counseling by inviting you to our next Plan for Marriage group workshop on February 24th here in NYC. It's a terrific balance of group discussion and private couple exercises with dynamic instruction from a trained therapist. Get the details and claim your spot now at lifeplan.nyc/premarital.
Want to get relational clarity today? Take the extra step therapists recommend to prepare your relationship for marriage by taking an online relationship assessment. I can set you up to take the Prepare Enrich or Saving Your marriage Before It Starts assessments online today. Just visit bit.ly/marriageassessment and get 10% off your assessment using promo code 'marriageprep'.
Not ready to invest in counseling yet? Click below to grab my free list of the top "10 Helpful Relationship Books to Read Right Now." The guide includes some of my favorite recommendations on improving communication, sexual intimacy, conflict management, relationship roles, love languages, spiritual beliefs and more so you can learn on your own.
Spending time preparing for marriage can be one of the best lifelong investments you make for your relationship. Bravo for getting started now!