Grand Rapids – Premarital Counseling Services
What is Premarital Counseling?
Marriage is a huge step in someone’s life and while it is considered an exciting and joyful time, it also comes with many changes to one’s normal lifestyle. Premarital Counseling is for individuals who plan to get married and it is becoming more and more popular. Premarital Counseling works with couples to improve their relationship before they are married to increase the quality of the relationship and while decreasing relationship conflict and chances for divorce. Some couples associate the need for therapy with having relationship issues that can’t be worked out on their own. However, Premarital Counseling does not indicate that there are severe problems rather it shows that the couple wants to work towards creating the best version of their relationship they can and they want to learn how to preserve their healthy relationship even after they take the next step in their relationship through marriage.
What to Expect in Premarital Counseling
In Premarital Counseling, both individuals are usually asked to take a premarital assessment questionnaire. These questionnaires are not meant to determine whether or not the two individuals should get married rather it helps each individual see certain areas where issues may arise in the relationship. There are several different questionnaires that may be used which focus on different aspects of marriage. A few areas that may be targeted are marriage expectations, family backgrounds, and personal beliefs. By taking the premarital assessment questionnaire, both the couple and the professional they are working with can decide which areas they feel they should focus and would be most beneficial for their specific relationships.
There are many topics that may be included in Premarital Counseling, below are some of the most common topics that couples may focus on:
• Communication skills: Communication is essential in any healthy relationship, and many times couples do not know how to communicate effectively or they simply do not communicate. In Premarital Counseling, couples learn how to use “I” statements, provide positive and constructive feedback, and truly listen to what the other individual is saying.
• Conflict resolution skills: Just as with any interpersonal relationship, conflicts have most likely already occurred, and they will most likely occur throughout the relationship. Every marriage has conflict in some form, and it is impossible to avoid, however, what couples can do is learn to resolve their conflicts in a healthy way.
• Finances: Finances are one of the most common causes of divorce, so it is important that finances are talked about prior to marriage to ensure that both individuals are on the same page. Many individuals have different thoughts on how much money they want to make, how much they can spend, and how much they should save. It is important that couples discuss their personal ideas concerning finances to make sure that an agreement can be met so that the couples can work together to avoid future financial issues.
• Parenting: Whether or not each individual wants children in their marriage is an important topic to discuss before marriage. Even if the couples already knows what each other wants when it comes to having a family, there are many issues of parenting that still need to be discussed. Couples need to make sure that they can agree on how they want to raise their children.
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