“Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute to minute and day to day.”
– Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
Lehigh Valley Counselors premarital counseling is undertaken before marriage, to help you and your prospective partner work through potential problems that could affect your marriage. Originally handled by religious leaders, whether or not they had training in counseling, premarital counseling is now recommended even for those whose faith group does not require or encourage premarital counseling. Premarital counseling is beneficial to couples of every race, creed, age, experience level, or sexual orientation. Therapists usually have graduate or postgraduate degrees, and some choose to get credentials through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
According to the AAMFT, premarital counseling is:
- specific, with attainable therapeutic goals
- designed with the “end in mind.”
Most marriage therapy sessions run for about 12 sessions. Some sessions may involve only one partner or you may divide the time. Other sessions will involve both of you, in order to open lines of communication and see what problem areas exist.
Lehigh Valley Counselors premarital counseling helps couples develop conflict resolution skills and works towards setting realistic goals for the marriage. Most couples also come together in a marriage with very different upbringings and maybe even different religious beliefs. Working through the expectations one has for a marriage and what you want to get out of it is an important step in premarital counseling. According to the Journal of Family Psychology, couples who went through some kind of premarital counseling were 31% less likely to divorce.
Premarital counseling can be awkward, however. You’ll be delving deep into topics that may not be entirely comfortable (sex, for example), as well as approaching topics you might be putting off discussing because they aren’t important “right now” (like how many kids do you want? What faith tradition will they be raised in? Whose parents will you visit on Christmas day?). It can seem like you’re opening a can of worms, but it’s a can better opened sooner rather than later. The discussions can ultimately put your relationship more at ease, open up paths of communication, and get those heavy discussions out of the way before you sign on the dotted line.
Our counselors at Lehigh Valley Counselors are here to help. We aim to make sure you have the most confidence possible as you take that walk to say, “I do,” and that you and your partner know what expectations you each have coming into the marriage. Premarital counseling allows you to be realistic about what marriage will look like and what ideas you may have to change. Our counselors are available evenings and weekends, allowing you to fit Lehigh Valley Counselors premarital counseling into your busy schedule. Just contact us at 610-596-4222, and we’ll help you get an appointment set up. We also promise no excessively long wait times between your call and your first appointment.