Make sure that the pre-marriage counseling or prep you choose covers all of these. Here are some questions to help you select the pre-marriage counseling that’s right for you:
Does it include an assessment inventory to help you understand your areas of compatibility and strength, as well as areas you may need to address?
Does the program focus specifically on the needs of engaged couples and newlyweds? Some marriage skills programs mix troubled couples from later stages of marriage in the same class. This can detract from the experience for engaged couples and newlyweds.
Is the class or counseling approach flexible enough to allow for your relationship and learning style or is it a one-size-fits-all program? It’s best to practice specific communication, conflict resolution and goal-setting skills and strategies, and then select those skills and strategies that are most congruent with your relationship style and best meet your needs.
Is the content based on marriage research?
Will the counseling or class help you and your partner agree on goals and strategies for managing and continuing to work on your most important unresolved issues?
The answers to these questions will help you approach selecting your premarital classes and counseling as an educated consumer.If a couple’s premarital counseling with a religious advisor or lay professional does not address some important areas, the couple should think about supplementing with a program that does. Many couples use marriage prep and counseling in combination, covering the foundation issues and skills in a class or workshop, then focusing on religious or other special issues in their counseling.