Premarital Counseling: Learning Communication and Connection

ALCS is committed to helping you build healthy, life-giving relationships. Often, we see couples coming in to see us when conflict is high in the relationship--and that’s a great time to seek out help and support--but maintenance and work can also be done before hurt and misunderstanding set in. Today on the blog, Candice Reece, MS, LPC-Associate, supervised by Kerry Williamson, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, CST, walks us through the value and benefit of premarital counseling.
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now what?

You might find yourself putting together Pinterest boards, finding a dress, or picking your favorite colors in preparation for your wedding day. Getting married is a momentous occasion, so you’re probably wanting to celebrate in a way that feels special to you and your partner. (You might also be facing stressors as you navigate wedding planning during a pandemic.)

Weddings are beautiful, but as you think about marrying the love of your life, is your focus only on that special day? All too often, engaged couples spend the majority of their time and money planning their wedding. From the venue to the dress, the list can go on and on. Preparing for “happily ever after” is bigger than a wedding, so don’t sell yourself short! Engagement can also be the perfect time for building a strong foundation in your relationship. This foundation can give you both shared meaning and purpose as you learn to connect more deeply and plan for the rest of your married life.

What is premarital counseling?
As a counselor, there is nothing more enjoyable for me than to have the honor of counseling a couple through premarital therapy. The affection is organic, the commitment is alive, and the joy is remarkable to see. There is no better time as a couple to uncover your true self and learn how to be the best partner before the moment you both say I do!

In premarital counseling, I will work with you and your partner to build a safe space where you can share your thoughts and needs in a way that promotes healthy, honest communication, and deeper connection. Premarital counseling will help to set you up for success and promote a greater chance of enjoying a stable, happy marriage. While dating, you and your partner may have noticed each other’s quirks and differences. These differences are part of what brings interest and balance to a relationship, but appreciation of differences can turn to resentment that builds up over time. Counseling can help couples to air concerns and work through differences earlier. All couples will have disagreements at some point, so learning how to disagree can be very helpful. In the premarital process, I will help you learn to fight fair, communicate better, and find comfort in talking about issues early on your walk together that will stimulate and enhance your lifelong relational journey.

Prepare/Enrich Approach
I am certified as a Prepare/Enrich counselor, so the couples I work with are able to utilize the research-based Prepare/Enrich premarital assessment that will customize and guide our work in therapy. As a couple, you will have the chance to learn, discuss, and practice Prepare/Enrich tools in and out of session to deepen and clarify your understanding of how you function in the relationship. Vulnerability is key to making necessary changes and growing capacity for flexibility that allows for greater intimacy.

Some examples of premarital counseling topics include:
  • Strength and Growth Areas
  • Communication Styles
  • Identifying Critical Issues
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Financial Management
  • Sexual Intimacy
  • Identifying your Role
  • Reality of Expectations
  • Attachment Styles
  • Plans for the Future

As an added benefit of premarital counseling, couples who work with me or another Twogether in Texas provider are offered a discount when applying for a marriage license in the state of Texas.
Whether you are newly engaged, nearing your wedding, or thinking of engagement (pre-engagement counseling), consider the many benefits of cultivating the necessary skills for a stable and satisfying marriage. It is my mission to serve you in a way that helps you achieve your commitment goals and explore the love you both share for one another. If you are interested in connecting with me or another ALCS counselor to learn more about premarital counseling, please contact our office.
Candice Reece has been with ALCS since 2019 and counsels clients from our North Austin location. She works with individuals, couples, groups, and families and has a special interest in multicultural counseling, helping clients adjust to life transitions, and working with couples experiencing difficulty with relational and sexual intimacy and trust recovery. For more information about Candice's practice or to set up an appointment with Candice, call us today!

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Welcome to the Abundant Life Blog, where we answer common questions about counseling and support you and your family on the journey to deeper relationships and a joyful life. Competent care informed by Christian faith for individuals, couples, and families.

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