Premarital counseling is a preventative tool, a way to maintain a healthy connection in the relationship and create a lasting commitment through effective communication. Relationships are like an investment: the more you put into it, the more it will grow and mature. The more it grows and matures, the more you get out of it. Statistics show that nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce (US Census Bureau, February 2002), thus premarital counseling is a way to help couples stay out of this terrible percentage of divorce.
Thinking about Premarital Therapy? If you are thinking about counseling, here are my recommendations in finding a therapist.
How to Find a Premarital Counselor:
- Do your Research: With our current online resources, you have access to finding the best therapist for you. Do your research by learning about each therapist. Pay attention to how comfortable you feel with each therapist. Pay attention to how they work as a therapist, along with the comfort level you have with their photo and website. I believe a website represents who we are as therapists.
- Contact 3 to 4 Relationship Counselors: Contact 2 to 3 therapists that you are interested in and interview how they work as therapists. Take notes on each therapist, keep track of your comfort level. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are specialized in relationships and communicating. I highly recommend using a therapist specifically trained in relationships. Remember, therapists are often in sessions, so it may take a few days to contact each one via telephone.
- Interview the Therapist: The premarital and relationship expert market is full and can be overwhelming. Ask the psychotherapist what their specialty is and the experience they have working with premarital counseling. This is your time to interview and weed out the therapists that you like and do not like.
- Comfort with the Therapist: As I mentioned earlier, comfort level is important. While interviewing the therapist, the most important thing to keep in mind is your comfort level. Do you feel comfortable speaking with the therapist? Do you feel like the therapist understands you and can provide what you want? Remember, you will be in the office with the therapist, talking about personal issues.
- Fees: Be honest with yourself and determine what you are willing to invest in the relationship. Your relationship is the foundation and everything else is positively or negatively impacted by it. If you can’t afford a therapist’s fee, ask if they have a sliding scale (a lower fee slot) or if they have any recommendations. I believe that “one size does not fit all” for therapists, so don’t pick one based off of “cheapest price.” Your relationship matters, so make the therapy worth your time, energy, and money.
Estes therapy is here to help you find a premarital counselor.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653