What is premarital counseling?
Premarital counseling provides couples who are engaged or preparing to get married with education on how to build and maintain a healthy relationship in hopes of having a long and loving marriage. Couples that attend counseling before marriage increase the strength of their relationship and improve their chances of longevity in marriage and decrease their chances of divorce. A premarital counselor can educate a couple in communication, conflict resolution and parenting decisions. They also can help a couple understand what to expect when dealing with sexuality in marriage, financial concerns, and extended family issues. Most importantly, premarital counseling helps the couple quickly become comfortable talking about deeper issues, and helps the couple discover information they may never have discussed prior to marriage.
How premarital counseling can help you.
Many couples that get divorced tend to have conflict around situations that they never discussed or understood about each other before they married. Research shows that couples who participate in some sort of premarital counseling have a 30% increase in their marriage success and enjoyment over those who do not. Premarital counseling can supply the knowledge and understand of your future spouse that will help you manage any conflict or problem that comes your way. Conflict and problems are inevitable and will always be part of life. No couple gets married desiring to get a divorced. However, the divorce rate in the United States is 50% and possibly higher. Knowing these facts, a smart decision that every couple can make before marriage would be to start the marriage off right with some sort of premarital education and counseling.
SYMBIS Assessment: Starting Your Marriage Before It Starts
I have been certified as a SYMBIS facilitator. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott created an assessment for couples based on their extensive research and other research about the success of married couples and the differences in personalities, genders, communication styles and more. By taking the assessment, we can meet together and review a detailed, in depth view of your individual differences and similarities and how this information may help you understand each other and prepare to have a healthy marriage.
How to get started?
I have several options for premarital counseling and education along with the SYMBIS assessment:
- Premarital intensive: A couple can come in for a full day of intensive premarital counseling that would include taking the SYMBIS assessment prior to the intensive and then reviewing the assessment as well as providing education and skill building. The day would be about 3-4 hours in the morning with either a working lunch (if the couple desires this), or a lunch break along with a 3-4 hour session in the afternoon. The price of this would be $600 – $800 depending on the set up. Half of the fee is required at sign up. The other half will be required at the beginning of the intensive. A refund will be provided if proof of a crisis or serious illness is provided.
- Premarital couple sessions: A couple will take the assessment prior to starting the 8 sessions of premarital counseling. The fee of each session is $100. The assessment report will be kept by me throughout the length of the sessions until all 8 sessions have been completed at the recommendation of SYMBIS trainers and training material. Each session, several sections of the assessment report will be reviewed and discussed, along with providing further education, skills building and practice.
- Group premarital intensives: Group intensives are not as intimate and the review of each couples assessment is much less extensive. However, education and skill building becomes more important in these intensives. Also, it is helpful to hear from other couples and share with other couples in helping to prepare for marriage. Depending on the size of the group, fee schedules may shift. A lunch break would be provided.
Brandon Coussens, LMFT
- Address3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 109
Augusta, GA 30909
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