February 23, 2015

Pre-Marital Counseling Insights

From the Christmas holidays to Valentine’s Day, this is a popular time of year for couples to get engaged.  Wedding planning is in full swing.  If you know someone getting married, suggest they not just plan their wedding day — but that they plan for a healthy, happy marriage.

Half of all marriages are ending in divorce and only half of those who endure are truly happy in the long run.

Most couples do not realize that good, skill-based pre-marriage education can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30% and lead to a significantly happier marriage, according to marriage research.  It can also reduce the stress of the pre-wedding period.  Couples want to do everything they can to ensure that their dreams of a great marriage and a great life are realized.

PREPARE/ENRICH is a program based on a set of five inventories that examine major relationship issues a couple may experience.  These inventories must be administered by a trained PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor and include 4-6 feedback sessions in which the counselor facilitates discussion between the couple based on their inventory results.

An important strength of the PREPARE/ENRICH Inventories is their strong psychometric properties. High levels of reliability and validity have been found for each instrument, making them valuable tools for research as well as clinical use.

“As a first time bride, I hope and pray that this marriage will be my first and only. To that end, I felt that in-depth premarital counseling from a modern yet traditional Christian perspective was critical to establish a solid foundation for our marriage. Premarital counseling took us to a new level of first understanding of ourselves and then understanding each other. Amarie listened and helped us to identify feelings and insecurities we hadn’t identified on our own. She then helped us to understand how we allowed ourselves to get into negative cycles and how to we could shortstop the negative cycle and so very easily turn things around. It may sound simple, but it wasn’t – it was the breakthrough that we needed. Counseling armed us with tools and strategies to strengthen and sustain our relationship for a lifetime to come.”

– Bride to be married

“Being that my first marriage ended in divorce, premarital counseling helped me to understand that my current relationship is not and should not be dictated by my past experiences. Amarie is an awesome counselor who helped me overcome this insecurity. She took the time to get to know me and my fiancé and to understand our individual perspectives. She sought to understand and help us understand our issues and dig deep to identify underlying root causes. Amarie’s excellent counseling allowed my fiancé and I to understand each other better.”

– Groom to be married


My wife and I decided before we got married that pre-marital counseling would help us start our marriage with the tools necessary to make our relationship work.  Counseling [with Amarie] helped us to set some expectations in communication, finances, and spiritual leadership right from the start.  We both feel that pre-marital counseling is a must for new couples, and we wish that we had started the sessions even earlier.  Our relationship still works well because of God’s love and the expectations that we set down in the very beginning.”

— Married, 2009


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