Why would we need premarital counselling?
Let’s make this clear from the start, the point of pre-marriage counselling is to make your relationship stronger and teach you how to listen, love and care for each other. By doing this early in the relationship then you are both willing and able to adjust, you set a firm foundation for a successful union for the rest of your life.
Premarital counselling is not an opportunity to moan at each other about the things that you each find annoying. The content of your relationship takes a bit of a back seat. What premarital counselling does is to educate you both in the ways of relationship building. It will teach you what to expect along your married journey and give you the skills to deal with the ups and downs together – keeping you together.
Why shouldn’t we wait until we have problems, then have couples counselling?
If you think about the “normal” way of having couples counselling it’s completely the wrong way round. What happens is that two people who love each other get together and make a huge commitment to each other without any preparation at all. It is a bit like going for your driving test without ever taking any lessons. The result is that about 43% of marriages in the UK end in divorce (figures from the National Centre for Health Statistics). When couples come to me for relationship therapy I teach many of them the skills that I will teach you in premarital counselling. I often get a response along the lines of “why didn’t somebody tell me all of this sooner?”. Unfortunately for some couples, the bitterness and bad behaviour that has set in over the many years of relating unproductively means that even with these new techniques, the relationship cannot be saved.
So here’s your opportunity to get it the right way round. Learn the skills before you take the plunge. I aim to make it an interesting, enjoyable experience that brings you closer together as a couple and keep the four horsemen of divorce well away from your door.
What format does pre-marriage counselling take?
I deliver premarital counselling over six sessions. During these sessions we will discuss the following parts of a relationship:
- How to talk to each other in a safe and loving way so you can both be heard and feel cared for and listened to.
- How your childhood has brought you together and what this means in terms of personal growth for you both.
- How to discuss difficult topics such as money, sex, families and work/life balance.
- How to spot behaviours that increase the chance of divorce and what to do instead.
- How to deal with rage – for those times you are really, really pissed off with each other!
- The keys to a long lasting marriage and what events you should expect to rock your marriage boat (and how to stay afloat).
Whist this is the basic format of the sessions, they will be individually tailored to you as a couple. If at the end of the six week block you feel you need more time with me then that can be arranged on a week by week basis until you feel you have learnt enough.
How much does this cost?
I charge £60 an hour for the sessions. If you want to pay for all six sessions at the beginning of the course there is a 10% discount making it a £324 one off payment. Compare this to the cost of your wedding and I’m sure you will agree, it makes a great investment over the many years you will be together.
What training do you have to deliver premarital counselling?
My principle mode of training is in Transactional Analysis. TA was a model designed to look at how we relate to each other and emotional literacy features strongly within it. I am one of the few therapists that has dedicated time and money to train specifically to work with couples. Pretty much all psychotherapy and counselling training provided in the UK is geared towards individuals. As a result of this I know many therapists feel unable, unwilling or under qualified to work with couples. I have deliberately gone out and focused on getting the information and training I need to become a good couples counsellor. I get a great deal out of working with couples and have spent huge amounts of time researching into what makes a successful couple stay together. I am also training as an Imago Relationship Therapist and by April will have clocked up over 100 hours of training aimed solely at working with couples.
We are not getting married but plan on staying together, can we come too?
Of course you can! If you are a couple making a long term commitment to each other then this course is right for you. That commitment could be marriage, a civil partnership, buying a house together or having a child. Do the training now and benefit for many years to come.
How do I make an appointment?
Ring me on 07966 390857 or email me here.
If you are interested in attending a premarital workshop – a one day workshop that covers many of the basics mentioned above – please email me or give me a ring. Workshops will be set up from August and there will be limited places available.