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Etiquette

NER: Premarital Counseling

I believe strongly that every couple should have some premarital counseling. I just think it's good for you, as a couple, to make sure that you're discussing things and not forgetting anything important.

My question is this: for those of you who did this, who did your counseling? Our pastor is not a certified counselor, so he wants someone else to do it. We have no idea who to ask!
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japrincess24
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Re: NER: Premarital Counseling

  • We haven't done it yet. We're meeting with an officiant tomorrow but we already know that he's certified to do premarital counseling. I know that in my area there are some counties that offer a secular pre-marital counseling program. I would try looking up marriage license requirements on your county's website and see if they say anything about it. Or try calling them. I found out about the program by going to our county's website. There was a little sidenote about the secular counseling available through another county in our area.

     image
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  • I'm not sure if I want only secular counseling. But you're right about checking the website... if they only certify counselors and not pastors, that's definitely something to consider.
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  • I just googled premarital counseling with my zip code and a bunch of great stuff came up. Hopefully you'll have similar results if you try that. Good luck!
  • As someone who is going through a divorce right now, I completely agree that doing some sort of counseling ahead of time is extremely important.

    I wish we had done it before.  I mean, we probably wouldn't have gotten married, but at least I would have know ahead of time.
    sexy, harry styles, best song ever, cute, beautiful, asdjglñlñ, marcel
    PrettyGirlLostthemuffinman16
  • OP, you mentioned that you are interested in counseling with a religious perspective. I'm guessing that your pastor did not have any suggestions for you, so have you tried a local, regional, or national office (whatever it might be called) of your church? They might have a list of affiliated counselors (if any) on their website, or they might be able to suggest someone if you call.

  • I have thought about doing this (in a non-religious setting). When we decide on an officiant I may ask if we can meet ahead of time.

    Moth me and Fi are pretty open, and I help most of my friend mediate their own relationships. We've discussed everything from future children to finances to health, but it would be nice to have someone to point out "don't forget to talk about ___!"
    DragonBlood13
  • We get two counseling sessions with our minister, we are reading a book called the "10 Commandments of Marriage" and discussing our thoughts with each other and with him.

    Before we got engaged we went most of the way through "101 Questions to Ask Before Getting Engaged" by randomly opening the book and asking the question on the page.  That helped us make sure we were on the same page about money, life events, caring for aging parents, etc.

    image

    TexasBride2014
  • we did a marriage preparation retreat through the catholic church ("engaged encounter"). i'm sure you could contact any local church to get information if you're interested in religious counseling.

    if you want secular counseling, call your insurance and get a few names of local therapists. good luck!
    melbelleup
  • @Schatzi13 Our church is non-denominational, and we aren't a branch of anything. Thus why I'm so confused! I asked our pastor for recommendations, so I hope he remembers someone.

    @Jennycolada FI and I are like that too. We have never really had a fight about anything because we prefer to talk everything out. I just want to make sure that we haven't missed anything!
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  • @cruffino A retreat sounds really nice! Sometimes it helps to get away from every day issues so you can talk about the big stuff. Our church is just a baby (only a year old and about 100 members) so we haven't got a lot of that sort of thing in place.
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  • H & I have not had a fight either, but we still learned some new things to talk about during our pre cana.  We also took a test call the FOCCUS test, which you should be able to do online.  Its a great tool to figure out what you and FI are on the same page about and what you need to discuss further.

    While we did the pre cana retreat prior to the "Engaged Encounter Weekend" that the Catholic Church is currently using as it's pre-marital counseling, I would recommend going to see if any of the local Catholic Churches will allow you to participate.  It's other long standing couples who offer their counseling on different topics of marriage. If a couple had any problems in their marriage, they will also talk openly about them and how they worked through the issue too.  I really enjoyed that people who have "been through it" were the ones counseling us, not just priests who have never been married.

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    Peaseblossom55
  • @Inkdancer, you can also try your local board for recommendations. (I'm guessing you know this already because you've been around for a while, but just in case!) Maybe someone there used a counselor who took a religious perspective but isn't affiliated with any particular denomination.

    Counselors are licensed at the state level, IIRC. On your state's board website, there may be a listing of members with specializations (e.g., premarital counseling, religious/spiritual counseling), and it may be searchable.

  • H & I have not had a fight either, but we still learned some new things to talk about during our pre cana.  We also took a test call the FOCCUS test, which you should be able to do online.  Its a great tool to figure out what you and FI are on the same page about and what you need to discuss further.

    While we did the pre cana retreat prior to the "Engaged Encounter Weekend" that the Catholic Church is currently using as it's pre-marital counseling, I would recommend going to see if any of the local Catholic Churches will allow you to participate.  It's other long standing couples who offer their counseling on different topics of marriage. If a couple had any problems in their marriage, they will also talk openly about them and how they worked through the issue too.  I really enjoyed that people who have "been through it" were the ones counseling us, not just priests who have never been married.

    FI and I did this too!  We are also having a Catholic wedding, and our priest had us do the FOCCUS, and we will discuss the results with him.  This is in addition to doing the pre cana requirements.

    You mentioned the Engaged Encounter Weekend. . . are you saying that in your area you have to do that retreat plus another pre cana class or retreat?  In my area you can either do the Engaged Encounter or a pre cana through an individual parish or the main diocesan pre cana.  We aren't going to do the Engaged Encounter because it is much more expensive than the other pre cana options. . . it's almost $300!
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    October 2014 Brides: October  Inspiration- Ring Porn!
    image
    In our struggle to "glitter, monogram, and burlap" everything we need to try to remember it is a commitment and celebration of love and the joining of families and NOT a photo/video op~ realblonde474
  • H & I have not had a fight either, but we still learned some new things to talk about during our pre cana.  We also took a test call the FOCCUS test, which you should be able to do online.  Its a great tool to figure out what you and FI are on the same page about and what you need to discuss further.

    While we did the pre cana retreat prior to the "Engaged Encounter Weekend" that the Catholic Church is currently using as it's pre-marital counseling, I would recommend going to see if any of the local Catholic Churches will allow you to participate.  It's other long standing couples who offer their counseling on different topics of marriage. If a couple had any problems in their marriage, they will also talk openly about them and how they worked through the issue too.  I really enjoyed that people who have "been through it" were the ones counseling us, not just priests who have never been married.

    I would do this. I don't really see them turning you away. Lots of couples were mixed religion, mine included and we had no issues.
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  • H & I have not had a fight either, but we still learned some new things to talk about during our pre cana.  We also took a test call the FOCCUS test, which you should be able to do online.  Its a great tool to figure out what you and FI are on the same page about and what you need to discuss further.

    While we did the pre cana retreat prior to the "Engaged Encounter Weekend" that the Catholic Church is currently using as it's pre-marital counseling, I would recommend going to see if any of the local Catholic Churches will allow you to participate.  It's other long standing couples who offer their counseling on different topics of marriage. If a couple had any problems in their marriage, they will also talk openly about them and how they worked through the issue too.  I really enjoyed that people who have "been through it" were the ones counseling us, not just priests who have never been married.

    FI and I did this too!  We are also having a Catholic wedding, and our priest had us do the FOCCUS, and we will discuss the results with him.  This is in addition to doing the pre cana requirements.

    You mentioned the Engaged Encounter Weekend. . . are you saying that in your area you have to do that retreat plus another pre cana class or retreat?  In my area you can either do the Engaged Encounter or a pre cana through an individual parish or the main diocesan pre cana.  We aren't going to do the Engaged Encounter because it is much more expensive than the other pre cana options. . . it's almost $300!
    No.  We were going through our marriage prep during the transition from the retreat we went on (which was just 1 full day) to the Engaged Encounter Weekend.  I have heard that they are structured similarly to what we did, its just a full weekend now.
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  • We are doing the Prepare/Enrich. Our sessions are secular and I found our counselor through this website My Tie the Knot (after reading rec's on my local knot board).
    Librarian by Day, Wedding Planning Bride by Night
    Dating 12/08/2012 - Engaged 08/24/2013 - (to be) Married 08/15/2014

    image
  • We did a church-organized workshop through a LCSW/mediator. It was great, with some religious focus, but not completely religious.
  • Thank you all for your suggestions! I knew you would all have great ideas.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • We did it and I am so happy we did.  It's not like we really learned anything new about each other (we've been together for almost 9 years), but it made us talk about things that we maybe wouldn't have brought up before and made us really communicate about things we did and didn't want.  Mine was a little bit different as it was with my FIL (he is a wonderful pastor and he married us).  I thought it would be horribly awkward but it was actually wonderful because he already knew so much about us we were able to cut out the "who we are" type stuff.  
    InkdancerPrettyGirlLost
  • We haven't decided if we are going to or not. We still have some time to decide. It took us so long to find an officiant and she doesn't do counseling (actually I'm not sure there is any organized premarital counseling for Pagans). The thought of looking for a counselor of some sort seems a little too daunting at the moment.
  • @Inkdancer you could try calling the office of a more established nondenominational church nearby to ask for recommendations. And meeting to discuss marriage with your pastor and/or an older couple in your church can be really valuable, even if they aren't certified.
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    InkdancerPrettyGirlLost
  • Has anyone heard of a non-religion based programs, everything I have found has some sort of christian spin on it

  • jdluvr06 said:
    We haven't decided if we are going to or not. We still have some time to decide. It took us so long to find an officiant and she doesn't do counseling (actually I'm not sure there is any organized premarital counseling for Pagans). The thought of looking for a counselor of some sort seems a little too daunting at the moment.

    mimiphin said:
    Has anyone heard of a non-religion based programs, everything I have found has some sort of christian spin on it

    Do as PP's suggested and Google a list of licensed counselors in your state.  Or if you have health insurance call your healthcare concierge, or Life Coach, or just the general number and ask for recommendations to a counselor.  There should be secular pre marital counseling options available to you. 
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    October 2014 Brides: October  Inspiration- Ring Porn!
    image
    In our struggle to "glitter, monogram, and burlap" everything we need to try to remember it is a commitment and celebration of love and the joining of families and NOT a photo/video op~ realblonde474
  • @mimiphin said:
    Has anyone heard of a non-religion based programs, everything I have found has some sort of christian spin on it

    I know the therapist I saw for a while did premarital/ couples counseling. Try local social workers or counselors?
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  • When I searched the program that our counselor is using, it had a way to search for counselors in your area and also based on secular or religious (and even which denomination).

    Follow this link ---> Prepare Enrich

     

    Librarian by Day, Wedding Planning Bride by Night
    Dating 12/08/2012 - Engaged 08/24/2013 - (to be) Married 08/15/2014

    image
    Inkdancer
  • We just took the FOCCUS test which was really interesting we had fun with it actually, our priest required us to read two different book compatability and marriage.  We are doing our pre-cana session in April.  I really like that we are doing these things even though the church requires us to.
  • @Peaseblossom55 We aren't required to do this, but I love the idea. I think lots of my friends would be happier if they had done premarital counseling.
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    PrettyGirlLostPeaseblossom55
  • @mimiphin you might also check universities if there is one near you. Some have marriage and family therapy programs that offer counseling to community members.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • We just took the FOCCUS test which was really interesting we had fun with it actually, our priest required us to read two different book compatability and marriage.  We are doing our pre-cana session in April.  I really like that we are doing these things even though the church requires us to.
    May I ask what the books are titled?
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    October 2014 Brides: October  Inspiration- Ring Porn!
    image
    In our struggle to "glitter, monogram, and burlap" everything we need to try to remember it is a commitment and celebration of love and the joining of families and NOT a photo/video op~ realblonde474
  • We just took the FOCCUS test which was really interesting we had fun with it actually, our priest required us to read two different book compatability and marriage.  We are doing our pre-cana session in April.  I really like that we are doing these things even though the church requires us to.
    May I ask what the books are titled?
    1.
    Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested Advice from a Higher Authority By Pat Conner
    Not sure what the other one was, I'll have to look when I get home.

    PrettyGirlLost
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