While wedding planning can be stressful, there is something so fun about an engagement and that first year as newlyweds. There is hope, excitement, and often lots of heart-warming appreciation and loving gazes. It has always been fun for me as to work with premarital couples and newlyweds. Typically marriage preparation counseling and education programs are completed prior to the wedding, but research supports that the window of opportunity can last into the first year of marriage and will reduce the chances of divorce and increase marital satisfaction, both immediately and long-term.
- In 2003, Carroll & Doherty found 92% of couples reported premarital counseling helped during their first year of marriage. Four years later, 80% still reported premarital counseling was helping in their marriage.
- In 2004, the same researches found that those who participated in a premarital education program were significantly better off afterwards than 79% of those who did not participate.
- In 2006, Stanley, Amato, Johnson, & Markham found that premarital education increased satisfaction and commitment in marriage and reduced conflict and likelihood of divorce regardless of race, income, and education.
I believe so strongly in premarital counseling and education, that I will not officiate a wedding unless a couple has completed a premarital counseling/education program. (Yes, I am also an ordained wedding officiant – I love weddings!) Those who participate in premarital counseling and/or premarital education programs report they are better at resolving conflict, better able to communicate effectively, feel a stronger connection, and are ore satisfied with their relationship than ever before. One thing I appreciate is that if couples do come back to work through a conflict or issue later on, it usually takes us much less time to do so than it would with other couples, primarily because they already have the knowledge and skills needed to work through conflicts; they simply need a bit of support and guidance. In so many ways, premarital counseling and education can save you money.
In 2019, I will be offering my first premarital counseling/education workshop. Start Right Stay Connected is a program founded on the most recent research as well as the clinical experience of hundreds of marriage counselors from around the world. In this one day workshop, engaged and newly married couples will learn
- Powerful communication skills
- Practical tools for relationship “hot buttons”
- Effective (and peaceful) conflict resolution
- How to remove negativity from the relationship
- How to keep romance alive, nurture, and grow your relationship
- And we will have fun too
Start Right, Stay Connected is relationship education, not therapy, and includes lectures, demonstrations, couple’s dialogues in break out rooms, and written exercises. There are many opportunities for group sharing, but the seminar emphasizes partners’ sharing privately with one another. You are not required to share anything with the group except for a brief introduction and closing.
Saturday, March 23, 2019
447 E. 38th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205
$300 per couple (less than two individual sessions)
Coffee, tea, water, and snacks provided
Register here and choose any date (quirk in the system)
For more information firstname.lastname@example.org