Pre-marital counseling is not therapy. It is not designed to help couples figure out whether they are "right for each other." Pre-marital counseling does help couples understand how they are likely to interact, and it does identify in advance the things that may later cause friction in a relationship. With that information, couples can learn skills specifically tailored to prevent minor conflicts from becoming big ones. Pre-marital education can be particularly helpful when one or both members of the couple has children from a prior relationship. Read more about the challenges blended families may face.
Pre-Marital Counseling Process
Tammy is a certified Prepare-Enrich facilitator. Prepare-Enrich is a customized, confidential assessment couples complete online. It identifies a couple's strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education. After each member of a couple completes the assessment, Tammy will review the results and help the couple learn relationship skills tailored to their specific needs.
Prepare-Enrich is an evidence-based, premarital education tool that has been used to help more than 3 million couples worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much time does pre-marital counseling take? A. It takes most people about an hour to complete the Prepare-Enrich assessment. Most couples will benefit from a minimum of 3-4 sessions during which Tammy will review the assessment results and provide skills education on key areas. Minnesota couples who invest at least 12 hours in pre-marital education qualify for a discount on the cost of their marriage license.
Q. Is pre-marital counseling required in Minnesota? A. Minnesota does not require pre-marital counseling as a condition of marriage, although the state does offer a $75 reduction in marriage license fees if a couple has received at least 12 hours of pre-marital counseling. Some religious denominations have specific requirements for pre-marital counseling. Tammy recommends couples ask the pastor who will be performing their ceremony whether he or she has specific counseling requirements.
Q. Is pre-marital counseling faith-based? A. Whether to address faith and religion in pre-marital counseling is up to each couple. The Prepare-Enrich assessment can be configured to delve into faith-related issues if couples wish. Tammy is comfortable engaging in faith-based conversations if that is the couple's wish.
Q. Why should a couple get pre-marital counseling? A. While love is wonderful, it does not guarantee a couple won't encounter some difficulties. Couples who have prepared in advance for the inevitable challenges of life together are more likely to weather those challenges, and more likely to keep their love and relationship strong. That's particularly true when one or more member of the couple has minor children from a previous relationship. With the cost of an average wedding now more than $25,000, pre-marital counseling may be the smallest wedding expense with the greatest reward.
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