Finding The Best Premarital Counseling 2022 And Why You Should Do It

Updated October 3, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Getting married is one of the most important milestones in our lives. Congratulations on becoming engaged to the love of your life! As soon as you said "yes" or popped the question, you were probably already envisioning the perfect life the two of you will share.

Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

The benefits of premarital counseling sessions or premarital online counseling were probably one of the farthest things from your mind when you decided to get married. While there is no such thing as a "perfect union," premarital counseling can help you and your partner address issues that married couples commonly struggle with.

Many people think couples counseling is only for people that are already in the midst of challenges, but engaging in therapy helps you and your spouse learn how to identify issues, have difficult conversations, and handle conflict that will inevitably arise at some point in your relationship.

This provides a future husband and wife with conflict resolution skills and strategies; for example, making sure you're on the same page in case emergencies happen (such as financial troubles).

The purpose of this proactive strategy is to prevent couples from engaging in negative behavior that often breaks marriages, should those issues ever come up.

Examples of some topics that are discussed during a premarital counseling program include:

  • Individual and joint finances
  • Parenting styles
  • Communication styles
  • Conflict resolution strategies
  • Decision-making styles
  • Gender roles in the marriage
  • Family therapy

Build A Strong Foundation Together With Premarital Therapy

Keys to a Healthy Marriage

Statistics show that today's engaged couples don't plan on getting divorced. At least 93 percent of Americans think that a healthy marriage is one of the most important life goals. However, we probably know at least a few people who have gone through a divorce. Although a majority of couples begin their relationship with the best intentions, the truth is, sometimes life presents unforeseen challenges.

Research shows that when couples attend private sessions with a premarital counselor, it increases their chance of having a successful marriage by 30 percent. Essentially, it helps couples prepare for marriage by setting realistic expectations and establishing healthy communication skills.

Actively maintaining a healthy relationship is one of the best things you and your spouse can do to ensure your marriage will last, and to protect your mental health, too.

Therapy Styles

Depending on your religious background, your reasons for seeking support, and the personalities of yourself and your partner, there are different types of pre-marriage therapy you can partake in. Choosing the right type of premarital education and counseling for you and your significant other can greatly increase its effectiveness and the benefits you get out of the experience.

Religious therapy - Faith-based sessions can be done in a combination of different styles, including group courses, one-on-one meetings with a religious advisor, and/or compatibility tests. For many people, religious beliefs are a huge part of how they approach married life. If your partner’s beliefs are different from yours, then this is something that can be addressed during counseling sessions as well. While shared religious beliefs are important to many people, research shows that other factors like common interests and sharing household chores tend to be even more crucial to a happy marriage.

Online courses - You may answer premarital counseling questions in a quiz format and receive customized feedback based on your answers. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion as a reminder of your hard work and commitment to your marriage.

One-on-one professional therapy - This is the most traditional method. One-on-one counseling sessions teach you how to tackle common issues related to long-term commitment struggles. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask any premarital questions you have and work through potential issues before they become problems. If you’re seeking counseling and are concerned about the premarital counseling cost, it’s good to know that many licensed marriage and family therapists accept insurance.

Compatibility tests or questionnaires -  These assessments should be used as a resource to help facilitate your individual growth and ability to offer proper support to your partner during your marriage.

Group courses and discussions - These types of joint sessions often take place in community centers with other soon-to-be-married couples. You and your partner will learn about new conflict-resolution strategies you may not have considered without the guidance of a licensed professional. Group courses and discussions have many of the same premarital counseling aims but are slightly less personalized.

Benefits of Therapy During Engagement

One of the many benefits of working with marriage and family therapists that couples often overlook is that it not only improves their ability to communicate and reduce conflict but also helps set the stage for both individuals to seek professional help later on if they run into relationship struggles. In a Journal of Family Psychology study, researchers determined that couples that worked with marriage and family therapists before they were married were more likely to request an appointment with mental health professionals or a marriage and family therapist if they had problems once the honeymoon phase wore off.

  1. Create mutual goals and resolutions for your marriage - By discussing beforehand what you both hope to get out of your marriage, you can determine a few resolutions that combine what you both want. This gives you common goals to work toward that you both believe in.

  1. Understand, adapt to, and improve communication styles - This helps you know how to adapt to each other’s communication styles to ensure that you'll be able to successfully talk through potential problems instead of ignoring them or arguing about them.
  2. Head off potential conflicts before they become a problem - Pre-marriage therapy will help you work through these issues now and help you understand that your differences don't need to lead to larger problems.
  3. Dismiss marriage anxiety - During your sessions, you can confront possible causes for anxiety and work through them. Facing issues head-on helps you and your partner feel reassured that marriage is the next positive step for your relationship.

Strategies for Success

If you and your spouse decide that professional help is for you, there are ways you can help ensure you get the most benefit out of the experience. These include:

  • Understand that it will be challenging. It will cause you to discuss and face some issues that you'd rather leave alone. But, this is how you and your partner will grow in your relationship!
  • Don't try to "cheat" or downplay thoughts and opinions to make it seem like you and your significant other are completely compatible. The point is to face issues head-on.
  • Let go of the idea of "winner" and "loser." Learn to embrace the idea that you're both on equal playing fields.
  • Respect that time with your therapist is a "safe zone" and that what you discuss with them can't be fuel for future arguments or "I told you so" moments.

You’ll certainly want to share the joy of your marriage with your extended family and your partner’s family. Family systems are important to the health of your marriage. That said, it’s important to develop a healthy relationship with both sides of the family if possible. Family involvement is important as you build a solid foundation for your marriage. At the same time, it’s crucial to draw some healthy boundaries about just how involved they should be.

If you and your fiancé(e) have decided to embark on this journey, there are plenty of resources available to help find a professional counselor for your intimate relationship needs.

How BetterHelp Works With You

Build A Strong Foundation Together With Premarital Therapy

Today's busy couples may have trouble scheduling in-office appointments. Along with managing individual responsibilities like work and family, the time leading up to a wedding is busy. Online counseling sessions with BetterHelp are convenient for busy couples who are serious about strengthening their relationship.

Attending therapy online provides engaged couples with the convenience they need to maintain their busy lives - while preparing for a new one. Read reviews of our BetterHelp therapists below, from people experiencing similar issues.

Therapist Reviews

"Erin helps me set goals for communication, and it's crazy how much it's improved communication in my marriage. She also asks me every week what I'd like to work on, so it's just great to be able to decide and then put it into action. Without her, I wouldn't even know where to start."

premarital counseling

"Stephanie is a gem! She's very thoughtful, thorough, honest, insightful but most of all helpful. This is coming from a person that never wanted to do counseling and just "knew" I didn't need it. She's been key in helping my wife and I find our better place. She made us grow as a couple and individually. Thanks, Steph!"

premarital counseling

Preparing for Your Wedding Day

Pre-marriage therapy is something you and your future spouse should seriously consider as part of your strategy to build your marriage on a strong foundation.

Imagine the following scenario.

You've just settled on your dream honeymoon location. You can see your toes in the sand of a five-star resort. You're not going to end up there without preparation to make sure everything goes just right. Instead, you'll either take the time to painstakingly research places on your own or you could work with a travel professional who can help you through the process and ensure you'll have the honeymoon of your dreams.

Professional therapy is a bit like planning your dream honeymoon with a travel agent. Chances are that you'll have a successful marriage without outside intervention; however, you can increase the likelihood of success when you work with a professional. Take the first step today.

Below are some commonly asked questions on this topic:

What is asked during premarital counseling?
Is premarital counseling a good idea?
Can you get married without premarital counseling?
What are good premarital questions?
What should I ask before marriage?
How long is marriage counseling before marriage?
What are the pros and cons of premarital counseling?
Does premarital counseling reduce divorce rates?
Does everyone do premarital counseling?
What percent of marriages have a prenup?

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns

Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.