How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
The only preparation needed for premarital counseling is to find a therapist. Loved ones and friends might give recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurer, employee assistance program, clergy, or state or local mental health agencies also might offer recommendations.
Before scheduling sessions with a specific therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you and your partner. You might ask questions like these:
- Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you credentialed by the AAMFT? What is your experience with premarital counseling?
- Logistics. Where is your office? What are your office hours?
- Treatment plan. How long is each session? How often are sessions scheduled? How many sessions should I expect to have? What is your policy on canceled sessions?
- Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Do you accept my insurance? Will I need to pay the full fee upfront?
- Marriage preparation. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/Content/Consumer_Updates/Marriage_Preparation.aspx. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.
- Marriage and family therapist: The family-friendly mental health professionals. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/imis15/content/Consumer_Updates/Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.
- Nine psychological tasks for a good marriage. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/marriage.aspx. Accessed Aug. 26, 2011.
- Murray CE, et al. Solution-focused premarital counseling: Helping couples build a vision for their marriage. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2004;30:349.
- Larson JH, et al. The relationship evaluation (relate) with therapist-assisted interpretation: Short-term effects on premarital relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2007;33:364.
- Markman HJ, et al. The premarital communication roots of marital distress and divorce: The first five years of marriage. Journal of Family Psychology. 2010;24:289.