We offer a comprehensive marriage preparation seminar to meet your needs
Congratulations on your decision to seek professional consultation in preparing for your marriage. But we want you to realize that not all premarital counseling is the same!
We are mental health professionals with over thirty years of counseling, coaching and therapy experience. We have specialized in providing premartial counseling and education services for well over a decade based on our comprehensive review of current relationship and marriage research findings as well as the many different approaches to marriage preparation.
Patricia Schell Kuhlman, LCSW
& Gregory Kuhlman, PhD
We have carefully constructed and refined our approach to premarital counseling and education based on our experience with hundreds of couples of all backgrounds, ages, etc. We understand that each couple has different circumstances and needs. We can help you understand the preparation that makes most sense for you. We're experienced in engaging partners who may be less interested in preparing for marriage and/or exploring challenges in addition to strengths.
For most professionals and even marriage officiants, premarital counseling is a sideline for which they usually have not received adequate specific training. Even those with some training are often not familiar with the important findings of relevant research. They have a general practice where they may occasionally see a premarital couple and rely on their general counseling background to conduct a few exploratory sessions with them. While we're sure many of these services are valuable, we also believe that most are not inclusive enough to cover all of the optimal preparation.
Premarital or couples
counseling, while helpful in its own way, usually doesn't provide
the same kind of intensive and comprehensive skill-building and
education as marriage prep. The skill-building and
education are the key factors in long-term divorce prevention and
We encourage premarital
couples to complete a premarital education seminar first because it
is the most effective means of providing comprehensive coverage
of marriage success issues and strategies. Couples who still feel
that they need more can then use this foundation to address more
specific or problem issues in their counseling. MST starts their
counseling on a fast track.
Concerned about privacy? Click to learn how a group
seminar can still be very private.
Whatever marriage prep
couples choose should include activities to give them real skills,
real expectations and real knowledge of self and partner to face
the inevitable challenges of a committed relationship.
to Look For in Pre-Marriage Preparation
Make sure that the pre-marriage
prep you choose covers all of the relationship skill and knowledge areas that research has
shown to contribute to the success and endurance of marriage:
Compatibility and differences (including those that can be gender-linked)
Personalities and families-of-origin
Intimacy and sexuality
Here are some questions to
help you select the pre-marriage prep that's right for you:
· Is the content based
on marriage research?
· Is the class led by qualified and trained professionals? Are they are married
couple who will have credibility in their experience and outlook
with both men and women?
Does it include a relationship assessment
inventory to help you understand your areas of compatibility and
strength, as well as areas you may need to address?
How many couples will
attend? A small group setting is higher quality,
more engaging and individualized than large classes. On the other
hand, it can also be more comprehensive, systematic and skill-based
than most pastoral or couples counseling. A group experience can
also be more involving and stimulating than individual counseling.
Does the program focus
specifically on the needs of engaged couples and newlyweds? Some
marriage skills programs mix troubled couples from later stages
of marriage in the same class. This can detract from the experience
for engaged couples and newlyweds.
Is the class or counseling
approach flexible enough to allow for your relationship and learning
style or is it a one-size-fits-all program? It's best to practice
specific communication, conflict resolution and goal-setting skills
and strategies, and then select those skills and strategies that
are most congruent with your relationship style and best meet your
Will the counseling or
class help you and your partner agree on goals and strategies for
managing and continuing to work on your most important unresolved
The answers to these
questions will help you approach selecting your premarital preparation
as an educated consumer.
If a couple's premarital
counseling with a religious advisor or lay professional does not
address some important areas, the couple should think about supplementing
with a program that does. Many couples use marriage prep and counseling
in combination, covering the foundation issues and skills in a class
or workshop, then focusing on religious or other special issues
in their counseling.
Click here for info on premarital educaton seminars.
Deciding whether to get or stay engaged? Click here
for more info.
here for related reading and references list.
that you know how important pre-marriage preparation is, consider
attending a Marriage Success Training seminar with your partner.
MST helps couples handle the increased stress of the pre-wedding
period in a much more healthy way, so that they can use the pre-wedding
experience to deepen their intimacy--not stress their relationship--during
this special time. Click here to learn about the benefits of MST.
2003-2005, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this
article for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made
and this copyright notice, author credit and stayhitched.com source
citation are included.