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Kali
Beginner September 2020

Choosing a Premarital Counselor

Kali, on July 8, 2020 at 3:44 PM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 11
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Hi all! I apologize if this is not in the correct thread.

My fiance and I are not getting married in a church and it will not be officiated by a pastor/minister/etc. However, we would still like to do premarital counseling before the wedding. I know this will likely be dependent on location, but do any of you have advice on how to go about choosing a good counselor? What about pros and cons of having a man vs. a woman vs. a couple?

Thank you!

11 Comments

Latest activity by Kiara, on July 13, 2020 at 3:16 PM
  • Gen
    Champion June 2019
    Gen ·
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    I would do some research starting on your insurance company’s website (so you’ll know which counselors will be covered). Look at experience, reviews, where they went to school, etc
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  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    As Gen said, the first step is to see who takes your insurance, unless you are comfortable paying out of pocket. Make sure whoever you find is trained in couple's counseling. There are several different types of licensed providers: people that are licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed marriage and family therapists (MFTs), and licensed counselors (LPC or something similar-varies by state) all have master's level licensures to practice. PhDs, PsyDs, and EdDs have doctorate level licensures. None of the degrees are necessarily better than the others. The key is to find someone who has extensive training in couple's counseling, as that's not always a standard training component of grad school (I say this as a current clinical psych doctoral student). Look at their websites and reviews if they have them, and ask them how many years experience they have with couples (sometimes you see people list everything under the sun as specialities. It is literally impossible to specialize in 600 different concerns). It will be rare to find a couple that provides the therapy, as that creates a bit of an odd dynamic (I know churches often have couples that lead pre-marital retreats and such, but licensed practitioners don't often work in pairs). In terms of male vs. female, there really is no pro vs con. If you don't have a specific preference off the bat, then I feel like it is more important to look for someone who you feel comfortable speaking with (although this is important even if you do have a preference of male or female). You may meet with a male who makes you feel super at ease or a female who makes you super uncomfortable for reasons other than gender/sex. Finding whoever makes you both comfortable is really important.
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  • Mercy
    Savvy October 2020
    Mercy ·
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    Hi, we did premarital counseling and paid out of pocket and we had a women do our counseling sessions. She was amazing! My fiancé was hesitant at first about premarital counseling and by the end of the first session he told me that he really enjoyed it. She’s a licensed therapist and was very good at being neutral and open about me and my fiancé’s opinions and gave us some great advice. I found her just by googling premarital counseling in our area and found her website. I read the summery of what she planned on going over during the sessions and liked what she wrote so we made an appointment with her. Personally for me I felt more comfortable doing a counseling session with a women cause all of the experiences I’ve had with women counselors have been good experiences. Maybe research together and figure out if you both like what the persons session is all about.
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Hi, so when you say a premarital counselor, you’re talking about a therapist that helps you work through relationship problems right? I’m just a little confused with what the significance would be of having a particular type of officiant vs premarital counseling
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  • Kali
    Beginner September 2020
    Kali ·
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    Yes, that and just to work through the typical dynamic changes, conversations, or potential future problems that can occur during a marriage. I just know a lot of churches require premarital counseling before marrying someone. Since we’re not going through a church there’s no requirement for it, therefore no recommendations or counseling with the officiant.
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  • Kali
    Beginner September 2020
    Kali ·
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    Good to hear! That’s what I’ve been doing and there are a few that look good but we’ve been struggling with how to decide on the one that would be the best fit for us. Guess I’ll keep digging through reviews 🤷🏻‍♀️ I appreciate your input!
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Ah! I see, I didn’t realize that about churches. Nevertheless good luck and thanks for the info and congrats on your engagement!
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  • Christina
    Dedicated January 2021
    Christina ·
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    As a Licensed Social Worker working towards LCSW, I second ALL this!

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  • Kali
    Beginner September 2020
    Kali ·
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    Thank you for the info! I've seen a pretty good number of married couples that provide premarital counseling in my area, but I've been hesitant about them anyways. Good to know that isn't very common. I especially appreciate your input on male vs. female. I don't have a lot of experience with counselors but the few that I have had all been female. I know they're all professionals, but I worried that it may give me an unfair advantage for them to see from my perspective more than his. I could be worrying for nothing, I'm just very nervous to choose wrong.

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  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    If they are competent and professional counselors, their role is to help each of you see each other's point of view. They shouldn't be "taking sides" or anything like that. They should be a neutral party. Females are just more common because nowadays more women go into the field than men.
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  • Kiara
    Beginner November 2020
    Kiara ·
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    PsychologyToday.com is a great resource and how we found our couple's counselor, who actually specializes in interracial relationships, which is wonderful for us!

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