Premarital counseling is not the same as post-marital therapy. Therefore, education and prevention is the goal of premarital counseling while restoration is the focus of marital counseling. Looking problems are not the focus for this type of service. Re-marital counseling addresses the specific needs of couples working their second or more marriages.
Traditionally, premarital counseling has been conducted by clergy. However, too often, clergy members are not adequately trained in counseling and therapy. Unfortunately, these counselors may skip the tough subjects such as sexual exploration. Some opting to focus their attention on the wedding plans and wedding day.
The counselor’s role is more than guidance. It is vital to the understanding of the relationship. He or she should be knowledgeable and competent in counseling. The counselor should have some level of training and recognize their educational limitations. The counselor is not there to approve or disapprove the relationship. He or she is there to inform the couple. He or she should educate the couple about possible pitfalls within their relationship and unrealistic expectations. A skilled counselor will be able to guide the couple in recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. Premarital counseling provides couples with a framework about how their relationship may progress.
A final note; it is not the counselor’s role or responsibility to approve or disapprove of the marriage, merely to inform the couple regarding marriage.
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