My wife, Dorrie, and I want to congratulate you on your engagement and upcoming wedding. And we invite you to participate in a unique, innovative, and effective approach to premarital counseling. First of all, instead of just a counselor, you get two trained premarital counselors who have been happily married to each other for 33 years.
*Listen and understand each of you individually and also as couple.
*Help you to understand your strengths and growth areas as a couple.
*Enable you better to understand yourself and your partner’s personality and communication style.
*Assist both of you in making adjustments that allow you to be even more confident about your relationship and better equipped as you move into your future together.
Three Innovative & Effective Features
1. We Utilize Prepare-Enrich
In premarital counseling we utilize the Prepare Profile www.prepare-enrich.com, for years the most widely used and respected premarital relationship inventory among counseling professionals. The Prepare profile is a self-report assessment of the relationship completed by both partners. The Profile explores the 12 key issues of every relationship.
The Prepare Profile is not only thorough—it is efficient. It would take more than 6 sessions just to ask and access the valuable feedback contained in the Profile. The Profile helps the couple to discover their strength and their growth areas, the areas of compatibility and their areas of difference. Probably one of the best things that occurs as a result of completing the Prepare Profile is that it generates further discussion between the engaged partners. The Profile is designed to facilitate relationship health and growth. Counselor feedback is very straight forward because the profile is very user-friendly and not written in psycho-babble.
2. We Include Personality Work
Another innovative feature of our approach to premarital counseling is the use of the Enneagram in helping couples understand their own personality and their partner’s personality. Personality work has long been a missing ingredient in both marriage counseling and premarital counseling…until now. Of all the personality assessments and tools available, we have found the Enneagram the most adaptable and useful for couples to improve their communication and thus their relationship.
3. We Incorporate Newlywed Counseling
Traditional premarital counseling usually involved a few sessions with the minister performing your ceremony. All the sessions were before the wedding. Nothing after the wedding. After your wedding day, good luck—you’re on your own. Nothing against clergy (I’ve been a minister for most of my adult life), most marriage counselors approach premarital counseling the same way.
My approach to pre-marital counseling was featured in an article entitled “Divorcing the Supermodel: Abandoning the Current Model of Premarital Counseling,” published in a 2004 issue of Single Adult Ministry Journal, a nationally distributed periodical for those who work with single adults.
What makes our approach unique and more effective is that we will meet with you for at least 4 follow-up sessions during your first year of marriage. Most newlyweds would never dream of scheduling an appointment with a marriage counselor, and yet it is during the first year that high expectations and reality meet at the intersection. It is during the first year that crucial patterns are set. Think of these four sessions during the first year as check-ups and tune-ups.
Good News About Cost
My standard rate for marital counseling is $185 per one-hour session. The premarital sessions and newlywed sessions are discounted to $150. Why the discounting? Because I personally want to make a statement regarding our commitment to the value of premarital & newlywed counseling, and we want to help remove some of the obstacles to you getting exceptional premarital and newlywed counseling.
** Note that with a signed and notarized document provided by your counselor confirming your participation in premarital counseling, the state of TN will reduce the cost of your marriage license by $60.