Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pre-marital Counseling, is it worth it?

P and I are considering pre-marital counseling.  Now, don't get all freaked out and ask me what's wrong.  We are better than we've ever been, and SO ready to get married.  But I really believe in the value of pre-marital counseling when it is done right.  (If you are unconvinced, read this post.) 

The problem is, it has been really hard to find non-religious and affordable pre-marital counseling here in NOLA.  We went to two different people that I found through Internet searches for initial searches and they were just not right.   The first lady?  Creeper.  Seriously.  We left her place, took one look at each other, and we were both like, "no way".  The next one cancelled on us like four different times. 

We finally found someone who sounds like she has her sh*t together, and from talking to her over the phone it sounds like we would be compatible.  The problem?  She costs $65 a session.  Apparently this is cheap, but we are on budget here.  Especially since we just dipped into our savings to buy two expensive flights to Wisconsin on short notice.  I'm starting to think I will put my psychology major to good use and lead our pre-marital counseling sessions myself.  I kid, I kid. 

So, I'm asking y'all for advice.  Have you done it?  Is it worth it?  How many sessions do you need to go to in order to really make it "worth your while"?  


  1. My husband to be and I did a program, and it was about $475.

    I think all couples have their problem areas, no matter how good/strong/in love/perfect they are. It's not always roses. It's an opportunity to work through some issues in a very neutral area with the help of a professional. I wish we had done something one on one with a professional, but the one day session was really better for us scheduling wise.

    We have a huge binder with lots of feedback about relationships, our couples survey, and information on being communicative, how to argue. I think you can get the latter from a Gottman book. Bryan was, okay I'll do it, and then after said- that was valuable. I talked to a few therapists who recommended 6 sessions.

  2. We'll be doing our premarital counseling with our minister, and that will be 2 or 3 sessions.

    As far as non-religious stuff goes, have you tried contacting Tulane/Loyola/UNO? Their counseling departments might either know of something, or perhaps might have grad students who could do it at a more reasonable rate. Also, you might want to contact someone with the Louisiana Department of Mental Health (or something like that). If they don't offer counseling themselves, they may know of someone. Or try contacting a religious organization because they may know of non-religious folk who can handle the counseling.

    Lastly, check with your insurance to see if it will cover it. With our insurance company you have a $200 deductible, but then after that you only pay like 15% or something so it's about $15 a session (for my regular-non marriage-related counselor) who would otherwise be $100/session.

  3. I say to follow your heart and do what feels right for you. Maybe go once to the new person (&65) and see if your instincts tell you it's worth it or not... love your blog btw, so many honest thoughts for us brides-to-be.

  4. My FH and I went to premarital counseling and it was definitely worth it. It is really helpful to have someone coach you through some important conversations. Luckily 5 visits were free through my work benefits, but we only needed 4 and our counselor said we were good to go. I wouldn't hesitate to approach marital counseling in the future if needed, and my FH really appreciated the experience as well.

  5. I teach a premarital webinar for and have seen first hand the difference it makes in couple's relationships. It is so helpful to make sure you are on the same page and learn some new skills in communication and conflict resolution. You can never stop investing in your relationship!

  6. Communication breakdown is often cited as the most common complaint in struggling marriages. Healing the brokenness in the marriage and overcoming communication breakdowns in marriage requires perseverance and a shift in attitudes but it is possible even if only one person is trying.

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  7. This is very good information.i think it's useful advice. really nice blog. keep it up!!!
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  8. I offer a secular premarital counseling program for $59.


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