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4 min read

Pre-Engagement Counseling: Reasons To Go and What To Expect

Key Takeaways:

  • Couples therapy doesn't have to be a bad thing. Many couples go to therapy simply to strengthen their bond.
  • Pre-engagement counseling exists to help couples determine how life might, and should, look after engagement and into marriage.
  • Many couples who go to pre-engagement counseling continue couples therapy even after they are married.

Most people have heard of marriage counseling or couples therapy. Two (or more) people sit in an office bickering about chores, right?

Not exactly. Couples therapy comes in thousands of forms and formats. There's discernment counseling, which helps couples decide whether or not to separate. Then there's couples therapy for infidelity, emotional incompatibility, and life transition problems.

But there is also couples therapy for positive things! Many couples go to therapy simply to learn more about each other and strengthen their bond. Some go to couples therapy to work out how to best support a struggling child or family member.

Pre-engagement counseling exists to help couples define and delineate the future so that it can be as fulfilling and harmonious as possible. It helps couples facilitate their thoughts and feelings during this undeniably busy - and exciting - part of their lives.

If you're considering engagement, pre-engagement counseling can help you work with your partner to ensure all the bases are covered and set the marriage up for success.

Let's learn more about this particular form of couples therapy and determine if it may be right for you.

Top Reasons To Go To Pre-Engagement Counseling

What To Expect from Pre-Engagement Counseling

Pre-Engagement Counseling in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

Top Reasons To Go To Pre-Engagement Counseling

There are many reasons to go to couples therapy before getting engaged, but here are a few of the most common.

Family and Future Planning

The decision to get married is a very big one. So big, in fact, that it often encompasses the entirety of one's life for a time.

In the midst of this life-changing transition, it's easy to forget that, after the suits are hung up and the flowers have wilted, life must carry on: a life that, often, is quite busy and not exactly romantic.

For this reason, many couples go to pre-engagement counseling in order to start the process of defining life post-marriage.

This can include anything from dividing up chores to deciding how many kids to have - there is no one right way to do it.

Pre-engagement counseling in this context is a diligent step, giving couples the upper hand against the inevitable stressors of modern life.

Past Conflict or Concerns

Some couples choose to go to pre-engagement counseling to address and resolve some past conflict.

Maybe one partner was unfaithful or had a period during which they were manipulative. Maybe one partner has a mental health concern, like depression or anxiety, that is affecting the relationship.

Regardless of the reason, past traumas, conflicts, or concerns can have an impact on the relationship down the line.

Addressing them before signing a lifelong contract is certainly preferable to waiting until after. Any problems or friction can be addressed in therapy before marriage so that the relationship is better equipped to handle them when they arise in the future.

Note that, during this kind of couples therapy, it is entirely possible for one or both partners to come to the realization that marriage is no longer what they want. While this can be extremely heartbreaking, bear in mind that, again, it is better to come to this realization before marriage rather than after.

Faith

Some couples go to faith-based pre-engagement counseling to ensure that they are living and behaving in a manner that is in accordance with their chosen faith.

While this form of pre-engagement counseling is not always clinical - and its counselors are not always licensed therapists - it can be a very important step in a couple's journey.

What To Expect from Pre-Engagement Counseling

The modality of therapy and specific steps in your pre-engagement counseling journey depend on your primary reason for going.

For example, if you are going in order to address a past betrayal like infidelity, your therapist will likely examine the psychological and external mechanisms that may have contributed to it.

If you are going in order to plan for the future, your therapist will use psychological tools to dig into what each partner truly wants and then help the partnership define what they agree on and compromise on what they don't.

Regardless of your reasoning for going to pre-engagement counseling, your therapist will approach the relationship as an unbiased third party.

Of course, it's very difficult to guarantee that any human being is actually unbiased at any given time. But your therapist has been trained to keep things civil, clinical, and productive.

That means that, no matter the situation, you can rest assured that the therapist has your best interests in mind.

This does not mean that your therapist will always be on your side, or even the side of the relationship. In fact, if it's clear the relationship is unhealthy or toxic, your therapist may even recommend time apart or a full separation. If there is abuse involved, they may even be required by law to inform the authorities.

Overall, however, your therapist's goal will be to guide you from pre-engagement to post-marriage in the most fulfilling and healthiest way possible.

They will approach the discussion from an objective standpoint and guide the conversation in a civil, productive way.

Pre-engagement counseling isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but so long as you go to a licensed clinical therapist or psychologist, you can rest assured that it will be a great way to understand your partner better than ever before.

Pre-Engagement Counseling in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

If you're considering getting engaged, congratulations! This is a tremendously exciting part of your life that you will remember forever.

If you want to ensure that you and your partner have all of the tools you need for marital harmony, pre-engagement counseling is a great next step.

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, all of our Brooklyn couples therapists are doctoral-level psychologists, bringing experience and expertise to their sessions.

Give us a call or book an appointment online to start your journey. We can't wait to see you.

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