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Premarital Counseling for Austin Couples: How It Works and What to Expect

I just don't know if we have the same life goals.

What if he wants to move to another city for work?

She doesn't seem very excited about moving in together.

He doesn't seem very excited about being a stay-at-home parent...

In every relationship, no matter how perfect it looks on Instagram, questions like these ring in the heads of each partner.

Premarital counseling can help couples address these kinds of questions and find solutions before entering into a lifelong agreement of love and commitment.

A romantic relationship that aims for marriage requires melding two individuals into one unit, a process that requires compromise in many areas and sacrifice in a few others.

If you're finding yourself in a position of tension about questions like the ones above, you're not alone.

Often, couples have trouble finding where to compromise and what to sacrifice, which can lead to conflict and confusion that puts strain on the relationship.

Finding a licensed, professional couples therapist and attending premarital counseling can help resolve this tension and determine a plan for the future.

Skip to your question:

How Does Premarital Counseling Work?

What can we expect from a session?

Who should be seeking premarital counseling?

How Much Do Premarital Counseling Sessions Cost?

Premarital Counseling to Marriage Counseling

Austin Premarital Counseling at Williamsburg Therapy Group

How Does Premarital Counseling Work?

Premarital counseling is exactly what it sounds like: a couple visits a licensed therapist and works out the details of what life will be like after marriage.

This can include anything from foundational values and philosophies to who does the laundry on Tuesday.

Premarital counseling is a way to prepare mentally and pragmatically for a lifelong commitment.

What can we expect from a session?

In general, you can expect to work on the following points:

  • Conflict resolution skills
  • How to improve communication
  • A strong foundation of trust
  • A greater understanding of your partner as an individual
  • Expectations of workload division and parental roles, if applicable

Beyond these core factors for a lasting marriage, you can also expect to work on some more specific concerns that depend on your reason for seeking premarital counseling.

For example, some couples actively search for a couples therapist because of an event that transpired and became a point of contention and a source of anger or frustration in the relationship.

When an event like this occurs close to the wedding day, premarital therapy can help reduce tension and get communication and trust back to a healthy level before the bell rings.

On the other hand, many couples seek premarital therapy simply because they want to make sure everything is on the table and sorted before diving into marriage.

Say, for example, that a couple comes into a therapy office for premarital counseling not for any specific reason but because they want to get to know each other better and talk about their foundational ideals.

Therapy might reveal that each partner has widely different preferences about parenting styles. By going to therapy before marriage, they give themselves a chance to come to a compromise, align on roles, or, in rare cases, decide that the differences are too wide to justify having children together.

The point is that the issue gets resolved one way or another before the relationship becomes, quite literally, contractual. This is far preferable to getting married, waiting five years to have a child, and then learning about serious differences.

Finally, there are forms of premarital counseling that are faith-based. While not in the realm of true talk therapy, faith-based premarital counseling can be very important for those for whom their faith is tied closely to who they are, both as individuals and as a couple.

what does premarital therapy entail - list of points

What form of therapy does premarital counseling use?

Primarily, a couples therapist will use emotionally-focused therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy in order to make progress. These methods are based on evidence and have been well studied, so we know they work for most couples.

Who should be seeking premarital counseling?

Any couple can attend premarital therapy for any reason. There is no reason to wait until there is a failure of trust or communication. In fact, it's better to get a professional's insight sooner rather than later.

If you are thinking about attending sessions and want to pitch the idea to your partner, here are some common problems or situations that may warrant couples therapy before marriage:

  • Infidelity
  • Consistent or increasing frequency of arguments
  • Pregnancy
  • Trauma in either partner
  • Problems with sexual intimacy
  • Career moves; life transitions; moving to a new city or country
  • Family clashing
  • Feeling distance or diminishing attraction

Premarital therapy can help you and your partner address any of these issues. None of them are impossible to solve, but leaving them untreated can certainly create problems in the future.

What about therapy for non-traditional couples?

This exists too! Therapy is known for being an inclusive practice: most therapists love and respect the LGBTQ community, polyamorous relationships, and those with gender non-conforming identities.

Additionally, most medical professionals in general are willing to do the work necessary to make their spaces safe and healthy for non-cis- and heteronormative people and relationships.

If you're talking with a potential therapist and have concerns about their level of inclusivity, don't be afraid to ask them questions about it, request changes of verbiage, or even seek a new therapist entirely.

Williamsburg Therapy Group is committed to making our expertise available and accessible to everyone.

How Much Do Premarital Counseling Sessions Cost?

In Austin, you can expect to pay around $150 to $300 per session, and most couples attend about five sessions.

Your total spend on this journey depends on your specific situation. Some couples only need one session to find a compromise on a sticking point, while others may need ten or more sessions to reconcile major differences in values.

Your premarital therapist can give you more insight on how many sessions, or for what duration, they think you should attend. A licensed therapist has an ethical obligation as a medical professional to be honest about this, so don't worry about them trying to lure you into paying more than necessary. The Hippocratic Oath precludes it.

Premarital Counseling to Marriage Counseling

After the leftover cake is frozen and the dresses are stored, many couples choose to continue couples therapy in the form of marriage counseling.

Marriage counseling helps couples maintain healthy communication and address any conflict, allowing the relationship to continue to grow in a productive and loving way.

Austin Premarital Counseling at Williamsburg Therapy Group

At Williamsburg Therapy Group, our team of doctoral-level psychologists is uniquely qualified to address the complicated but beautiful inner workings of your relationship.

Whatever your goals, long- and short-term, our licensed Austin couples therapists are ready to provide unique insight on your relationship's harmony, intimacy, and communication.

Schedule an appointment today to gain access to Austin's best team of therapists, or give us a call to speak with our patient coordinator.

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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