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Before I Do

Mental Health Tip: Prioritize Premarital Counseling While Wedding Planning

by Jordyn Johnson

Congrats, you’re engaged! Getting married is such a large milestone in our lives. As soon as you said “yes” or maybe even you’re the one who popped the question, you’re probably envisioning your life together. As much as we wish our lives could be as picture perfect as movies, we all know that is not typically the case. We all have ups and downs in our relationships – but the question is how do we get through them? A good solution people recommend is premarital counseling. 

Now you may have heard of premarital counseling, but premarital counselor Julianna Navarro from Couples Counseling in Austin is here to give you the breakdown of why you should consider it and how it’s beneficial for your mental health while planning a wedding!

(guest post by Julianna Navarro from Couples Counseling in Austin)

Photo: Sophie Epton Photography

 

Premarital Counseling vs Couples Therapy

Don’t get premarital counseling confused with traditional couples therapy! In traditional couples counseling, they usually already have a problem in mind that they want to work through. However, in premarital counseling, the counselor is going through each foundational aspect of a relationship with the couple at their own pace. Doesn’t sound too bad right? 

 

Should We Consider Doing Premarital Counseling? 

Absolutely! These counseling sessions are all about learning skills that bring you closer and more connected to your partner! The more you learn about your specific relationship, the more connected you’ll feel to your partner, and isn’t that what we all want? Working through attachment, boundaries, love languages, self-care strategies, types of love, ways to build intimacy and more is a good thing, and will help you in the future! In fact, couples that have premarital counseling before marriage, report feeling more satisfied in their relationship overall.

 

What to Expect

Premarital Counseling covers all the foundations of a secure relationship, exploring each area with genuine curiosity and non-judgement. The main areas covered are: 

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Financial management
  • Sexuality and affection
  • Family and friend dynamics
  • Relationship roles and expectations
  • Children and parenting styles
  • Spiritual or religious beliefs

Each topic covered is personally tailored to the couple and we walk through each at their own pace. Generally, a complete premarital counseling course includes 10 sessions, but can be extended if the couple wants to spend more time in any area in specific. There’s so much we cover within this premarital counseling process, and no two sessions look the same.

Each Couples Counseling in Austin counselor has 7+ years of college education, a master’s degree in their field and thousands of hours of face-to-face experience working with couples before they meet with you. They are experts in their field of relationships and can most likely help you improve your overall satisfaction in your connection with your partner, that can last a lifetime.

 

Our Number One Reason for Premarital Counseling

Wedding planning can be stressful. The energy it takes to plan, organize and prepare the little details of the wedding, as well as managing your own life, can feel overwhelming. An experienced premarital counselor knows clinically proven methods to help you reduce your stress. Counselors offer a safe space for you to process stress, anxiety and wedding planning dynamics. Most brides that come to me end up talking about stress with family dynamics and financial logistics. Sometimes, we need someone who can just listen to us vent and see things from a clear objective view and feel fully supported through this process. This time is an important phase in the couple’s life, and as with any kind of change in life, extra support it always helpful.

 

Advice for Managing Stress as a Team

The best advice a premarital counselor could give a couple is don’t wait to get support. Most couples think they must wait until they are “going through something” or facing a problem in their relationship to seek help. This is not the case. Preventative maintenance, such as premarital counseling, is always more effective and less expensive than regular couples counseling. There are emotional wounds that can be made with the relationship over time, that are hard to undo if the couple doesn’t practice effective communication with one another. Not to mention, connecting with another person takes work, and it doesn’t always come as easily as it did when you first started the relationship. Relationship “maintenance” takes skill and knowledge that is learned in a safe environment like premarital counseling.


If you’ve ever thought about premarital counseling, this might be your sign to try it out before you and your partner tie the knot! Thank you to Julianna Navarro from Couples Counseling in Austin for such great insight on what premarital counseling actually is and how this can benefit you and your spouse’s mental health! If you want to meet with Julianna, check out Couples Counseling in Austin’s vendor profile here!

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