Premarital Counselling

The importance of preparing for your marriage

Whether you are engaged to be married with a planned wedding date in mind or in a committed relationship contemplating marriage, we highly recommend a course of premarital counselling to help you start off on the right foot. For engaged couples, it is both joyful and stressful to plan for the wedding day. Most couples place great importance, understandably, on getting all the details for the big day just right. At the Calgary Couples Counselling Centre we believe it is essential to give the same careful attention and planning to your marriage as you might give to your wedding day, as the relationship with your spouse is one of the most significant relationships you will ever have.

6-8 sessions using the PREPARE assessment

Our program is based on the PREPARE-ENRICH program, which has helped over 3 million+ couples over the last 40 years grow closer together, gain awareness of their strengths and work areas, improve their communication and understanding of each other, and become aware of potential pitfalls in marriage and how to avoid them and keep their relationship strong.

At the heart of the PREPARE program is an online assessment questionnaire that takes about 45-minutes to complete and looks in-depth at all areas of your relationship. You and your partner each complete the questionnaire separately. Your therapist then reviews highlights of your questionnaire results with you, and uses the questionnaire to facilitate discussion about various aspects of your relationship over a series of sessions with you and your partner, typically six to eight sessions.

Each session focuses on a different aspect of your relationship. Topics include communication and how you handle your differences, finances, the impact of family and friends in your life and the patterns you learned in your family and that you bring with you into your relationship, how you handle expectations for marriage, and how you make decisions about roles and responsibilities within the relationship, and more.

Research on the effectiveness of premarital counselling

Research has shown that, as a group, couples who participate in premarital counselling experience a 30% reduction in divorce rate. Studies have also shown that premarital counselling has a significant positive impact on improving relationships. One study examining the utility of giving couples feedback based on their responses to PREPARE showed a 52% increase in “vitalized” couples after the program (the term “vitalized” refers to couples that were highest in satisfaction). Studies have also shown that premarital counselling has a similar positive impact whether a couple receives it individually with a therapist or in a group setting.