Premarital counseling

The amount of time pastors spend on marital counseling always seems to be increasing. Premarital counseling received from the pastor is a common practice in most congregations. A wide variety of resources are used by pastors to help couples prepare for their marriage (not just the wedding day).

Now pastors can further assist couples by providing access to premarital counseling through their Member Assistance Program. The premarital counseling service uses the PREPARE/ENRICH™ online couple assessment. This is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. Our counselors who have been trained as PREPARE/ENRICH facilitators will meet with the couples to review their results.

Here’s how it works:
1. The pastor refers the couple to their Member Assistance Program and provides the couple with their online intake link (only one of them will need to complete the intake).

2. The couple is scheduled with the trained PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator for an initial appointment, which is held in person if the couple is located near a Christian Family Solutions clinic location, or via a secure video connection from a home or church.

3. Meeting 1—The couple meets with the counselor and provides a history of their relationship with the counselor. The counselor discusses what they feel are strengths and potential areas of challenge in their relationship. Finally, the couple is given access to the online PREPARE/ENRICH assessment to complete prior to the next meeting.

4. Meeting 2—The counselor reviews the comprehensive PREPARE/ENRICH report that outlines results on relationship and personality scales (communication, spiritual beliefs, conflict resolution, roles, sexuality, finances, and more).

5. Meeting 3—The counselor provides recommendations to the couple on ways they can improve their relationship based on the results of the premarital process. Once the meetings have been completed, the counselor provides the PREPARE/ENRICH report and recommendations to the pastor. The pastor can then follow up with the couple to help them improve on relationship areas that need to be addressed, or the pastor can allow the counselor to provide some additional sessions with the couple and provide the couple with specific strategies and skill-building techniques to make improvements.

For the MAP Support Center, please call 800.438.1772 or e-mail the program coordinator at assistance@wlcfs.org.