Does Premarital Counseling Actually Help?
Key marital research shows that couples who participate in premarital counseling are 30% less likely to get divorced. This is why the Center for Marriage and Relationships provides small, group pre-engagement/premarital counseling for students at Biola University. Zack Seals ('18) and Amber Gokey ('19) recently participated in one of these classes and now feel much better equipped with crucial relationships skills for their future.
Zack: The Center for Marriage and Relationships has been a key resource in our relationship. When Amber and I heard they were offering a premarital counseling class we knew it was going to be a unique opportunity to grow closer in our relationship, and it did not disappoint. Willa Williams (licensed MFT and Small Group Leader) was an excellent group facilitator and wonderfully balanced discussion with prepared content. The class provided a number of helpful principles on how to address conflict in a relationship, as well as the needed practical examples of what that looks like in everyday life. Each week she walked us through the results of a relationship assessment (Prepare and Enrich), which was invaluable in examining our strengths and weaknesses.
Amber: The premarital group was such a unique experience. I really valued learning how to address conflict in a loving way and learning how to approach difficult conversations in my relationship. Taking this premarital group drew us closer together. We learned practical tools to help us navigate difficult situations when they occur even as we continue to strengthen our relationship.
Zack: One of my favorite elements of the class was Willa's attention to our questions and concerns. Healthy communication is an essential part to any relationship and it was exemplified powerfully all throughout this premarital class.
Amber: Also, it was a blessing to grow with the other couples in this group. We were all able to get to know each other outside of the group and encourage one another in our relationships. The leader was filled with so much wisdom and it was a joy to have her lead the group.
Zack: I highly recommend any couple looking to move their relationship forward without worries of artificial pressure to join this group, and to take advantage of all the wisdom they have to offer.”
Through the CMR's premarital/pre-engagement small groups, couples like Amber and Zack are learning to communicate their emotions and manage difficult conversations without letting things escalate.
With your help, we will continue equipping young couples like them with the relational tools they need on the front end of life, setting them up for healthy relationships that will last - relationships for life.
Join with the CMR to help young couples build a strong relationship foundation!
The Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships exists to build and sustain healthy relationships and marriages in the church and broader culture. Visit our blog to view articles, videos and more resources on marriage and relationships.