My partner is not sure about premarital counseling. What can I say to get him/her on board?
Not everyone is familiar with or understands the benefits of education and counseling, and some may even grow up in a family where seeking outside help is seen as weak or stigmatized. Premarital counseling is proactive in nature. The goal is to set you up for success and focus on the strengths and positives of your relationship; it is not about fixing something that is wrong or talking about what is problematic (one of the 4 Myths of Premarital Counseling). That is not to say that we won’t talk about challenges or difficulties that arise in your relationship, but those will not be the sole focus of our sessions. I work from a strengths-based perspective, and I believe that highlighting what works in your relationship also provides the foundational skills to help you get through relationship challenges. That being said, my recommendation to couples is that for premarital counseling to be truly effective, both partners should be engaged in the process. If your partner is not on-board, it may not be the right time, but keep in mind that the inventory/assessment used for premarital counseling can also be used after marriage.
Which package do you recommend?
It depends on what your goals are and what you are looking to get out of the experience. I recommend the Full or P/E + Personality package for dating and premarital couples, because both include the standard PREPARE/ENRICH inventory which covers the widest range of topics. The P/E + Personality package is my favorite because it includes the 16 Personalities test, which provides insight into understanding aspects of your partner such as their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, what frustrates them, what type of partner they choose, their personality traits and characteristics, etc. It is a useful tool for better understanding how your personalities complement and challenge each other, and a great springboard going into the P/E assessment and feedback sessions. The Checkup package is ideal for couples who have already done the Full package and who want to do a “check in” a year or so into their marriage, or for longer-married couples. PREPARE/ENRICH is an incredibly versatile assessment tool, and I use it with dating, engaged, and married couples. You can find more information on the Packages page.
We are interested in learning more, but are not sure if PREPARE/ENRICH is the right program for us. Do we need to make an immediate commitment?
To ensure that PREPARE/ENRICH is the right program for you and we are a good fit, I offer a FREE 30-minute introductory session. I take time during that session to get to know you, explain PREPARE/ENRICH and the process, and answer any questions you have. You are investing time and money into our sessions and, should you choose me as your premarital counselor, I want to make sure that you have the best possible experience and leave feeling like your time was well-spent. You can book your free intro session at
Why are the sessions 60-90 minutes?
I cover a set number of topics in each session. It will just depend on how long it takes to get through those topics and how much we have to talk about in each section. I generally recommend that couples plan for closer to 90 minutes than 60 minutes.
How long does the P/E assessment take to complete?
Couples have reported anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, but I would say most report in the range of 20-40 minutes to take the assessment.
What is the format of the assessment?
The assessment is 250 questions and the responses are on a 5-point scale, from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree), with 3 as Undecided. If you answer 3 too many times, you will be prompted by the system to choose another answer :-)
Do we take the P/E assessment together?
No. I will send you each a link to the assessment, and you take it separately.
How long should we wait between scheduling each session?
I generally recommend scheduling the sessions 2-3 weeks apart, which gives you time to do the Couples Workbook that goes along with the P/E program. The Workbook has activities and worksheets that correspond with the topics that we will discus in session. It is not mandatory, but couples who have done the Workbook have said they have found it to be a helpful supplement to our sessions.
What happens if we run over or don’t finish discussing our assessment results in 3 sessions?
About 30% of my couples do not finish going over their P/E results in 3 sessions. I will let you know in our 2nd session if we are behind and, if so, you will have a couple of options. We can either prioritize the topics that are left in the third session and finish in 3 sessions, or we can continue working through the assessment and add a session. I offer additional 60 or 90-minute sessions, depending on how much we have left to cover. The cost of a 60-minute session is $125 and the cost of a 90-minute session is $175.