Prepare-Enrich Premarital Counseling

Prepare-Enrich is one of the most-used and top premarital and marriage assessment tools. The assessment is evidence-based and the workbook and sessions impart tools, skills, reflections, and insights that support the development and maintenance of healthy relationships. While recommended initially as a series of sessions to be engaged before marriage, the Prepare-Enrich tools and check-ins are effective in increasing communication, intimacy, and connection at any stage of a committed relationship.

The skills (such as assertiveness and active listening) and topics covered (such as partnership style and habits or sex and intimacy) can improve relationship quality, understanding of your partner and yourself, and serve as a preventative measure to ensure a strong foundation that can weather problems when they arise.

The way premarital counseling generally works is as follows:

Before your initial session, you and your partner have an intake call to ensure that you feel working with your therapist and doing pre-marital counseling is a good fit. Next, you and your partner take an assessment individually and receive a packet to go through together in therapy with some of your results.

In your initial session, your therapist will review your results with you and guide you through exercises to define your course forward in pre-marital counseling as you identify growth and challenge areas with your partner. In the next three or four sessions, you and your partner will move through the four core units and core skills of the Prepare-Enrich method.

After completing these sessions, you as a couple will address additional challenge areas identified in your first session and other couple difficulties as needed. While Prepare-Enrich is a structured approach that is highly comprehensive and addresses most issues premarital couples are facing, there is room for you and your partner to bring up topics that are not addressed directly in the workbook or assessment. Since your clinician is also a trained couples therapist, these topics would be addressed using traditional couples therapy techniques. 

For each session, you can expect:

  • A check-in about your homework experience and any questions or reflections that have arisen
  • Specific feedback from about your strengths (agreement items) and potential issues (disagreement, indecision, and special focus items).
  • Guided in-session exploration of exercises from the Workbook for Couples
  • Homework from the Workbook for Couples 

Sample Topics:

Strength & Growth Areas
Relationship Dynamics
Personal Stress Profile 
Conflict Resolution
Financial Management
Relationship Roles
Sex and Affection
Leisure Activities
Children and Parenting
Spiritual Beliefs


Sample Skills:

Assertiveness & Active Listening
Balancing priorities
Managing stress
Resolving conflict
Stress management
Managing finances and budgeting
Expression of intimacy
Sharing roles
Noticing + shifting family patterns
Managing wedding expectations
Understanding + accepting your and your partner's personality

About the assessment, according to

The assessment is: 
A momentary snapshot of your relationship
A catalyst for discussion between you and your partner
Proven to lower your risk of divorce
An accurate, research-based report of your relationship strength and growth areas
A valid and reliable source of relationship enrichment
A reflection of what your relationship historically has been or will be in the future

The assessment is not: 
A compatibility report or a test you can pass or fail
A guarantee for a successful relationship
A measure that indicates you should break up or get married 

The Prepare Enrich Workbook for Couples contains 24 feedback exercises covering 12-14 relationship categories. These are reviewed by you and your clinician with an emphasis on the core skills and challenge areas that you and your partner jointly identify with your therapist.


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