When life is going well, and you have finally found the one person you want to spend your life with, counseling may be the last thing on your mind. You may be surprised to learn that your minister recommends or requires that you complete pre-marital counseling before he or she will marry you. If this is you, or if you are a couple who understands that learning more about each other may help strengthen your marriage, the MAPS pre-marital counseling program may be just what you are looking for.
Here at MAPS Counseling Services, pre-marital counseling is designed to strengthen and guide your marriage. It is not intended to “fix” anything. It won’t try to change your minds or alter how you feel about each other. What it does offer is useful information about your relationship, information that may help you to identify the strengths and resources that each of you bring to this union. It may also show you some potential difference that might or might not create challenges for you one day.
A successful marriage is a sacred life journey and, hopefully, it will be a long journey. The happiest couples in the world will tell you that the journey has hills and valleys, smooth stretches and rough spots. A successful marriage is based on more than love: it requires commitment, respect and a mature understanding of the compromises and changes that will be asked of you. We cannot tell you where your journey will take you, but we can help prepare you for some of the challenges that you may face.
The MAPS Pre-Marital Counseling Program is a collaborative program with many churches in the Monadnock Region. This program will require about five hours of your time, plus the time required for each of you to complete an online questionnaire. The online questionnaire we use is the RELATE (www.relate-institute.org), a clinically validated assessment that helps you understand how factors in your family life, personality and values, social interactions and relationships may influence your marriage in the future. There are 276 questions which take about 35 minutes to complete, after which you will receive a detailed report to help you interpret your (and your partner’s) responses. After completing the RELATE, you will have four, one hour sessions with a MAPS counselor. During these sessions, you will review the results of the RELATE questionnaire, and discuss how this information may help get your marriage off to the very best start possible. The results of the RELATE, and anything you share during your meetings with the counselor, will be strictly confidential. With your permission, we may share them with you minister who may choose also to meet with you and review the findings and the results of your counseling. Either way, you make the decision. The total cost for this program, including the test, is $340. We regret that insurance typically will not pay for this service.
The Pre-Marital Counseling Program is coordinated by Larry McFarland, LCMHC and Stephanie Kimber, LCMHC. If you would like more information, or you would like to schedule an appointment please call Larry at 603-355-2244, ext. 8117, email larry.mcfarland@MAPSnh.org or Stephanie at 603-355-2244, ext. 8264, email skimber@MAPSnh.org