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Couples counseling may be chosen as preventive maintenance to open communication, identify differences, and lay possible areas of conflict out on the table ahead of time. In fact, some couples choose to seek relationship help prior to getting married. This is often initiated following a recommendation by their minister, rabbi or priest. As a matter of routine, some faiths mandate relationship counseling as preparation for all couples before getting married.
Premarital counseling is usually short-term in nature, six sessions of less. A marriage educator, counselor or clergy person is utilized to help the couple build practical skills. Goals of the process may include: identifying and communicating expectations of the marriage, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship, developing a plan for growth, and learning communication and conflict resolution skills.