Preparing for Marriage Counseling

With Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, JP
Marriage and Family Therapist, Counseling Psychologist


Pre-marriage counseling sessions are for couples getting married who desire to have a professional prepare them for marriage and to deal with any current issues impacting the relationship.

How Many Sessions for Pre-Marriage Counseling?
  • Eight (8) sessions before the wedding day.  The sessions are spaced between one and three weeks apart.
  • One session six months after the wedding day.
  • One session one year after the wedding day.  (Session 9 and 10 are follow-up sessions to simply evaluate the couple's adjustment and growth in marriage).

When to Start Pre-Marriage Counseling?

  • Ideally, a couple should begin pre-marriage counseling between six and eighteen months before the wedding day.  However, couples can begin pre-marriage counseling sessions closer to the wedding day.  Note however, sufficient time is needed for effective evaluation, assimilation, and application of information learned.  Simply call 1-242-327-1980 to make your first appointment.


What is the Cost?

The cost for the pre-marriage counseling session is the same as other sessions:

  • $120 to $140 first session  (The total cost include a workbook for couples)
  • $80 for all other sessions
  • $35 (one time cost) for Prepare Enrich Inventory to discover relationship strengths and growth areas.

Things The Couple Will Do

  • During the first session the couple will do two short questionnaires to discover their readiness for a relationship.
  • During the first week (on their own time) the couple will do an online inventory call Prepare Enrich to provide assessment.
  • Before the sessions are completed, couples are asked to go to their medical doctors for a general health checkup.  A form will be given to them for this.  This includes family history, personal medical history and issues, blood type, etc.
  • As a part of the counseling process over eight sessions, the couple will do the following and more: Write a couple mission statement, Build a couple budget, Discuss contraception, Discus roles, Draft schedule of chores, etc.

Co-Parenting/Blended/Step Family

For individuals who are getting married and have children for another person, the therapist will discuss the dynamics of blended families.  They will discuss deception, total self disclosure, how to become one family, how to co-parent, how to manage dysfunctional relationships, etc.

Topics that will be Discussed During the Sessions

  • Godís plan for marriage (For faith believers).
  • Religious values (For faith believers).
  • Roles Exploration and Expectations
  • Sexuality. Contraception, sexual health, methods.
  • Finances. Couple Financial Planning, Budgeting.
  • In-laws. Prioritizing relationships.
  • Health and family planning. Family health history.
  • Values and goals.
  • Communication.
  • Creative problem solving.
  • Love and feelings.
  • Leisure time together and apart.
  • Issues of power and control.
  • Intimate partner abuse.
  • Parenting. Education, discipline, etc.
  • Step parenting/blended family life.
  • Forgiveness and trust.
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of the electronic media/texting, etc.
  • Couple closeness.
  • Romance and friendship, balancing time apart and together.
  • Partner style and habits.
  • Starting a home.
  • The wedding.
  • The honeymoon.
  • After the wedding.
  • etc

The Wedding

  • For couples who are in need of a marriage officer, Barrington H. Brennen, who is a marriage officer for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, can also perform the wedding ceremony for a fee.  See this webpage.


© Copyright 1995, 2017, 2020, 2021 Sounds of Encouragement Association P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas