The majority of couples who are seeking marriage counseling want to avoid going to a Catholic counselor. This is a mistake because the vast majority of Catholic marriage and family counselors are excellent at their craft. They truly care about each person and their unique situation and they really do want to help you find a way to make your marriage work. As a Catholic myself I’ve had many problems with my own marriage but I always believed that Catholic counseling was for people who could already sit in a Catholic Church!
While the Catholic Church has a long tradition of premarital counseling, it is not for everyone. For instance, just because you’re from a Catholic family does not mean that you automatically need premarital counseling. On the other hand, there are plenty of good Catholic marriage counseling programs out there. Many have been done either by the Catholic Church or outside of it.
It is important to note that many times the best premarital counseling will be done by someone who is not from the Catholic Church. This can be an even better option because you will be able to receive the assistance from a non-Catholic and will be able to make completely informed decisions. Typically, any findings indicated in premarital counseling will be recommended if both partners in the marriage are Catholic and are involved with the Catholic Church. However, it may also be suggested if either spouse is not Catholic and does not have a history with the Catholic Church. If this is the case the counseling should be done outside of the Catholic Church.
When you start looking into premarital counseling, you should know whether or not one of the partners in the marriage is Catholic and if so what is their history with the Catholic Church. The first step in premarital counseling is to establish an open line of communication. Many people shy away from talking about their problems because they are embarrassed, worried or ashamed. However, when you are doing premarital counseling you should make it clear that the counselor is not trying to convert you to the Catholic faith. The counselor needs to understand why you are interested in the Catholic faith and should encourage open communication between both parties involved.
It is not uncommon for a Catholic marriage counselor to suggest to either party in the marriage that they should use pornography during their marriage. Unfortunately, the mere suggestion is frowned upon and will usually result in either a denial of the request or a discussion on why the use of pornography is wrong. A Catholic marriage counseling session should focus on the positive things associated with the Catholic faith such as the fact that the spouses love each other and they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Discussing the reasons why your marriage has fallen into disarray, will go a long way to repairing the problems between the two parties involved.
One last point of importance with premarital counseling for Catholics is what may seem to be a simple marital problem. For example, many couples enter into marriage counseling wanting to get rid of their marital problems all together. Unfortunately this rarely happens and it is usually only after the marriage counseling is completed that these problems surface again. A Catholic marriage counseling session will teach the couple to understand each other’s needs and then they can begin to work towards solutions on a mutually comfortable basis. If you feel that your marriage is in trouble or is having problems that seem insurmountable, you may want to consider getting help from a Catholic marriage counseling services agency. These services offer a safe, secure environment where you can talk about your situation without feeling as if your personal information is being divulged in any way.