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CostHelper > Weddings  > Premarital Counseling

Premarital Counseling Cost


How Much Does Premarital Counseling Cost?

 
low costChurch-affiliated: $25-125 per sessionaverage costPrivate or secular: $50-$150 per sessionhigh costGroup seminar: $100-$300

Before saying "I do," many couples participate in premarital counseling. This may be conducted in a group seminar with several other couples or in private sessions with the couple and a therapist. Private sessions are typically one hour long, and couples attend an average of four to six total sessions. Topics covered typically include relationship strengths and growth areas, communication, conflict resolution, financial planning, family of origin, spirituality, sexual relationship and family and personal goals.

Typical costs:

  • Church-affiliated premarital counseling typically ranges from $25 to $125 per one-hour session. It is often required that couples wishing to be married at a specific church attend premarital counseling there. For example, Community Nazarene Church [1] in Wyandanch, New York, offers a six-session, $300 counseling package at an average cost of $50 per session.
  • Private or secular premarital counseling typically ranges from $50 to $150 per one-hour session. For example, Family Services of Greater Houston[2] charges $85 per hour with optional reduced rates based on income.
  • A group seminar for engaged couples can range from $100 to $300. Though less interactive than personal counseling, couples may choose this option to address several premarital topics in a single day. The Wissahickon Center for Relationship Therapy[3] in North Wales, Pennsylvania, offers the Start Right - Stay Connected premarital seminar for $300.
Related articles: Wedding Planner, Marriage License, Marriage Certificate, Wedding Insurance, Officiant

What should be included:
  • As part of a counseling package, the therapist may choose to include written materials, a workbook or an assessment to help the couple prepare for each counseling session.
  • The counselor should make every effort to assess the couple's strengths as well as growth areas and provide either a written or oral evaluation upon completion.
  • Premarital counseling through a church should provide a reputable counselor or married couple who can speak knowledgeably about marriage and faith.
Additional costs:
  • Many premarital counselors require couples to complete a written inventory as part of the counseling package. The PREPARE-ENRICH[4] assessment costs $35, for example, and is often billed separately from counseling sessions.
  • A counselor may require couples to purchase books or other course materials around $40 to $50.
  • Couples planning to marry at a church where they are not members may pay $100 to $150 more than members. A couple may check to see if the church requires them to complete premarital counseling through its program in order to have a wedding there.
  • For couples who forget to attend a counseling session or fail to cancel with less than 24 hours notice, many licensed therapists will still charge for the session.
Discounts:
  • Occasionally, therapists will offer discounted fees contingent on the couple's income, charging only $20 to $35 per session.
  • Couples with documentation showing they've completed premarital counseling may be eligible for a discounted marriage license in their state. Current discounts are $70 off in Minnesota, $60 off in Texas, $45 in Oklahoma and $32.50 in Florida, according to The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center[5] .
Shopping for premarital counseling:
  • The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists[6] offers a database of marriage and family-related programs by state.
  • Private or secular counseling should be performed only by a licensed counselor. Ask to see his or her credentials. When going through a church, couples may wish to read its faith statement.
  • Before booking a wedding ceremony venue, ask if premarital counseling is provided or required by the church.
  • A premarital counselor may offer an introductory session for free before the couple commits to attending a series of appointments. Ask if this is a possibility before paying out a lump sum to a particular counselor.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
pre-marital counseling
Amount: $70.00
Posted by: William Larkin in Oklahoma City, OK, OK.Posted: August 9th, 2013 08:08AM
Type of counseling: IntrospectiveCounselor: William Larkin
Number of sessions: 4
My counseling in Oklahoma was the most serious and effective counseling I have done with a couple. I have ordered materials for couples in Colorado (1996-1998) and California (199-2005), but they did not continue with the process. Since I have been in Alabama (2006 to the present), I don't have record of using the Prepare/Enrich materials.I am now in need of materials for a couple that want to renew their vows. I am recommending to them to also take the inventory, as a marital check-up. They have agreed.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.communitynazarenechurch.com/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=140027318&sec_id=140003927
  2.  www.familyservices.org/pdf/Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20Counseling.pdf
  3.  www.relationshipgarden.com/couples_premarital.php
  4.  /www.prepare-enrich.com/webapp/pe/overview/template/DisplaySecureContent.vm;pc=136...
  5.  www.healthymarriageinfo.org/find-resources/index.aspx#topic=all&type=33&year=all
  6.  www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com/marriagecounselingbystate.php
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