Explain the similarities and differences between premarital counseling, marriage enrichment couples counseling, divorce counseling and divorce mediation. Provide an example of each using five different cases.
Couples are dynamic and unique just as the individuals are. Challenges in couples’ relationships are also as prevalent as the happy times. This roller coaster of challenges and happy times may be difficult for the couple to manage alone and this is when assistance is either sought by the couple or offered by concerned parties. This has necessitated the emergence of specialized counseling practices in the form of premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, couples counseling, divorce counseling and divorce mediation.
Premarital counseling is the counseling offered to a couple before marriage in preparation for the union they are getting into. This kind of counseling is preventive. It assumes the role of preparing a good foundation where the whole structure of the couple’s marriage can stand without cracking. The role of the counselor is to facilitate an atmosphere where the couple can learn more about themselves and the other, i.e. their personality traits, worldviews, and visions for the future in relation with their intention to be together from then onwards. It also helps in providing insight into marital roles and responsibilities to the couple. Premarital counseling is normally done in sessions where either the couple comes alone or they will be a group of couples discussing in groups with a facilitator. This kind of counseling service is provided by trained counselors, religious leaders, or elders in a community. A case example: At Glad Tidings Church they have a policy that states that for you to married by the church’s marriage officer you will need to undergo premarital counseling with one of the recognized church elders. When Tadiwa proposed to Rudo and she said yes, they approached one of the church elders for premarital counseling. They went for several sessions and during these sessions they discovered interesting and important things about themselves and the other. Although Rudo knew that Tadiwa was a divorcee she was enlightened to realize that as the counselor put it, this was a red flag situation for which they needed to discuss on how they intended to deal with future conflicts that may arise from Tadiwa’s ex. Rudo discovered that due to the rejection she went through growing up, she is a very sensitive person, an attention seeker and a people pleaser which makes her non confrontational. Tadiwa on the other hand discovered that he is an extrovert who will have his way anyhow, and that due to his previous marriage he has very high and maybe unattainable standards for his would be wife just to make sure he does not end up divorced again. With the help of the counselor they were able to discuss these issues to a point where they realized they still had a lot to learn and agreed to retain their counselor even after marriage for marriage guidance.
Marriage enrichment is a form of counseling that is offered to couples who have been together for some time and wish to improve or enhance their relationships. It helps couples to bring life into an otherwise monotonous now boring relationship. It serves as a reminder of how great the two are together i.e. their positive aspects as well as bringing in new ideas to revitalize their relationship. This is normally done in group context where several couples preferably at the same stages of life go for a seminar or retreat and through a facilitator discuss issues pertaining to their relationship. A Case example: Takunda and Vimbai had one daughter and two sons who were now between the teenage and early adulthood ages when they decided to participate in marriage enrichment program advertised in their local newspaper. During the program Vimbai who had stopped working in order to be a full time mother for their children now...