Couple sitting in premarital Counseling sessionAccording to In Touch Magazine, actress Jennifer Aniston and her boyfriend, Justin Theroux, are visiting a couples' counselor to address potential relationship pitfalls before they consider a long-term commitment.

Studies show that Aniston and her beau aren't alone - a little less than half of soon-to-be-married couples in the United States participate in some form of premarital counseling or education.

Premarital counseling can consist of one session or multiple sessions with a marriage educator, therapist or religious official. The sessions allows couples to discuss their individual goals and preferences, address fears or concerns, develop a better understanding of each other and gain knowledge of effective communication skills.

"Pre-marriage courses educate couples in the skills, habits and attitudes that lead to happy, lasting marriages," Anne Coleman of ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service told the Belfast Telegraph.

A July 2010 study by researchers at Brigham Young University (BYU) found that premarital counseling or education does not necessarily improve relationship quality or satisfaction, but improves the communication skills necessary to navigate the hard times in a marriage that could otherwise lead to divorce.

"Most couples who seek therapy identify communication problems as their primary concern," said Elizabeth Fawcett, lead author of the BYU study. "If marriage prep classes can teach couples communication skills that will help them avoid divorce or marital distress, then these communication-based classes could be very helpful to a large number of couples."

Researchers believe that the fundamental skills learned from premarital counseling may reduce the risk of divorce by 30 percent.
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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Premarital Counseling in Baton Rouge 09/26/2011 04:51 PM
This is a compelling statistic that premarital counseling reduces the risk of divorce by 30%. A goo premarital counseling program will also challenge incompatible couples to reconsider marriage.
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