by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
Wouldn’t it be great to raise the stock market and lower the divorce rate in America? At present, stocks have lost around 50 percent of their value, and the permanence and stability of nearly 50 percent of marriages is lost to divorce.
Many faith-based institutions are working to counter this trend. Many require prospective couples to have a series of individual or group counseling sessions before the church is finally booked or the band gets the first down payment. (Group therapy has been championed by the American Mental Health Foundation, when conduced by highly trained and skilled therapists. It takes a special kind of therapist and intensive training program. See Crucial Choices – Crucial Changes by Dr. Stefan de Schill, from Prometheus Books, available through Amazon as well.)
Still other faith-based groups may include psychological testing as part of the program of premarital reflection. The 16 Personality Factors Test is one such assessment. This high-quality and highly regarded test has been used for more than 40 years. It is designed not for mental-health issues and problems, but for the kinds of issues that many of us grapple with daily, especially those central to couples’ counseling, vocational guidance, and hiring and promotion recommendations. Some of the areas measured are similar to these kinds of personal qualities: taking care of oneself, wanting things to be perfect, level of social involvement, and mood stability among many others.
Premarital counseling can also be a good financial investment, helping to identify problems and deal with them sooner rather than later.
Besides, when viewed alongside wedding expenses, the financial commitment for premarital counseling is especially reasonable.