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Premarital Counseling Premarital Counseling H Norman Wright  Relationship with the couple


									Premarital Counseling
              H. Norman Wright
   Relationship with the couple (building rapport)
   Planning the ceremony
   Providing and correcting information
   Better understanding of self and partner
   Relationship with parents
   Relationship with one another
   Growth and change
   Communication style
   [Conflict management style]
   Realistic expectations
   Prediction and recommendations
   Marriage enrichment
   Spiritual growth
   The decision to marry

Overview of Goals
   Building and maintaining rapport
   Assessment
   Upsetting complacency, Challenging
    assumptions and preconceptions
   Education
   Skills training
   Evaluation and recommendations
   Wedding planning

Basic Methods
 The foundation for the counseling
 Basic Components
    ◦   Warmth
    ◦   Empathy
    ◦   Genuineness
    ◦   Respect
    ◦   Effective listening
   Must be maintained throughout the
    counseling process

   Personal History
    ◦ Interview
    ◦ Written questionnaire
   Family History
    ◦ Interview
    ◦ Family History Analysis (FHA)
    ◦ Genogram
   Personality Inventories
    ◦ Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (TJTA)
    ◦ NEO-PI-R
   Specialized interviews or inventories
    ◦ The Premarital Personal and Relationship Evaluation

Assessment Methods
   Family history
   Education, occupational and financial
   Medical history
   Mental health and drug use history
   Sexual history
   Social history
   Spiritual history

Assessment Areas
 The T-JTA measures 9 personality traits and their
 • Nervous ↔ Composed
 • Depressive ↔ Light-Hearted
 • Active-Social ↔ Quiet
 • Expressive-Responsive ↔ Inhibited
 • Sympathetic ↔ Indifferent
 • Subjective ↔ Objective
 • Dominant ↔ Submissive
 • Hostile ↔ Tolerant
 • Self-Disciplined ↔ Impulsive

Taylor Johnson
Temperament Analysis
 The T-JTA is especially designed for use in
 pre-marital, marital, and family counseling.
 In "Criss-Cross" testing, a unique feature of
 the T-JTA, a couple or various family
 members each take the test on themselves
 and also on their significant other.
 Similarities, differences, or areas of
 misunderstanding between the couple or
 family members become readily apparent. T-
 JTA Profiles are especially designed for use in
 the actual counseling sessions to promote
 understanding and stimulate discussion.

TJTA (continued)
   Based on the Five-Factor model of personality
   Includes five major dimensions
    ◦   Neuroticism
    ◦   Extroversion
    ◦   Openness
    ◦   Agreeableness
    ◦   Conscientiousness
   Each dimension has six sub-scales, for a total of
    thirty subscales.
   Criss-cross comparisons with a partner’s profile
    can be made.


   Neuroticism: identifies individuals who are
    prone to psychological distress
    ◦ Anxiety: level of free floating anxiety
    ◦ Angry Hostility: tendency to experience anger and
      related states such as frustration and bitterness
    ◦ Depression: tendency to experience feelings of
      guilt, sadness, despondency and loneliness
    ◦ Self Consciousness: shyness or social anxiety
    ◦ Impulsiveness: tendency to act on cravings and
      urges rather than reining them in and delaying
    ◦ Vulnerability: general susceptibility to stress

NEO-PI-R: Neuroticism
   Extraversion: quantity and intensity of energy
    directed outwards into the social world
    ◦ Warmth: interest in and friendliness towards others
    ◦ Gregariousness: preference for the company of others
    ◦ Assertiveness: social ascendancy and forcefulness of
    ◦ Activity: pace of living
    ◦ Excitement seeking: need for environmental
    ◦ Positive Emotion: tendency to experience positive

NEO-PI-R: Extraversion
   Openness to Experience: the active
    seeking and appreciation of experiences for
    their own sake
    ◦ Fantasy: receptivity to the inner world of
    ◦ Aesthetics: appreciation of art and beauty
    ◦ Feelings: openness to inner feelings and emotions
    ◦ Actions: openness to new experiences on a
      practical level
    ◦ Ideas: intellectual curiosity
    ◦ Values: readiness to re-examine own values and
      those of authority figures

NEO-PI-R: Openness
   Agreeableness: the kinds of interactions an
    individual prefers from compassion to tough
    ◦ Trust: belief in the sincerity and good intentions of
    ◦ Straightforwardness: frankness in expression
    ◦ Altruism: active concern for the welfare of others
    ◦ Compliance: response to interpersonal conflict
    ◦ Modesty: tendency to play down own
      achievements and be humble.
    ◦ Tender mindedness: attitude of sympathy for

NEO-PI-R: Agreeableness
   Conscientiousness: degree of organization,
    persistence, control and motivation in goal
    directed behavior
    ◦ Competence: belief in own self efficacy
    ◦ Order: personal organization
    ◦ Dutifulness: emphasis placed on importance of fulfilling
      moral obligations
    ◦ Achievement striving: need for personal achievement
      and sense of direction
    ◦ Self Discipline: capacity to begin tasks and follow
      through to completion despite boredom or distractions.
    ◦ Deliberation: tendency to think things through before
      acting or speaking.

NEO-PI-R: Conscientiousness
NEO-PI-R sample profile
   PREPARE/ENRICH is a program based on a
    set of five inventories that examine major
    relationship issues a couple may
    experience. These inventories must be
    administered by a trained PREPARE/ENRICH
    Counselor and include 4-6 feedback sessions
    in which the counselor facilitates discussion
    between the couple based on their inventory

   A. Focuses on Significant Issues for Couples (14
    Conflict Resolution
    Personality Issues
    Financial Management
    Sexual Expectations
    Marital Satisfaction
    Leisure Activities
    Children and Parenting
    Family and Friends
    Expectations/Cohabitation Issues
    Idealistic Distortion
    Role Relationship
    Spiritual Beliefs

PREPARE scales
 B. Personality Assessment (4 scales):
  Self Confidence
  Partner Dominance
 C. Couple and Family Map (4 scales):
  Family-of-Origin Closeness
  Family-of-Origin Flexibility
  Couple Closeness
  Couple Flexibility

PREPARE scales (continued)
   Designed for use in preliminary consultations, the FHA is essentially a
    background check - gathering valuable information about family history,
    parental history and personal history - saving the counselor hours of
    investigative time! Counselors can help couples evaluate their past and
    how it will affect their marriage with ease and efficiency.

    The influence from the family-of-origin is measured in the following areas:

    • Power in the Family - who makes decisions and how are they made? Are
    they based on skill and ability or age, sex and role concept?
    • Dependency - who depends upon whom and to what degree?
    • Individual Autonomy - Does each person have his or her own sense of
     autonomy and individuality?
    • The style and expression of love and affection within the family
    • Change - The reaction to change, how individuals view and handle it


Family History Analysis
   Family diagrams that reflect emotional as
    well as biological relationships.

Genograms          (e.g.
   Provides the basis for growth and change.
   Requires destabilizing the status quo.
   Is only required when one or both individuals
    show inadequate motivation to question and
   Methods
    ◦ Provocative questions
    ◦ Hypothetical situations
   Purpose: to move the person away from
    unrealistic ideas, expectations, or goals and
    toward more realistic ones.

Upsetting Complacency
 Provide information where it is lacking.
 Requires accurate assessment.
 Methods
    ◦ Direct teaching in session
    ◦ Providing educational materials
    ◦ Referring to information sources
   Requires having resources and/or knowing
    where to refer.

   Providing specific training when it would be
    easier or more effective than having the
    couple do it on their own.
    ◦ Providing examples and guidance
    ◦ Structured practice
    ◦ Objective feedback
   Common areas
    ◦   Communication skills
    ◦   Emotion management
    ◦   Conflict management
    ◦   General social skills

Skills Training
   Should be honest
    ◦ Risks upsetting them
   Should be as accurate as possible
   Should not make judgments that you are not
    capable or qualified to make
    ◦ Identify potential problem areas, but not whether
      actual problems will arise, or severity.
    ◦ Predict chances of success or failure, but not the
      specific success or failure of that couple.
   The decision to marry or not is up to the
    couple, not you. A pastor may have the
    choice not to perform the ceremony, but
    cannot ethically block the wedding.

Evaluation and Recommendations
 Be as flexible as possible to accommodate
  the couple’s wishes.
 May need to help them negotiate conflicts
  with each other or with family and friends
  on expectations for the wedding.
 Significant tensions between financial
  limits and personal dreams are an
  opportunity for education.
 Can delegate/refer to a wedding planner.

Wedding Planning
 Training: An individual must be
  appropriately trained for the counseling
  process, and in particular must be
  specifically trained in the administration
  and interpretation of testing instruments.
  (This course is not sufficient.)
 Confidentiality and counseling methods:
    ◦ Maintaining the confidentiality of the clients.
    ◦ Maintaining an appropriate counseling
      relationship with the clients.
    ◦ Conducting the counseling process in a
      respectful and beneficial way (“do no harm”).

Ethical Considerations
   Legal concerns: The counselor must be sensitive
    to the possibility of legal violations or possible
    harm to an individual, and must know how to
    respond to such situations, e.g.:
    ◦ Marrying below the age of consent, or when unable to
      consent due to the person’s mental state.
    ◦ Being pressured or forced to marry, by fiancee or
    ◦ Marrying in order to gain admission to the country or to
      gain some other legal benefit.
    ◦ The presence of physical or emotional abuse in the
      relationship independent of the decision to marry.
   Values and influence
    ◦ Respect the values of the client(s). Avoid imposing the
      counselor’s values on the client(s), but balance that with
      helping the client(s) see the natural consequences of
      their choices.

Ethical considerations

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