Premarital Counseling

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You’re recently engaged and the excitement has calmed to reality. Maybe you and your partner are doing well in some areas of life but you wish there was better communication.

You may want an unbiased mediator that is affirming of all relationships to help you discuss big topics. 

Looking for premarital counseling in Atlanta or online?

Premarital Counseling is crucial to build a sturdy foundation for your marriage. Every couple has disagreements, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.

However, strong communication skills are needed to improve and resolve all other potential problems that may come up for couples. Set yourselves up for success and take the time to explore all aspects of your relationship.

Premarital counseling is great for seriously dating, engaged, and newlywed couples. Our perspective on religion and spirituality is open-minded, welcoming, and we are affirming of all relationships.

As a bonus, in the state of Georgia, you can receive a discount on your marriage license for attending premarital counseling. Learn more about the details here.

What does this all look like?

First, you and your fiancé will attend an intake session and take an extensive assessment through Prepare/Enrich or SYMBIS. Then, we will go over results of your relationship strengths and areas of growth together.

From there, you and your partner will attend sessions either in-person or online as we explore your relationship and use an interactive workbook to improve your areas of growth.

With Prepare/Enrich or SYMBIS, we’ll explore the following aspects of your relationship:

  • Communication (Are you able to ask for what you want and need effectively? Hoping for your partner to say “Are you feeling supported lately? If not, what can I do differently?”)
  • Conflict resolution (Do you get stuck in the same fights? Need help in fighting fair? What are your “hot topics”?)
  • Partner style & habits (Are you able to accept your partner as they are? How do your personalities mesh together?)
  • Financial management (Do you understand your plans for joint or separate accounts and budgeting? Who is the spender and who is the saver?)
  • Leisure activities (Are you able to confidently spend time together and apart? What are your personal hobbies?)
  • Sexual expectations (Do you both know your likes, dislikes, and favorite displays of affection? Are you both aware of each other’s expectations of intimacy?)
  • Family & friends (Are there healthy relationships with loved ones? How do you set boundaries with difficult family members?)
  • Relationship roles (Do you both agree on household and career tasks? Who will care for future children?)
  • Spiritual beliefs (Do you both understand and accept each other’s spiritual journey, religious or not? How do your values play into your daily lives?)


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marriage therapy online with rachel dorneanu

If you don’t feel confident about the above topics, premarital therapy may be for you. You don’t need to be engaged to benefit from this type of counseling.

We work with those that are dating, engaged and newlywed to overcome obstacles and have a stronger relationship.

We offer sessions in a few ways:

  • 50 minute sessions, for those that want to space out their learning due to busy schedules or finances.
  • 80 minute sessions, for those that want a session with a bit more discussion time.
  • Half day intensives (3 hours)
  • Full day intensives (6 hours), for those with time or distance constraints that want to learn all they can in single span of time.  

Premarital Counseling FAQ

How many sessions would you recommend?

I would recommend aiming for at least 12 sessions to complete the entire assessment, workbook full of interactive exercises, and explore any other concerns that may come up in session. Some couples spend a few sessions more on topics like communication depending on their relationship.

How much does premarital counseling cost?

Sessions are $240 for a 80-minute intensive intake session. Following sessions are $160 for 50-minute sessions. There will be a $35 fee (per couple, not per person) to take the Prepare/Enrich assessment or SYMBIS assessment. Intensives: Half Day (3 hours) is $500, Full Day (6 hours) is $1000. The intensives allow us to cover more ground in one setting and practice skills in depth. 

What is the structure?

We will have a 80-minute first session. You will take the online Prepare/Enrich assessment online. I will have a 50-minute individual session with each partner. Then we will go over results in a 50-minute feedback session and begin work through the interactive workbook. I do give homework to help supplement the skills you learn in session. Each following session will be 50 minutes unless discussed otherwise. 

What if we want to schedule half day or full day intensives?

We will have our intake, separate individual sessions, take the assessment and go over results of the assessment in longer intensives. I do give homework to help supplement the skills you learn in session. From there, we can have half day (3 hours) or full day (6 hours) intensives from there forward or 50 minute sessions for various topics. Couples whose schedules make it difficult to attend weekly therapy sessions also benefit from intensive couples services. Depending on how the therapy evolves, you may choose to return for follow-up sessions every few weeks or months. You will pay in full prior to attending sessions, and due to our scheduling commitments, there is a 3 week cancellation policy. Your therapist has to make themselves available and arrange their schedules for these sessions, so it is imperative that you keep your appointment and commit to this process.

Will this apply for us to get a discount on our marriage license? If so, how many sessions do we need?

Yes! The state of Georgia counts Prepare/Enrich and SYMBIS as a great way to have premarital counseling. The minimum for the state of Georgia is 6 hours of premarital counseling

How do we check if we get a discount in our county for receiving counseling before marriage?
Please visit this link to see more details and check for requirements for your county https://www.usmarriagelaws.com/marriage-license/georgia/probate-courts/county-clerks/office-requirements/  
Would you provide proof or have to sign off on our completion of premarital counseling before we can get our marriage license?
Many counties need a notarized form from the therapist detailing that premarital counseling has occurred in order to receive the discount.
However, premarital counseling is not required to get a marriage license.
Are there any aspects of religion in your premarital counseling sessions?

My perspective on religion and spirituality is open-minded, welcoming, and I am affirming of all relationships. I’m here to support you both wherever you are comfortable in your beliefs and it is not my place to push any one faith.

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