A guide for therapists and counselors, Pre-Marital Counseling addresses the common problems couples face when starting or considering marriage. This step-by-step guide teaches specific intervention strategies for common pre-marital problems, such as financial stress, blending families, and mental health issues. It also teaches readers helpful skills such as developing empathy, learning to compromise, and communicating successfully, all within a potentially diverse client population. Skurtu further helps clinicians personalize their assessment and treatment plans for each couple so that they have realistic expectations. Written by a certified sex therapist, there is also a unique chapter on helpful sex education tips for maintaining desire in long-term relationships.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Session One: Assessment and Treatment Planning 2. Session Two: Choosing to Love 3. Session Three: Being Empathetic 4. Session Four: Fighting Respectfully 5. Session Five: Asking for Needs and Wants Effectively 6. Session Six: Keeping the Spark Alive 7. Session Seven: Individualized Care 8. Session Eight: Termination and Recommendations Index
Angela Skurtu, MEd, LMFT, is a certified sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist in Ballwin, Missouri.
“Pre-Marital Counseling is a wonderfully engaging book for clinicians interested in helping couples to build strong and lasting relationships. Through a vivid array of stories, exercises, and interventions, Angela Skurtu provides a framework to promote healthy habits of successful relationships. Whether as a session-by-session guide or an in-the-moment resource, this book has something for both new and seasoned therapists!”—Bob Bertolino, PhD, is professor of rehabilitation counseling at Maryville University and author of The Therapist’s Notebook for Families.
“If you have ever wanted all the helpful pre-commitment clinical recommendations for couples in one place, this is your book! This insightful book offers clinicians a very accessible, clear, and helpful guide in working with couples who are seeking a more intimate commitment with one another. Angela shares her knowledge and ideas in a way that enables any practitioner to support couples in knowing each other better and loving each other longer.”—Tiffany B. Brown, PhD, LMFT, holds a doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy, and is currently teaching in the Couples and Family Therapy Program at the University of Oregon.
“Consciously speaking about the challenging issues of marriage as much as possible before saying “I do” is a great start for any couple. Angela Skurtu communicates clearly and lively about all the traditional pre-marital counseling topics (values, money, children, etc.), but her added gift is presenting a thoughtful outline for addressing sexual concerns/expectations in a very sex-positive manner.” —Brian Cross, PhD, is a certified sex therapist in private practice in Washington, D.C
“Clinicians working with couples know that the best time to give them a chance at marital success is before negative patterns are ingrained. But couples in love don’t want to admit to problems. They may, however, consider taking a pre-marital counseling course. That’s where Angela Skurtu’s Premarital Counseling: A Guide for Clinicians can be useful for clinicians. In short, readable, topical chapters Skurtu outlines a six- to eight-week course that addresses common relationship problems.
Skurtu’s short book should be invaluable for young clinicians, but also offers a useful framework for experienced counselors who want to add premarital counseling to their list of offerings.”—Ronald Scott, PhD, is a psychologist and is currently the training program coordinator for Care and Counseling in St. Louis, Missouri.
“This book provides easy to follow instructions for helping premarital couples. Hitting on all the important topics that clinicians need to be aware of when counseling couples, Angela does an excellent job of combining clinical techniques and the latest research to provide a comprehensive guidebook. I would recommend this book for any clinicians who are seeking to strengthen their existing skills or are beginning work in this area.”—Brian James Willoughby, PhD, is an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University