Marriage Preparation Part of Counseling Department
There are so many conditions which can test the strength of a marriage, and ironically many of these conditions happen with great frequency when the couple is least equipped to cope. Even happy events like a wedding, a new house or a new baby may be the catalyst for conflicts in communication and understanding which pull people apart rather than draw them together. It is most common to consider counseling, especially marriage counseling, when the relationship is deeply fractured – almost beyond repair.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were tools and resources that would help a couple navigate stormy relationship waters? WeCARE is a program administered by St. Vincent Catholic Charities designed specifically for couples preparing for marriage. WeCARE is considered part of the Counseling Program and is a well-researched, short term, yet practical curriculum. It is designed to give couples preparing for marriage with the communication tools and guidance that, when consistently applied, will carry a couple through a life time of circumstances that might produce challenges.
Kayleigh and Bradley have been together for over 7 years, having met in high school. They have been participating in the WeCARE marriage preparation course in anticipation of the Spring 2014 nuptials. “One of the big things we learned is that when we had conflicts in the past, we assumed what the other was feeling. That is a big mistake. Now we are practicing the speaker/listener technique of communication using the “I” statements about how we feel. We are already gaining a much better understanding of each other,” said Kayleigh.
Chris and Diana Root are facilitators of this program and have been conducting WeCARE training sessions together since 2006. “Doing these programs is truly a blessing to not only the participants but to us as well,” reports Diana. “Because this is a diocese sponsored program which helps to fulfill requirements of many of our parish pastors for quality marriage preparation before agreeing to marry a couple, it also addresses a spiritual and biblical context which may open up deeper conversations about faith and family among many of the participants.”
If you would like more information about the WeCARE Marriage Preparation Program, please contact St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ Counseling Services at (517)323-4734 ext. 1700.