Articles/Essays From Pagans
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Other HPS and HP Duties: Counseling – Part II - Pre-Nuptial Counseling
Article Specs |
Article ID: 12965
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,944
Times Read: 2,576
RSS Views: 48,071
Author: Meph [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: November 16th. 2008
Times Viewed: 2,576
This article is the second of a two parts series on training HPS and HP to be as counselors for their coven. The first part introduced why counseling in needed, how to start training, and provides suggestions and resources to use during training. This second part covers one very common but under discussed form of counseling – pre-nuptial counseling.
If you haven’t already, please read the first part of this series (Other HPS and HP Duties: Counseling – Part I – Introduction) to gain a better understanding of the framework within which counseling in a coven takes place.
One of the most common requests to clergy is to perform a handfasting. Before we will consider such a request, we require our coveners to go through two sets of pre-nuptial counseling – one with us and one with a professional counselor. I’m providing more information on this type of counseling here because it is the most structured kind we offer and is rarely discussed elsewhere.
Our pre-nuptial counseling is a series of twelve 2-3 hour sessions two weeks apart. Yep, that’s a six-month commitment on both parties part, which is fairly substantial. But there’s a whole lot of very deep soul-searching and question answering and cognitive-based work that the couple has to go through; they need time to do so. Sometimes we get push-back; the couple doesn’t want to commit that much time. We merely point out we believe we accept some karmic responsibility for a couple and we’re not going to accept it without performing reasonable due diligence first. And if they really believe they are going to be living together ‘happily ever after’, then six months shouldn’t be that much of a commitment. Also, studies in the US and Germany have show pre-nuptial counseling can increase the likelihood a couple will still be together at the five year mark by up to 30% (if the pre-nuptial counseling is skills-based) .
Goals of our pre-nuptial counseling are threefold:
- to set reasonable expectations of what a marriage is; i.e., it’s not ‘blissfully happy ever after the wedding day with no work needed’ but rather entering into a long-term commitment to a two-way relationship that needs ongoing attention and nurturing
- to provide the couple with tools to teach them better communication skills (and practice in using those tools) so they can better communicate with each other and to better work through problems and issues when they arise (and letting them know it’s OK when problems arise)
- to make sure they have discussed all the major issues that need to be agreed on before a couple gets married (the classic example – “But I though you wanted kids!”)
We require they purchase and use three books during their counseling:
- 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married, Monica Mendez Leahy
- Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition, Harville Hendrix
- Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide, Harville Hendrix (we generally suggest they purchase two copies of this one so they can fill in their answers independently and then compare them) .
When we say ‘skills-based’, it means teaching specific skills – usually communications based - to both parties and having them practice and learn to use those skills with each other. Too frequently marriages flounder because the couple goes into it with unrealistic expectations, too little knowledge of each other, a lack of shared goals, and no tools to handle conflict when it happens – and it will. Teaching these skills greatly enhances the couple’s chances of success.
For each session, they have the assignment/homework of going through the next assigned section in each book and bringing back their answers (in writing, not just verbal) . For the most part, it’s our job to make sure the couple has done the requested work and talked about and agreed on an answer – not for us to tell the couple what is ‘right’ or not for them (although we have to run a fine line here between providing advice on what we believe is critical whilst ignoring our personal preferences or opinions) .
It is not unusual to run into some significant issues from previous relationships, prior marriage models, or childhood issues. The counselors need to be up to recognizing these issues when they arise and dealing with them. The counselors must also know when they are in territory they can, as amateurs, handle and when they are in over their head and need to do a referral to a professional. Which, since they're supposed to be seeing a professional counselor at the same time, typically means telling them "Why don't you discuss this issue with your other counselor."
Pre-Nuptial Counseling – The Dark Side
We’ve had couples break up during counseling and we got criticized for it. We responded that the likelihood of those couples working out in a marriage was vanishingly slim and better they break up before marriage than a nasty divorce after. Not every couple is destined for a long and happy marriage. Far better they discover this before they marry than after. And for some couples, the edge that pre-nuptial counseling gives them may mean the difference between a successful marriage and a failed one.
Counseling in Your Coven
Counseling may only take a small portion of your time as a HPS and HP, but it is likely to have far more impact on both your coveners and on your coven overall than how well you performed at your last rit. Covens are composed of people and relationships; trying to keep both healthy is just as critical (if not more so) to a functional coven as how well your rituals are run. Are you going to be prepared as an HPS/HP to help keep it healthy?
1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married, Monica Mendez Leahy, McGraw-Hill, 2004.
Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide, Harville Hendrix, Atria, 2004.
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition, Harville Hendrix, Holt, 2007.
Copyright: Copyright © 2008 by Meph. All Rights Reserved. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request permission to reproduce.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Other Articles: Meph has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Meph... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).