As your Marriage Celebrant, I am required by law to advise you of relationship education and counselling services available.
Many couples dismiss relationship education and counselling as unnecessary, or only for people with problems. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Subjects covered range from how to resolve conflict without blaming each other through to dealing with issues relating to your different backgrounds and upbringing that can impact on how you want to bring up your own children.
Many programs cover topics like Personality Differences, Lifestyle Expectations, Communication and Listening Skills, Conflict Management, Friends and Interests, Sexuality and Financial Issues Management.
Although not mandatory, you should consider it. Relationship Education and Counselling comes in all shapes and sizes and can be tailor-made to meet your needs.
Programs available include workshops with groups of other couples and trained counsellors over a day or two through to structured programs for one couple, like Relate or Focus, or one-on-one counselling with a private counsellor.
Most providers recommend that you look at undertaking relationship education some 3 to 6 months prior to your wedding. This gives you time before the mad rush sets in and can also assist you in dealing with some of the challenges that often arise during the weeks immediately prior to the wedding.
The following organisations and counsellors provide relationship education and counselling in the Hunter Valley area:
- Relationships Australia - Phone 1300 364 277 from anywhere in Australia to find your closest program. In the Hunter Valley, structured courses are held regularly at their offices at Broadmeadow and individual counselling for couples can be arranged in Cessnock. Fees are scaled against a couple's income and so can be readily afforded.
- Centacare - Phone 02 4979 1172. Offers either group programs with 12 other couples over 2 days or 4 evenings or the Focus Program for couples to work individually with a facilitator. The costs for the course are very reasonable.
APS - 38 Ken Tubman Drive, Maitland. Ph. 02 4934 1413
Margaret Stewart BSocSc (PSY) Dip. Coun - East Maitland Phone 0419 760 979
Karen Rowe - 15 Belmore Road, Lorn. Ph. 02 4933 2622
Lifewise, 119 Mt Pleasant Street, Maitland. Ph. 02 4932 0432
Contact Julia Denny for more information.