The populace of engaged couples in the Provo area has the opportunity to join a premarital group for couples wanting to foster a strong relationship and prepare themselves for married life with a new clinic now being offered for engaged students.
The BYU premarital group is a discussion-based group facilitated by graduate students in the marriage and family therapy program. Each weekly meeting will have a topic of discussion that will help couples prepare for marriage. Topics include communication skills, intimacy and building a life together.
Julie Malloy, a graduate student in the marriage and family therapy program, co-facilitates one of the premarital groups offered.
“As group leaders we’re not lecturing but leading the discussions in where they should go and keep them on track,” Malloy said.
The group is set up as a friendly, open environment. Facilitators are not concerned with teaching a curriculum but helping members get what they want out of the group.
“We’ll let the group bring up what they want to talk about,” Malloy said. “That’s how the group works.”
The clinic aims to meet the needs and address the concerns of the couples who attend. Dean Barley, director of the Comprehensive Clinic, explained what the faculty and facilitators hope to accomplish through this group.
“The goal is to improve marital satisfaction within the first year,” Barley said.
The BYU premarital group also aims to help couples build confidence in their relationship as they approach married life.
“(The group will) ease the transition between engagement and marriage,” Barley said. “It’s an under-utilized resource that I wish more people knew about and would utilize this experience more frequently.”
Bryan Kubricht, also a marriage and family therapy graduate student, facilitates one of the premarital groups. He said that this clinic would have also been very helpful for him, had it been available.
“We could have used some help when we were (first) married but didn’t have this available to us,” Kubricht said.
Kubricht said the main benefit of the group is the discussions, which help couples realize expectations that they may not have considered before.
The premarital group is available to any engaged couples seeking advice, confidence or to develop better communication skills. The group is not limited to BYU students.
“We’re open to anyone who wants to come in — community and students,” Kubricht said.
The BYU premarital clinic is offered weekly in the John Taylor building on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings and will last approximately 10 weeks. The cost is $30 per couple, and the clinic plans to begin in early February. To sign up, call 801-422-7759.