Before “I Do”: Complete Premarital Counseling Workbook for Heterosexual, LGBTQ, & Polyamorous Couples by Olivia Baylor, LCPC, NCC, DCC
Before “I Do” is a premarital workbook. It is written to for straight or LGBTQ couples and for people in polyamorous relationships. Each section includes a short introduction followed by worksheets that each person does individually before coming back together to discuss their responses.
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About the author:
Olivia Baylor, LCPC, NCC, DCC is a therapist and owner of Life Revisions Counseling in Maryland. You can learn more about her here.
What we love:
Ms. Baylor set out to create a premarital workbook that was gender neutral and accepting of all types of relationships. She definitely accomplished that and it will really appeal to some clients.
Many of the worksheets would be useful in sessions with premarital clients. There were some that included a questions not usually seen in these types of workbooks. For example, there are pages on what adoption might look like if the couple chooses to pursue it or what they would like their funeral arrangements to look like.
What we didn’t:
I often thought that the explanations before the worksheets were too short. This would be especially problematic if the couple was using it without a therapist’s guidance because I’m not sure there would know what to do with the information on their worksheets or how to have a conversation about it.
I liked several of the worksheets but there were several areas where I wasn’t sure about the questions. Sometimes a section was missing questions that I find important. Often questions or sections were included that didn’t seem to fit for premarital clients, or at least the ones I tend to see. For example, there is a poem included for people who lose a child.
Before “I Do” could be used as a supplement to premarital counseling. You could use some of the worksheets in session and assign others as homework. They are designed to be answered individually before the couple discusses their responses so make sure to have a copy available for each person.
Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Before "I Do": Complete Premarital Counseling Workbook for Heterosexual, LGBTQ, & Polyamorous Couples24.99
- Gender neutral
- wide range of topics addressed
- Short explanations
- some odd questions / sections