To help seriously dating, engaged, and newlywed couples better prepare for the lifelong commitment of marriage, we have adopted a comprehensive program called SYMBIS. Short for Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, the title of a book published in 1995 by renowned Christian authors, counselors, and teachers, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, it has since been continually revised and updated. Incorporating twenty years of feedback, research, and professional experience, SYMBIS has become the gold standard in marriage preparation used by counselors and churches across North America and, now in twenty languages, worldwide. (Note: The Parrots have also adopted all of the materials for people entering a second marriage that address blended family and other issues commonly faced in such situations.)
What we recommend to couples preparing for marriage:
- Meet with a counselor. All of our counselors are not only Certified SYMBIS Facilitators but also highly skilled and experienced marriage therapists, qualified to offer guidance as well as to help with any special challenges or problems that may arise. We generally recommend 3 to 4 sessions of premarital counseling depending on your situation.
- Take the SYMBIS Assessment, a test comprised of 300 questions, that will generate incredibly powerful and robust 15-page report. Taking approximately 35 minutes for each person to complete separately, the assessment can be taken on virtually any device. Any couple can take the SYMBIS Assessment – but you’ll need a Certified SYMBIS Facilitator trained in debriefing your personalized report to help you understand and apply all of the valuable information it contains. The cost of the test is $35 per couple. Your counselor will explain the procedure.
- Read the Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts book that includes questions at the end of every chapter help you explore each topic personally on your own.
- Use the companion men’s and women’s workbooks full of self-tests and exercises help you apply what you learn and enjoy intimate discussions along the way.
- Find a marriage mentor, a seasoned and experienced couple, who would be willing to come alongside you to help show the way and let them you learn from their experience.
For more information, feel free to visit their website at www.symbis.com.