The research shows that couples who do marriage prep have a better chance of having a lasting (and hopefully) more satisfying relationship. It also introduces couples to the idea of therapy as helpful and productive. This way, if couples have problems with their relationship in the future, they could be more likely to seek professional help versus waiting until the problems are too profound to fix.
In pre-marital counselling or marriage prep, I draw from emotionally focused therapy, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioural therapy to help couples enhance emotional intimacy. We do this largely through education, reflection and skill building around communication and connection practices, while also addressing the barriers to connecting and communicating productively and lovingly. While this can take about 5 or 6 sessions, it can take more depending on what comes up in the sessions that needs addressing. Couples can decide whether they want to stick to a more linear route or whether they want to address some deeper issues that may arise that interfere with the ability to do the work. Marriage preparation sessions do require homework.