A Professor of Guidance and Counselling at the University of Lagos, Mrs Mopelola Omoegun has called on marriage counsellors to be ethical and uphold the principles of the profession.
Professor Omoegun made this call during the induction of 15 trained and certified marital counsellors who graduated from M-Solutions Counselling International on Wednesday, March 6.
The varsity don said it is pertinent for the newly inducted members to uphold the principles of the profession and adhere strictly to its tenets while discharging their responsibilities.
According to her, the graduands must maintain confidentiality while discharging their duties. They must be approachable and friendly to their clients. Above all, they must exhibit the highest level of trustworthiness.
“My expectation is that you put into practice what you have learnt and be good counsellors and good ambassadors of the institute. You should show the traits of a good counsellor, and the most important thing is the willingness to help people; helping the society, helping marriages to last and survive and preventing them from collapsing totally or breaking up.
“As a counsellor, you should be able to tap into the inner minds of your clients through the use of adequate techniques. You should get them to open up. Confidentiality is another major trait. The counsellor should be able to keep secrets secret. They are not meant to divulge clients’ secrets under any circumstance without the permission of the clients.”
Earlier in his welcome address, one of the facilitators, Mr Ogunmuyiwa Olagoke stated the motive behind the training, which is to seek and train more people into the counselling profession to reduce or curb the alarming rate of marital crisis in the society.
He said the training actually aims to get more professionals on board in reducing the rate of marital discord and divorce among people because the spate at which marriages are having problems is becoming too much.
“We are trying to train as many marriage counsellors as possible so that these problems can be alleviated. It is our belief that they will put in their best in their professional sojourn,” he added.
In his keynote address on the topic: Marital Discord, the Director of Islamic Affairs of the Nigerian Navy, Commander Mikdad Gidado revealed the causes of marital discord in the society and their effects on the society’s wellbeing.
He noted that some of the causes include special incompatibility, infertility, family challenges, nonavailability of partners, among others.
Narrating her experience, Mrs Muslimah Apampa said the training is a life changing experience for her, noting that the exposure to the nature of contradictions in relationships and how they can be managed has broadened her horizon.
In her words, “My experience for the past six weeks is what I can simply term as a life changing experience. I had the opportunity of learning and working with a rare breed of people who have a passion for transformational life change in people, relationships and marriages.
“For me, the most intriguing aspect of the training is that I came to realise the urgent need for me to carry out a personal self awareness test on myself. This, I have done, and I am confident in myself more than ever before that I am now prepared for the task ahead as I am able to work with my clients and provide them with the necessary support, understanding and unbiased empathy that is required. Now, I feel proud to tell people that I am a certified marriage counsellor,” she concluded.
Some other graduands who spoke to us expressed their joy and happiness while identifying the huge tasks ahead of them.
Imam Yahya Olanrewaju Awwal stated the motive behind his joining the training, noting that as an Imam of a mosque, there is no way he can avoid settling disputes between husbands and wives.
“Going through the training would bring professionalism to what makes me an Imam. The motive behind my coming is to learn the art and science of marriage counselling in accordance with the saying of the Prophet that Allah expects his servant to do things perfectly, and that is simply professionalism”, he said.
Dr Ganiyat Tijani Adenle, a communication expert also noted that the training formalised her counselling sojourn since she has been into marriage counselling since 2014, and will also help her do things better.
She said, “It’s all about being better and looking for ways to ensure we reach more people and letting them know they don’t need to die in silence.”
– By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa
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