The 24 newly inducted marriage counsellors trained by M-Solution Consulting International (MSCI) Limited have been charged to develop themselves and put what they have learnt into practice by reaching out to more people so as to reduce marital discord and problems in the society.
This call was made by an Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Dr Airat Sulaimon, who was the guest speaker at the 2nd graduation ceremony of the Marital Counselling Institute.
The 1st graduation ceremony of the institute, which was held earlier this year, produced 15 trained counsellors and had a Professor of Guidance and Counselling from the University of Lagos, Mrs Mopelola Omoegun advocate for ethical practices among counsellors.
The graduation ceremony, which came after six weeks of rigorous training and coaching, drew scholars, alumni of the institute and family and friends of the graduands.
“What you have learnt is just a tip of the iceberg,” Dr Airat told the graduands, stressing that, “It’s just for you to have a taste of what it is to be a counsellor.”
According to her, “You have to develop yourselves and put what you have learnt into practice. You are needed in the community for marital counselling and premarital counselling especially. The expectation of individuals going into marriages are high and they come back disappointed. These are some of the things that cause marital discord”.
Dr Airat called on the graduands to go into the world and increase their efforts in marital and premarital counselling, “so that it would reduce the effect of divorce and broken homes and would eventually reduce the effect on the children.
“You have to first sell yourself. You need to get to people around you. It’s like a jihad. You start from your homes then go to the society because counselling is what everyone needs,” she added.
About 40% of students in secondary schools are from broken homes – Ustadh Tirmidhi
The special guest at the event, Ustadh Jami’ Tirmidhi, who also spoke to the graduands laid emphasis on the importance of practicalising acquired knowledge.
In his words, “People need counselling. About 40% of students in secondary schools are from broken homes. The knowledge you learnt, you must rationalise it. The best way to learn is practicalising it. Knowledge without action is like a tree without fruits.
“There are cases of incompatibility. It is by the will of Allah. Family planning, infertility and others are issues you meet. Patience is key and we must relate with the clients.”
An alumnus of the institute, Mrs Muslimat Apampa in her goodwill message said, “Do not stop but keep learning. We need Muslim counsellors. This is a responsibility and trust on us. Try to read, go for courses, seminars and lectures. It’s a full-time task. Muslims are going through a lot of trauma. Remember counselling is more preventive more than curative”.
When Muslim News interacted with some of the graduands, their joy knew no bounds, despite the responsibilities ahead of them.
‘I’ll create a virtual counselling hub’ – Graduand
Hajiah Habeebah Ibrahim, a civil servant with the Lagos State Government expressed satisfaction on the success of the training. She also unveiled her plans after the ending the course.
She said, “I will tell people to watch out for us. For me specifically, I have it in mind to create a counselling hub which would be launched soon. I also have it in mind to bring up a virtual counselling centre, where people don’t really know who the counsellor is.
“With the advent of the digital age, people want to chat, express themselves and what is on their minds, but are afraid that whoever they meet would ignore them or blow their cover. I intend to build a virtual counselling hub where they don’t have to see the person they are talking to and necessary counselling measures and precautions would be given to them as at when due. So I think you should look out for that”.
Imam Lawal Nurudeen, haven undergone training on the rudiments of marriage counselling, marital conflict as well as benefits of settling disputes, called on the public not to remain silent with their problems.
He said, “My advise to people is ‘Don’t seal up’. From the training, I’ve learnt that the only way to enjoy and not to endure marriage is to speak out. Seek help from the counsellor. The marriage is for a balanced community. Meet a counsellor, share your thoughts and feelings and let them guide you”.
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