The Strength And Qualities Of Our Families Will Determine The Success Of Our Nation says NASFAT
October 11, 2022
Counselling has been identified as a veritable tool and an avenue to help an individual help himself/herself to overcome his/her problem. It is emphasised that, it is different from a casual conversation as it builds a professional relationship with the client. It is a long time process and consists of professional communication.
This was part of the submission of a professional counsellor and NASFAT Imam, Ibrahim Olalekan Shodehinde at the two days counselling workshop tagged ” Strategic Counselling:Capacity Building organised by NASFAT Counselling committee at Ikeja, Lagos.
Imam Shodeinde who dissected the topic, Introduction to counselling psychology, principles, approaches and goals analysed that Counselling is defined as a therapy in which a person (client) discusses freely about his or her problem and share feelings with the counselor, who advises or helps the client in dealing with the problems.
“Principles of Acceptance: Accept the client with his physical , psychological, social, economic and cultural conditions.”
“When we talk about Principles of Communication. It simply means Communication should be verbal as well as non-verbal and should be skillful.”
“Also principles of Empathy. This means Instead of showing sympathy put yourself in the patient shoes and then give reflections accordingly. Empathy is ability to identify with a person.”
“Principles of non-judgmental attitude. “Do not criticize or comment negatively regarding clients complaints.”
Principles of confidentiality; Always keep the client’s name and the problems strictly secret and assure the client about the same. Principles of Individuality, each and every client as unique and respect his /her problem as well.”
“Principles of non-emotional involvement; Not getting emotionally involved with the client and avoid getting carried away with his feelings. ”
Generally speaking counseling approaches are guided by theory and researches both of which inform the methods of practice.
“Islamic counseling is based on the Islamic science of the self , which sees the human self on a “ Journey of Growth “, ,meaning that the self passes through progressive stages in which human being evolves towards their highest potential and excellence.”
This approach offers a psychological and spiritual perspective for the individual’s reflections by allowing reconnection and integration with his or her realities as well as the realities.
Different individuals have different perceptions of what can be expected of counseling, however. There are five (5) commonly named goals: Facilitating behaviour change; Enhance potential and enrich self development; Facilitating Client’s potentials.
These goals are goals wherein the clients is assisted in meeting or advancing her or his anticipated human growth and development socially, personally, emotionally, cognitively, physical wellness etc.
“Preventive goals: It’s a goal in which the counselor helps his client avoid undesired outcome.”
“Enhancement goals: If the client possesses special skills and abilities for enhancement, this means they can be identified and be further developed through the assistance of a counselor.”
“Remedial goals: Remediation involves assisting a client to overcome and or treat an undesirable development.
Exploratory goals: exploration represent goals appropriate to the examining of options, testing of skills and trying new and different activities, environments, relationships and so on.”
Reinforcement goals is used in those instances where clients need help to recognize what they are doing, thinking and of feeling is okay.
Cognitive goals involve acquiring the basic foundation of learning and cognitive skill while physiological goals Involve acquiring the basic understanding and habit for good health but psychological goals aid in developing good society interaction, skill, learning, emotional, control, developing a positive self concept and so on.
“Understanding the above concepts and applying the concepts in our sessions with our clients will make us more effective and efficient in helping our clients and in achieving the desired outcomes of our counseling activities.”said Counselor Ibrahim Shodeinde.
It is important as Muslims to believe that every child has fundamental rights to both a mother and a father and the best way to secure this right is to establish a loving and stable marriage between a man and a woman for life.
It is no gainsaying that the best way to protect and support children is to protect and support marriage and this is why at individual levels it is of essence that we must resolve that our marriage must work and we must be ready to assist others to make their marriages work.
Marriage in Islam is more than a private emotional relationship. It is also a social good and this is why it is a fact that the greatest resources we have as an ‘Ummah’ lies in our families, the strength and qualities of our families will determine the success of our nation and the quality of our nation’s marital relationship determine our nation’s destiny.
“Whoever have married has completed half of his faith and he should fear Allah in the remaining half” “Ad duniyah Motahun … This world is a good provision and the best of its provision is a virtuous wife “ One of the four goodies of this world, the best people of my nation are those who get married and have chosen their wife and the worst people of my nation are those who have kept away from marriage.”
“Today Marriages are faced with a lot of challenges left, right, front and back. The spate of divorce, the numerous number of those who are only enduring their marriage and millions of singles who have found solace in their singleness and more importantly the increase domestic violence and abuse, are testimonies to this fact.”
The essence of marriage counselling can’t be overemphasised because
Marriage counseling can help couples address complex relationship issues causing marital conflict.Through counseling, couples learn to understand themselves and each other better, and they also learn emotional regulation, healthy communication skills, and ways to mediate conflict as well as how they navigate marital problems.
It assist couples to learn how to continuously work on themselves, making them to realize that if they change the way they treat their spouse they are going to react differently.
It is particularly helpful where couples are set on improving their relationships but are not sure how to go about it.
It gives the couple tools to start improving their communication and can serve as a platform where the issues troubling their relationships can finally be confronted.
Among others missionary should see their roles in this initiative as Advocates to encourage couples not allow their marriage to be on life support before they seek counseling and advocating the need, importance and necessity of pre-marital counseling before marriage. Encouraging couples to get ready before they get married.
“Arbitrator by virtue of our position we sometimes sit as Arbiter between couples to help resolve marital issues. We can act as mediator between the spouses and facilitate healthy and effective marital conflict resolution.”
“Marriage Trainer: We must equally be involve in marriage educational programmes that focus on preventing relationship problems and teaching couples communication and conflict resolution skills.”
“Marriage Coach, Guide more importantly to equally guide people on how to go about courting and selecting a suitable marriage partner and guiding them to understand that marriage is a religious duty, a moral safeguard and a social necessity. As a result of which the couple must bear in mind that they have entered a commitment with Allah to whom they are accountable.”
In her own presentation, looking into it from medical perspective, with topic Medical Compatibility in Marriage, Dr. Khadijat Adabale explained that compatibility is a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict.
Besides, medical compatibility is being capable of existing together in a satisfactory relationship -blood -transplant.
She further said, Islamic basis of medical marital compatibility is genuine. “Whoever deceives people does not belong to me”- Prophet Muhammad (SAW) Muslim Hadith 102.
The significance of medical pre-marital testing were enumerated, it helps to early detection of disease and giving opportunity for treatment, builds trust, build confidence, it gives room for informed decision making, ensures heathy progeny, preparedness to handle any existing condition among others.
She gave insight into helpful category of medical/psychological screening checklist.
“For general screening:
Any present illness, Any current medications, Previous hospital admissions, Previous surgeries Family history of hypertension, Family history of Diabetes, Family history of glaucoma, Use of recreational drugs- cannabis etc Alcohol and/or tobacco use, including previous use.”
“Any vaccinations Family history of sickle cell, Family history of cancer, Previous history of psychologist/ psychiatric treatment, Is intended spouse related in any way; Will this be a polygynous marriage? Will you like to keep this information private from your intended spouse?”
General wellness checks-CBC, ESR, Blood pressure, blood glucose, eye check Blood group especially the Rhesus blood grouping Genotype- sickle cell trait Haemoglobin electrophoresis-Thalassaemia inheritance, Sexually Transmitted Disease screening-syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes etc HIV screening Hepatitis B & C Fertility- Seminal fluid analysis, Pelvic scan Psychological/Mental Health examination.”
In all aforementioned, Ethical Considerations is of great importance, as all these should have been carried out as soon as the intention of marriage is conceived, ideally before emotional investment.
“Confidentiality must me guarantee (NDA etc), then it shouldn’t be forgotten that the role of the counsellors either religious or medical is just advisory and not mandatory. The results can’t be used to prevent the marriage, the couples are left with their choices make. Just lay the cards on the table for them to pick.”says Dr. Khadijat Adabale.
Basic counselling skills and effective counsellor’s attributes was the focus of Ogunsesan, Bilkis Oyebola (Mrs) B.Ed, M.Ed, Ph.D where she emphasised on the
personal attributes of counsellors as having
Empathy, Sense of humor, neatness, patience & understanding, friendliness, common sense, sympathetic attitude, security, trust and courage, establishment of rapport, communication skills.
“For any profession to thrive, the ethics, skills and attributes must play a vital role. Counsellors need to be approachable and accessible.”says Mrs. Ogunsesan Bilkis.
Dr. Abdulfatai Ismail who dealt with the issue of Marriage and Counseling: What, Why, Where, How and Who? Highlighted the fact that, pre-marital counselling can be opted for by couples who are in a relationship and want to take their relationship to the next level.
He added that, “Where Marriage counseling should take place must be
Professional counselling setting that will give privacy to intending couples or already married couples and It is better to seek marriage counselling from a trained marital counsellor.”
According to the convener of the of Strategic Training capacity building workshop, Dr. Rahmat Adetutu Adisa (PhD, FOWSD, FAU-STRC/ICMR) NASFAT EX-Officio and a certified Counselor, the essence of the workshop is to enhance
team building and make known the responsibilities of the Missioners at both Branch and Zonal Levels.
“The whole process of counselling is built on trust. She however, spoke more on the three different of trust namely: Calculus based trust – built on calculations of the relative rewards for trusting or losses for not trusting. Competence based trust – built on the confidence in people’s skills and abilities, allowing them to make decisions and train others and Identity based trust – built on an assumption of perceived compatibility of values, common goals, emotional/intellectual connection.”
She added that the team for the actualisation of this project will comprise the following in NASFAT, the Administrator-HQ, Zones and Branches, The Counselor, The Missioner, The Medical Doctor.
“The most productive, innovative teams were led by people who were both task- and relationship-oriented. What’s more, these leaders changed their style during the project.”
“Our expectation is that in the next 1 & 1/2years is to put an organised structure in place this ongoing, constitute a counselling committee (Team) (Professional counsellors, psychologists, social scientists, sociologist , teachers) at the Zonal and Branch levels to effectively execute and cascade counselling activities from HQ through Zones to Branches.”
“Effective implementation of NASFAT Counseling SOP, Effective use of NASFAT Counseling Tools & good record-keeping, Open a functional Counseling clinic, Promote pre-marital Counseling sessions, ensure zones and Branches adopt the new wedding/Nikah certificate after this training.”
And seriously ensure Certificates stumps are duly filled and return to HQ at the next stocking or purchase of marriage Certificates.”says Dr. Rahmat Adisa.
Functions of Counselling Committee shall include but not limited to:
i. Shall be made up of not less than thirteen (13) members, all of whom must be married or widowed, and at most nine (9) of which must be women and shall be headed by an ExOfficio Member of the Executive Council
ii. The Committee shall be responsible for the provision of Guidance, Counseling and Mentoring services to members of the Society
iii. The Committee shall provide Counseling services to the male and female members of the Society who have signified their intention to marry each other
iv. The Committee shall develop guidelines for the provision of its services which shall be approved by the National Executive Council
v. The Committee shall also carry out any other assignment specifically referred to it by the Executive Council
vi. Shall meet at least once in every two (2) months and shall have the powers to appoint its officials, including vice-chairman and secretary, by the consensus of its members
vii. Shall provide formal written quarterly report of its activities to the Executive Council
viii. Shall co-opt other members of the Society to assist with the duties of the Committee as and at when required. All these will be guide lines for the team, says Dr. Adisa.
Conflict resolution strategies was the focus of Imam Sajeed Adekunle at the second say of capacity building workshop while Dr. Sulaimon Ogunmuyiwa dealt with effective marriage counseling:strategies and challenges.
The two days workshop was concluded on the 9th with the presentation of certificates to the participated Missioners/Counsellors.