Pre-Marital Counselling and Sustainability of Marriages in Contemporary Ghanaian Society

Pre-Marital Counselling and Sustainability of Marriages in Contemporary Ghanaian Society

Joseph Ezale Cobbinah (University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana) and Ellen Mabel Osei-Tutu (University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJPAE.2019010104

Abstract

Marriages in Ghana are usually preceded by counseling. It is believed that premarital counseling helps to sustain marriages because it gives couples the initial skills needed to enable them to start their marriage and solve minor problems that may be encountered in the relationship. This study was aimed at assessing the significance of premarital counseling to the sustenance of marriage. The study adopted a mixed methodological approach in gathering the data. Data was gathered from 112 individuals from three different suburbs of the capital city of Ghana. The results showed that although pre-marital counseling was observed to be important for would-be couples, it does not help sustain all marriages. Married couples that were given pre-marital counseling were getting separated as well as those who never had pre-marital counseling. It is therefore recommended that although premarital counseling may be necessary, it is not sufficient to sustain marriages. Therefore, counseling should continue even after marriage.
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Theoretical Framework

To help counselors provide support for would-be couples, some theoretical models have been developed. In the 1950s, Person-Centred theory was developed in the USA as a counseling theory which roots could be traced from the humanistic psychology, views individuals as being capable and having the potential of solving their own problems (Seligman, 2006). The ability of counselees as individuals who have an understanding of themselves and the problem they face. However, a major contributor of Person-Centred theory Carl Rogers emphasized that a counselor and the quality of the relationship that exists between the counselor and counselee will determine how successful the counseling process will be (Corey, 2005). According to Carl Rogers, there were six conditions for change to occur in the counseling process. They include; psychological contact between two persons; incongruence marked by vulnerability and anxiety on the part of the client; congruence and integration on the part of the therapist; unconditional positive regard on the part of the therapist towards the client; the counsellor’s experience of empathy of the client’s internal frame of reference and endeavouring this awareness to the client and the achievement even if it is minimal, of both the therapist’ unconditional positive regard and empathetic understanding of the client.

Techniques appropriate for this type of therapy include listening, accepting, understanding and sharing. One major technique used by Person-Centred therapists is to create an atmosphere that facilitates the development of self-awareness and self-esteem. Person-centered approach theory assumes that every individual has the tendency to work towards self-actualization (Seligman, 2006). Self-actualization is the tendency for every individual to develop his/her capacities. However, the genuineness on the part of the counselor is key to a successful therapy session (Rogers as cited in Corey, 2005). Allowing counselees to understand themselves and their problems is a way of helping would-be couples to develop the skills that will help them solve their problems in the future.

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