By Jide Jegede
It was a moment of intense brainstorming for members of the Counseling Association of Nigeria (CASSON), Oyo State branch as they held their annual conference for 2018 in Ibadan recently.
The event which was witnessed by experts, scholars and researchers in the field of counselling was put together to proffer solutions to factors threatening relationships in dating, marriages and family in the modern day life.
Held at the Emmanuel Alayande Teachers’ House, Ibadan from Tuesday, 13th to Thursday 15th March, the programme provided a platform for members to exchange ideas on how to use their professional skills to help spouses in handling emerging social pressures threatening family and marital life.
While welcoming the participants, the Oyo State Chairman of COSSAN, Prof. Ayo Hammed, stressed the need for members to get familiar with peculiar issues affecting relationships in the recent times and be prepared to offer professional service to help victims overcome them.
Among the issues, he added, are money matters, taking partners feelings for granted, insensitivity to spouse’s psychological needs and end of romance period.
Others, he continued, include fights and conflicts, resentment, infidelity and cheating, poor communication, lack of sex and intimacy among others.
He said the theme-contemporary issues in couples, marriage and family counselling – was designed to take a cursory look at some of the challenges faced by individuals and families in the face of the telling impact the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and social media have on people’s economic and political lives.
“Are we prepared for the changes that will be coming our ways? How best are we prepared to respond to online dating; having children without father or mother? career and employment issues in marriage, domestic violence issues in marriage as more women are now involved in manslaughter and homicide issues than they were before now.
“Inter religious diversity issues in marriage, a situation where couple meet at a programme where there is equity and equality and no one was allowed to discriminate against one another on the basis of religion. Thus, personality are moulded to take a look at the best in an individual not on the basis of creed, sex, color or nationality,” Hammed noted.
He urged intending and existing couples, married individuals and families to be cautious in seeking solutions to challenging issues about their lives through unconventional means, insisting that only professional counsellors have the skill to proffer scientific and enduring solutions to such crises.
Speakers at the opening event took their turn to counsel women on the need to be submissive to their spouses to ensure peace and harmony in their homes.
The National President of CASSON, Prof. Elizabeth Egbochukwu, who opened up the debate, said many home had collapsed because some women were not ready to accept their husbands as the head in the home.
She noted that her career experience in family counselling has proven that if women respect their husbands and accept the role of supporters being placed on their shoulder by God, many of the family crises would not arise in the first place.
Among the Counselling experts that graced the opening ceremony were Prof. Ronke Omoteso, who was the lead speaker, Prof. Donald Odeleye of Lead City University, a lawmaker in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Joshua Oyebamiji, the Vice President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Ogbomosho, Dr. Ola Ayankeye, the Secretary General of CASSON, Dr. Adesoji Awoyemi and a former HOD, Guidance and Counseling, UI, Prof. J. Osiki
Also speaking, the Head, Guidance and Counselling Department, University of Ibadan, Dr. Chioma Azuzu, stressed that all women must recognize that the best of their result are achieved with the support of their husbands.
She counselled that young people need to be matured in every sense before venturing into marriage.
Apart from the lead paper presented by Prof. Omoteso, participants were also treated to insightful presentations to prepare them for the challenges ahead in their chosen profession.
The programme also featured award presentations to individuals who have benefitted the association and the world around them.