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Workshop: Couple Relationship – 2015

By 15 June 2022August 22nd, 2022  

Context: the team of ENFANCE (a Pilipino NGO created by Inter Aide in 2003) started this kind of workshop to improve couple relationship in 2008 in Tondo, Manila, after having noticed that conflict between couple was one of the main hindrance for the family both to be able to save money (if the couple disagrees on how to use the money) and to solve other objectives identified during home-based visits (such as access to family planning or reducing addiction). Also, as the women were more available than the men during the home-based visits, the family counselor was identified more as “mother- counselor” rather than as family counselor and the fathers was reluctant to join a discussion or to share their personal feelings and story. Implementing and offering an activity to which both members of the couple had to attend was a good way to ensure the participation of the father.
After several evaluation and improvement done by the staff of ENFANCE and Violeta Bautista, psychologist and supervisor, the workshop was initially divided in 3 parts, each part during half a day.

The feedback of the 36 couples who attended this workshop between in 2008 and 2009 were very positive :
Couple reported to discuss more about their common dreams, to make decision together and to fight less than before) but we were encountering a lot of difficulties to ensure couple attended the 3 parts of the workshops as husband were often working and as a result not available during the day and we had to cancel several planned sessions.

Therefore, in 2010, we decided to create a new module merging the 3 sessions in only one. Since then, 38 couples have attended 8 workshops and given the feedback of the couples, it still proved to be very effective.

Nevertheless, it was still very difficult for some couple to attend the workshop as the man was working during the day and could not commit to be available on one specific date. As a result, when a family is enrolled in the family development program and is regularly visited at home, and when there are couple conflict but the husband cannot commit to be available at a specific date, we are also doing very similar sessions (dividing this module in 3 sessions of 45 min) with the couple every time the husband happens to be available during a home-visit, adapting as such the conduction of the workshop to the availability of the couple.

Regarding the children, some couples were able to find a way so that somebody will take care of the children during the half day and otherwise, the children came to the workshops with their parents. We therefore always planned the facilitator to be accompanied by a co-facilitator who could take care of the children during the workshop.

Below is the merged module for a one time workshop with a target of 5 to 10 couples.

Objectives: By the end of this session, the participants will be able to:
 Communicate and listen to each other
 Express their individual and family dreams
 Identify ways to achieve their family dreams together

Target population: 5 to 10 couples (both partners have to participate to the workshop)
In charge: Family Counselor
Time: 2 hours and 30 min