‘Marriages can be saved with trained counsellors’

Provost, Institute of Counseling in Nigeria, Dr. Tolulope Oko-Igaire
Provost, Institute of Counseling in Nigeria, Dr. Tolulope Oko-Igaire

Bad marriages can be salvaged if people learn to talk to marriage counsellors. So also can sexual issues be resolved if we cultivate the habit of talking to sex therapists, Dr Tolulope Oko-Igaire, provost of Institute of Counselling in Nigeria, has said.

The provost, who is a sex and marriage counsellor, also noted that Nigerians could fill loopholes of busy schedule only if parents understand the need for children and adolescents’ counsellors.

Dr Tolulope, who was speaking at the media unveiling of the Institute of Counselling in Nigeria, the first counseling institute in Africa, also said that a grieving individual can move past his/her grief if there are well trained grief and bereavement counselors while addicts could be helped if there are addiction counselors.

“According to a report in 2017, 10,000 girls are sexually assaulted, raped daily in Nigeria. Another report says marital separation rates in 2018 saw a 14% increase across the whole population. In the past, Nigerians used to be termed the happiest people on earth, but we are currently ranked 85th in the world,” she said.

“The problem with Africans is that we have left the cultural values that used to shape us in the name of civilisation. We copied the Western culture without providing the necessary cushion effect. Civilization has eroded our cultural values, parental schedules have left no room for family times; crime has taken over the streets and therefore gives no room for children to be ‘street wise.

“Women are now also more aware of their sexual needs, leaving the average African husband with the headache of how to satisfy his wife’s sexual needs. Life is on a very fast lane, giving individuals more choices; unfortunately, the more choices people are open to, the more confused they get. This explains the reason for the increasing rate of suicide among young people,” the marriage counsellor said.

She also said that counselling is the new generational skill for optimal performance and a fulfilling destiny, adding that it is also the solution to self-discovery and an answer to a fully functioning and sane society.

The representative of the advisory board of the institute, Mr Lekan Ajisafe, said a closer look at the society today reveals that a lot of Nigerians are suffering from various forms of mental and emotional problems, which most of them are not aware of because the Nigerian government and citizens are doing close to nothing to educate the public and proffer reasonable solutions to the social anomalies.

“From the problem of abuse to that of addiction, from bad parenting to domestic violence, from corruption to power abuse, from paedophilia to rape, from depression to suicide; no one needs to be told that something is wrong with our society and we need therapeutic interventions now than ever before,” Ajisafe said.

Also, a clinical counsellor in stress management, emotion stability and mind issues, Ibironke Banjoko-Olukoga, explained that counselling is not the same as advising, but getting help from a professional counsellor, who afterwards allows you to take a decision by yourself and helps you to make a choice.

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