Learn to accompany families

The recent Synod on family has reminded all believers that the way to the new evangelization goes through the family. Despite the crisis that seems to be suffering this institution-abandonment, loneliness, separations, decline in fertility and nuptiality-the desire for family remains alive also among many young people. As the recent apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" recalled, in order to face this situation as a church and as a society, a profound "pastoral conversion" is needed, which involves accompanying families in crisis on the part of other families. Training is needed for this task.

What is happening to us?

The family, that place where we learn to conjugate the "we", has been invaded today by profoundly individualistic ways of life. Everyday life has accelerated. Academics already speak of "family chaos". The professional life of both spouses has a lot to do with this reality. On the other hand the influence of stereotypes from gender ideology - the sexed dimension of the person is a simple product of biology that can be "reprogrammed" - derives in an egalitarianism - "if you win, I lose" - own of the logic of the world of work but not of family life. Therefore it is necessary to reconsider what it means today "community of life and love".

The family seems dragged by the market and ideologies. Other priorities seem to occupy the first place in people's lives. Faced with this situation, families, educators and professionals of different types are without the adequate tools to adequately communicate the truth about the family and effectively accompany those who are in crisis. The main reasons why many families break up today are not irreparable. It would be enough to know better the dynamics of family relationships: what it means to love and how a relationship is built effectively.

Learn to accompany

On May 18, the Juan José Pérez-Soba Professor of the Juan Pablo II Institute visited the International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona) on the family. In his lecture "Amoris Laetitia" rupture or continuity, he posed an essential question, the absence of accompaniment and the training to do so.

Where do people without resources go? to concrete, well-known institutions. Where do the sick go? To specialists who cure their evil. But where do families go at risk? That is not so clear. These families often do not need psychologists or psychiatrists. Their problems are not usually pathologies; At least in the beginning. However, they do need help to learn how to build healthy and stable relationships.

Who can help them? The most logical thing is that they are people in their same situation, other families that accompany them. But training is required for this task.
Sometimes this function has been covered by family mediation. As it is understood today in most civil legislations, mediation has been reduced to an aid so that the family can "die without pain". He comes late. This does not mean that mediation - together with the other techniques used in the resolution of conflicts in different areas - can not be a means through which accompaniment can be carried out, however, the task of training, preventing, accompanying and consolidating The conjugal and family relationship does not require a mediator but rather an expert in family counseling and guidance.

A pioneer program

From the Institute of Superior Studies of the Family we have launched the Postgraduate in Consultancy and Family Orientation a pioneering program has been launched in this subject. It is developed completely online and has teachers of the highest level. His teaching load is 30 teaching credits taught over ten months.

The program addresses the foundations, structure, functionality of the family as well as the nature of family relationships and family education. Dedicates a broad chapter to family communication, family dysfunctions and conflict resolution techniques. The course is tutored and has a final postgraduate work in which the student demonstrates his ability to implement what is a true "anthropological revolution" not reducible to theoretical knowledge but needs to be lived from the reality of the postmodern family .

The Accompaniment task it is especially important in the first years that it is when habits and tools of communication and negotiation are acquired so that the spouses know how to communicate and thus share; Respect and admire each other to resist adversity; learn to solve difficulties together; respect unchangeable differences; dedicate time and tenderness to the other; strive to lead a full and active marital life and establish and respect the necessary scope of personal freedom of the other; maintain a balanced and flexible distribution of tasks and roles and finally promote a certain added complicity: in addition to husbands and fathers, the spouses must be inseparable companions of each other's lives.

To address this challenge, training is needed to adapt the instruments and techniques of conflict resolution to the specific nature of the family environment.
As in other issues, the real problem is not the conflict, but what response we give it.Therefore, the techniques that are put into practice in family support processes should always be adapted to the needs of the family in general and of each family in particular.

Pilar Lacorte. Postgraduate Coordinator in Family Counseling and Counseling

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