Relationships in general are challenging, and coming from different curtural backgrounds can create its own set of challenges. As intercultural marriages continue to increase, it's important to acknowledge and understand how different cultural backgrounds are likely to impact marriages and family life of the couples you work with.
Couples can be ethnically different, but it's important to have similarities. From a counseling point of view, if the couple has agreement in the most important areas of their life, then the greater success in marriage they will have.
Even a trained, skilled therapist may take several sessions to get the information you can get at a glance from the biographical background page. Don't make assumptions, even when working with couples who are of the same ethnic background.
The facilitator's role is to coach the couple so they know how to play the game, but the coach does not play in the game. You teach them the skills they need so they know how to play the game, how to navigate the marital waters.
In Australia in 2016, 31.6% of couples married were born in different countries, and 13.9% were born in the same overseas country. 54.5% of couples married were both born in Australia (ABS, 2016). So the likelihood of coming across couples from culturally diverse backgrounds is high.
Happy Harmony day, March 21 2018.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) - Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016
#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.