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MGG201W/101/0/2010 M 0



101/201 10







TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 1. A word of welcome 2. Purpose and proposed outcomes of this module 3. Relevance of this course 4. Communication with your lecturer and university 5. Student support system 6. Study material 7. Additional information about same sex marriages in South Africa 8. How the Assignment system works 9. How the Examination system works 10. Additional examination preparation and mastery of course content 11. Further training 12. Assignments and assessment criteria 13. Assignment submission dates 14. General Appendix One: Evaluation of course 3 4 6 7 10 11 13 15 18 19 21 21 37 37 39


Dear Student 1. A WORD OF WELCOME Welcome to the Marriage Guidance and Counselling (MGG201W) course. We trust that as the course unfolds it will help to broaden your understanding of couple relationships and the role that helpers play in strengthening families. We hope that your studies in this module will be both enjoyable and successful. This letter, Tutorial Letter 101, is meant to orientate you in terms of the requirements for this course, such as the scheme of work, resources and assignments. Tutorial letters are our way of communicating with you. We urge you to read Tutorial letter 101 carefully and keep it at hand when working through the study material, preparing your assignments, and studying for the examination. This tutorial letter contains useful information on how to resolve some of the practical problems that you may encounter as an Open Distance Learner at this institution. General and administrative information relevant to this particular module are covered herein. The assignments that have been set for this module, the instructions for the preparations for these assignments, the assessment criteria we use for marking your assignments, and the submission processes are explained in detail. During the year you will receive a number of other tutorial letters that will provide you with feedback about the assignments and guidelines on how to prepare for your examination at the end of the year. Be sure to file them with this one. We emphasise that it is your responsibility to read all tutorial letters you receive immediately and carefully. They contain important information to enable you to achieve a successful outcome in this course. We urge you to commence your studies early in the year and resolve to do your best when undertaking the assignments. Be warned that this is a continuous learning module that requires your active involvement in executing several learning tasks between March and July. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR ASSIGNMENTS TO DO A WEEK BEFORE THEIR SUBMISSION DATES. Careful planning and time management are critical.

2. PURPOSE AND PROPOSED OUTCOMES OF THIS MODULE Having worked as a marriage counsellor for many years, and having been married longer than I have been single, makes me realise that despite a human s incredible need for intimacy and closeness, the joining of two people to become a couple generates much pain alongside the pleasures. Even though there are more people who marry than those who choose to remain single, most enter into these unions ill prepared for the courage, commitment and patience needed to achieve the state of being just reasonably content. Whilst marriage remains a normal developmental task, and the average person marries once or twice in their lifetime, few couples receive adequate preparation for this life- altering status. The institution of marriage has undergone many changes in the last decade. The diversity of these unions is more widely acknowledged nowadays and peoples rights to make their own relationships choices are respected more than ever before. To illustrate what I mean consider the following shifts. Many couples choose to live together without solemnising their relationships, multi cultural unions are common, countries have begun legalising same sex unions, many married people live apart for long periods of time as they are geographically separated, sometimes by continents, because of work opportunities, and divorce is more widely accepted. This course is designed to enlighten learners about the dynamic nature of couples counselling. It is meant to create an overall perspective of the many factors that should be taken into consideration when dealing with couple relationships. The course will not make you an expert on couples, marriages and family life but it should deepen your understanding of the complexities of relationships. The course considers the diverse couples relationships that are prevalent in our society today, such as marriage, cohabitation (living together) and same sex pairing. It does not specifically focus on marital relationships and marital counselling. The term couples counselling should replace the term marital counselling or marriage counselling to ensure that professional helpers render comprehensive services to all couples who approach them about relationship issues. I sincerely hope that it will provide you with an opportunity to become more analytical of your relationships, of the close, personal kind, as well as alert you to the interesting relationships between couples who surround you. In the helping professions we realise that unless a person understands the self, and his or her motivations in his or her close interpersonal relationships, the person will struggle to understand those couples who present themselves to him or her for counselling.


The course is divided into five themes. The first theme assists learners to understand couples relationships. Love is discussed in terms of: the passionate attraction between couples, mutual expectations of partners, individuals intentions in their relationships. The course reflects on the impact that gender, ethnicity and culture and the differences of individuals have on couple relationships. The second theme provides an overview of several common psychological tasks that couples have to negotiate within their relationships and outlines the general family life cycle stages that their families are likely to move through in time. A relationship requires that the two parties involved with one another adapt to and accommodate the new demands associated with the different developmental stages of their relationship. Couples may be severely challenged when attempting to transcend these new demands when dealing simultaneously with other unexpected stressors such as illness, immigration, retrenchment, and violent crime. The forces of culture and ethnicity, industrialisation and globalization influence families, and traps people between traditionalism and modernism. The third theme reviews a selection of contemporary theoretical approaches commonly used in couples counselling. The psycho dynamic approaches, cognitive behavioural approach, person centred approach, structural and strategic systemic approaches, and the Afro centric perspective are studied in terms of their assumptions, basic concepts and identifying techniques. Each approach covered is considered to make valuable contributions within the field of couple counselling. The use of one approach alone is often experienced as too restrictive and the merits of helpers integrating the salient and compatible assumptions of different approaches into an orderly, eclectic approach based on empirically validated principles, is proposed. The fourth theme introduces learners to an integrative approach to working with couples. This theme describes the continuum of care available to couples at various stages in their relationship. Premarital counselling, marital enrichment, couples counselling, divorce counselling and divorce mediation are briefly described. Couple counselling is presented as a professional service that necessitates professional values and specific professional activities. Generic counselling principles are summarised and reviewed in terms of their application within the field of couple counselling.

The concluding theme divides the integrative helping process into several sequential stages. Each stage, from making the appointment to terminating counselling, is explained according to the model proposed by Young and Long (1998). If only helping was that organised and orderly! 3. RELEVANCE OF THIS COURSE Before you begin your study of the MGG201W course, may I request that you stop and reflect on the following? Do you think that the institution of marriage is in crisis at this point in time? Should we be more active in preserving marriage as it was, or should we be striving to shape committed couple relationships into a different form? Is change needed to meet the unique demands of modern living and the changes that we are experiencing? As you work through your study guide reflect on what we as a society should retain from couples counselling practices and what we should be adding to strengthen modern families. Consider yourself to be a couples counsellor in the making, and this module work in progress. Allow your personal perceptions of relationships to be influenced by some of the content gained from the course and at the same time make sure that your ideas influence the development of this course. In the long term we want your opinions and feedback to shape this module.

It is important for you to compare your personal views with the views projected in this course. You must realise that we expect you to participate in developing and sharing thoughts and ideas to ensure that this course evolves into a meaningful learning opportunity for future students. Relationships are dynamic and change with the times and a course such as this must be perceptive about change.


4. COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR LECTURER AND UNIVERSITY The lecturer responsible for MGG201W is as follows: Lecturers name: Mrs A Petty Building and office number: Room 404, Unisa Learning Centre, Boland Building, 221 West St, DURBAN. E-mail address: pettya@unisa.ac.za Telephone: Work: (031) 3322209 ext 138 Home: (031) 563-7672 Fax: (031) 3322214 Postal address: Unisa Kwazulu- Natal Regional Facility, PO Box 47431, GREYVILLE, 4023 In the event of persistent failure to reach me at the contact particulars provided above, telephone the administrative staff of the Department at (012) 429-6054 or (012) 429 6744 or leave a message at (031) 3322209. You are invited to contact me with queries about the contents of this module, queries on how to prepare for your assignments and the examination. I am involved in teaching and training students. Always have your study material and student number at hand when you call. Administrative matters should not be directed to me but rather the relevant departments. Communication with the University Apart from the Academic Departments there are several sections/departments are involved with each student. : Despatch is responsible for posting your tutorial matter and study guides Examinations determines, inter alia, the examination dates and sends your examination admission letter Assignments receive and handle the administration of the assignments you submit.

If you need to contact the University about any of these matters, or other services, please consult the Publication: Your Service Guide @ Unisa that was enclosed with your study material. This booklet contains information on how to contact the University (e.g. to whom you can write or telephone to resolve your administrative queries). It contains relevant telephone and fax numbers, addresses and details of service operations offered by non academic departments, Physical address University of South Africa Preller St Muckleneuk Unisa City of Tshwane Postal address University of South Africa PO Box 392 Unisa 0003 Correspondence Direct you correspondence/enquiries to the appropriate section/department. Consult the publication Your Service Guide @ Unisa enclosed with your study material. This booklet contains information on how to contact the University. Cover only one topic per letter. It is imperative to give your full names, address, student number and module code/s in all correspondence. Complete all forms and assignment covers in full. No assignment may be forwarded directly to this Department. Use the assignment envelopes provided by Unisa without any additions or changes on the envelope. Letters to lecturers may not be enclosed with or inserted into assignments Should you wish to write to the Department about this course, your letter should be addressed to:


Ms A Petty (MGG201W) Department of Social Work PO Box 392 UNISA 0003 Telephonic contact The general Unisa Contact Centre (UCC) number is 086 167 0411 Please note that all administrative enquiries should be directed to the Unisa Contact Centre. Enquiries will then be channelled to the correct department. The details are as follows: Calls (RSA only) International Calls Fax number (RSA) Fax number (international) E-mail 0861670411 +27 11 670 9000 012 429 4150 +27 12 429 4150 study-info@unisa.ac.za

Contact with lecturers and appointments My personal contact details appear in the front of this tutorial letter. Highlight this information and keep it handy. Most lecturers teach more than one course, present discussion classes and workshops, serve on committees at the University and in the community and this explains why they are often absent from their offices. If you need to see your lecturer it is best for you to make an appointment to avoid being disappointed. Make the appointment with the lecturer concerned personally if you do not want to waste your time. You are also invited to set up a telephonic appointment to discuss any academic content related to this course that you do not understand. You book a time with the lecturer when he or she can guarantee to be in the office to receive your call.

Please try to restrict home telephone calls to weekdays between 19:00 to 20:00. TUESDAYS are reserved for Departmental meetings. The duration is determined by the agenda. Lecturers are therefore not available from 08:15 until approximately 12:30. 5. STUDENT SUPPORT SYSTEM For information on the various student support systems and services available at Unisa (e.g. student counselling, tutorial classes, language support), please consult the publication Your Service Guide @ Unisa that you received with your study material. Contact with fellow students One way of strengthening academic performance is by forming a self-study support group with other students who are registered for the same course. Requests for fellow students names and addresses must be directed to: Directorate: Student Administration and Registration PO Box 392 UNISA 0003 A list of names and addresses of students in your area will be forwarded to you. You may also contact the Unisa Contact Centre 0861 670 411 myUnisa myUnisa is Unisas online campus that helps students to communicate withlecturers, other students and administrative departments of the university. It offers students invaluable information and resources online. To go to the myUnisa website, start at the main Unisa website, http://www.unisa.ac.za and then click on the Login to myUnisa link on the right-hand side of the screen. This should take you to the myUnisa website. You can also go there



directly by typing in http://my.unisa.ac.za. The greatest advantage of registering is that you will be able to communicate and share your concerns about the course with fellow students. I find myUnisa to be a useful way of staying in touch with students doing this course. I enjoy this informal contact. From time to time I communicate important announcements and tips on how to tackle assignments on myUnisa. One of the most attractive features is that once you have registered and activated a myUnisa account you are able to submit your assignments on line. The Your Service Guide @ Unisa manual offers more detail about this learning management system. 6. STUDY MATERIAL LET WEL AFRIKAANSSPREKENDE STUDENTE: As gevolg van die klein aantal Afrikaanssprekendes wat vir die module geregistreer is, is dit nie koste-effektief om studiemateriaal in beide Afrikaans en Engels te produseer nie. U is egter steeds welkom om alle korrespondensie, take, werkopdragte in Afrikaans te doen. U is welkom om my te nader indien enige aspek van die studiebrief onduidelik is. Die eksamenvraestel sal slegs in Engels wees. Inventory letter Once you have registered you will receive an inventory letter telling you what you should be receiving in your study package. This inventory letter should indicate if any items are outstanding. All tutorial matter is not necessarily available at the time of registration, and the outstanding items are mailed to you by the Despatch Department as soon as they become available. Check the study material you receive against the inventory letter. If any items are missing, follow the instructions on the back of the inventory letter without delay.

PLEASE NOTE: Your lecturers cannot help you with missing study material. Contact the Unisa Contact Center at 0861 670 411 (RSA only), or +27 11 670 9000 (international calls). The Department of Despatch should supply you with the following study material for this module: Study guide There is only one study guide for this module: MGG201W (Only study guide). Tutorial letters MGG201W/101: This refers to the tutorial letter that you are reading. It should be issued to you at registration. MGG201W/102: Assignment feedback and self-marking instructions MGG201W/103: Examination preparation. SCKALLK/301: This contains information about the required reference techniques. Tutorial letters MGG201W 102 and 103 will be sent to you later in the year. If you have access to the Internet, you can view the study guides and tutorial letters for the modules for which you are registered on the Universitys online campus, myUnisa, at http;//my.unisa.ac.za Prescribed textbooks There is no prescribed textbook for MGG201W. This means that you do not have to buy any additional books for this course. You need to study your guide, tutorial letters and find information sources on your own. Additional books and resources You are encouraged to refer to any sources that you can find. Talk to professional organisations that offer counselling in your community, search the internet, look for generic books about relationships at your local book shop, and consult your community library. Additional sources will help to broaden your understanding of



this topic. The Unisa Library makes no provision for additional literature for this course. References that I found useful and refer to in your study guide are as follows: Brown, JH & Brown, CS. 2002. Marital therapy: concepts and skills for effective practice. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Carter B & McGoldrick M. 1989. The changing family life cycle. Boston, Mass: Allyn &Bacon. Sperry L & Carlson J. 1991. Marital therapy: integrating theory and technique. Denver, Colo: Love. Young, M. & Long, L. 1998. Counselling and therapy for couples. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. SAME SEX


It has taken a long time for our country to recognize and protect the rights of all people by safeguarding them against unfair discrimination as intended by the adoption of the Constitution. The South African Constitution, Section 9 (3) reads, The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth Despite this, same sex couples have until recently, not been entitled to the same rights that heterosexual couples have enjoyed. The legal regulation of the family law rights of same -sex couples was incomprehensive and failed to affirm and protect gay and lesbian unions for years. Being unable to legalize their unions same-sex couples would not get the same socio economic benefits, right to inheritance, medical insurance coverage, adoption, access to wrongful death claims, bereavement leave, tax advantages and post divorce rights that heterosexual couples had access to. This problem went beyond a failure to acknowledge their economic and legal rights because it also excluded them from the celebrations and

rituals that typically mark the formation of couple-hood in our society. As pointed out by Judge Albie Sachs, they are obliged to live in a state of legal blankness in which their unions remain unmarked by the showering of presents and the commemoration of anniversaries so celebrated in our culture (Alexander 2006). There have been several court battles on gay rights since the inauguration of South Africas first democratic government. The Constitutional Court struck down the offence of sodomy in the Sexual Offences Act and the Criminal Procedures Act in 1998 Foreign partners of same sex couples were allowed to become permanent South African citizens in 1999 Homosexual partners in committed relationships were entitled to the same financial status as married heterosexual couples as ruled by the Constitutional Court in 2002 Homosexual couples in committed relationships were given rights to adopt children in 2002. Children born to same-sex couples by artificial insemination were recognized as legitimate by the court in 2003

The case brought before the Constitutional Court in 2005 by Marie Fourie and Cecelia Bonthuys was the turning point. This couple had been in a committed relationship with one another for ten years and wanted to marry. During their time together they shared a home, friends, memories and joint dreams for their future but the law failed to offer them any public recognition or registration of their relationship because they were both women. In this case the court ruled that the existing legal definition of marriage was in conflict with the countrys Constitution because it denied same- sex couples the rights granted to heterosexual couples. Parliament was ordered to amend the Marriage Act or introduce new legislation that would allow same- sex couples to enter into legal marriages within a year. The Civil Union Bill was enacted on 30 December 2006.



This was a historic moment because South Africa became the fifth country in the world and the first country in Africa to legalize marriages between same sex couples. This act that was introduced ensures that any South African citizen can marry and be given the choice of calling the partnership a civil union or a marriage. The law addresses the points outlined earlier and allows same sex couples to make legal decisions on each others behalf and inherit if a partner dies without a will. Same- sex couples now receive state regulation when things go wrong in their relationships. It must be pointed out that same- sex couples can only be married under the Civil Union Act and not the Marriage Act. Some critics believe that these different, but equal, marriage laws remain discriminatory against same sex unions. 8. HOW THE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM WORKS Assignments and learning As indicated earlier in this tutorial letter the assignments are learning tasks that have been structured in such a way that they encourage you to read the guide, consult other resources and discuss the different topics with others in your community. It calls for you to be actively engaged in the learning process. The assignments for this course may seem very different from the others that you have done thus far. This course is designed using a continuous outcomes based learning model that requires introspection, reflection and discourse. It is not a course where one merely studies the contents of the study guide and writes the examination. The purpose of these tasks is to extend learning to become more interactive. This enables you to make space for the inclusion of your own observations and experiences, review your own values and attitudes and be open to the ideas of others. Reflective learning is more participatory and your thoughts and ideas will help to shape the contents of this course. A large part of your assessment mark is obtained from the successful completion of the experiential learning tasks that combined to form assignment 01 and 02.

The main objectives of the assignments are to: Help you to be familiar with the continuum of care offered by couple counseling practitioners Check whether you are able to integrate course content about the developmental tasks of families and couples with the experiences of a real family. Become aware of the dynamic nature of couple relationships and how couples are affected by culture and wider socio economic factors. Clarify the difference between vertical, horizontal and systemlevel stressors. Alert you to the inherent strengths that couples possess for overcoming normative and idiopathic crises. Encourage you to reflect on how your early family experiences shape your attitudes and expectations of intimate relationships. Encourage you to use your own family experiences to understand the meanings of the systemic concepts such as : Outer boundaries Internal boundaries and family subsystems Power structure Decision making processes Expression of emotion Goal formation Myths and faulty cognitive patterns Family roles Communication styles Family strengths Talk about marriage and long term relationships with other people in your community. Develop an understanding of the value of conflict in relationships and discover useful guidelines for couples to manage their conflict situations constructively.

The assignments for the year There are two compulsory assignments for the year. The assignment marks count for 40% of the examination mark. The first assignment contributes 10% towards your final year mark and the second assignment contributes 30%.



Completion of the assignments should be regarded as critical to your exam preparation. Examination admission cannot be obtained without submission of both assignments. Always keep copies of your assignments, as in the event of their getting lost your ability to fax, e mail or post your copy on request of the lecturer will serve as proof that you had undertaken the assignment. More importantly, your copies should be filed in your portfolio so that you can refer to them when you are preparing for your examination. Submission dates: Assignment 01 for MGG201W The closing date for submission of Assignment 01 is 9 April 2010. Extension submission date is 16 April 2010 Assignment 02 for MGG201W The closing date for submission of Assignment 02 is 16 July 2010. Extension submission date is 23 July 2010. Submission of assignments: Assignments should be addressed to: The Registrar PO BOX 392 UNISA 0003 You may submit your assignments by post or electronically via myUnisa. Assignments may not be submitted by fax or e-mail. For detailed information and requirements as far as assignments are concerned, see the brochure Your Service Guide @ Unisa. To submit an assignment via myUnisa: Go to myUnisa Log in with your student number and password Select the module Click on Assignments in the left-hand menu Click on the assignment number you want to submit.

Follow the instructions on the screen. 9. HOW THE EXAMINATION SYSTEM WORKS Examination admission There are two assignments for this module, each count for 50 examination admission credits. Submitting your assignments by the due date will earn you 50 credits each. Although passing an assignment is not required to obtain examination admission, submission of it is. Examination period This module is offered as a year course. Commencement of the course is February and the examination is written in October/November. Aegrotats and supplementary examinations granted for people registered for this course in 2010 will be written in January/February 2011. During the year, the Examination Section will provide you with information regarding the examination in general, examination venues, examination dates and examination times. The examination paper The examination consists of a two hour paper, based on the study guide and additional tutorial letters. To pass the examination a student must obtain a minimum of 50%. The examination will count for 60% of the final examination mark. As mentioned earlier, the administration regarding examinations is the responsibility of the Examination Section. Please do not phone this Department for examination dates, schedules, centres or the exam admission letters. Refer to the official timetable for the preliminary examination dates. As these dates are seldom changed; you can plan your studies accordingly. Tutorial letter with information on the examination To help you in the preparation for the examination, you will receive a



tutorial letter that will explain the format of the examination paper, give you examples of questions that you may expect and set out clearly what material you have to study for examination purposes. 10. ADDITIONAL EXAMINATION PREPARATION AND MASTERY OF COURSE CONTENT

I have included a few self-study questions within each theme of the study guide. These are reflective questions to make you contemplate the relevance of theory discussed in the guide for you as an individual, your community and the country wherein you reside. The following self-study questions, however, are critical for the mastery of the contents of the course. I suggest that you file your completed answers in a portfolio file as they will be useful reference resources for people planning to enter one of the counselling professions: 1. Draw a genogram of your own family, or another family that you know. Include at least three generations in your diagram. Reflect the quality of the relationships within the family, their gender, ages, occupations, health conditions, achievements and failures of the different family members. Be specific about which family members live together in the same households. Can you identify any patterns or themes across, or within the generations? When you compiled the genogram did you omit any members? Who and why? You will find it useful to refer to: Compton BR & Galaway B. 1989 (4th ed). Social Work Processes. Homewood, Ill: Dorsey or Carter BC & Mc Goldrick M. 1989 (2nd ed). The changing family life cycle: a framework for family therapy. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon. 2. Discuss your immediate nuclear family according to Carter & McGoldricks Family Life Cycle Model (1989). Identify and discuss the life stage that your family is in (you may find the stages overlap and in that case discuss all the relevant stages). Refer to the emotional process of transition that the members have to address in that phase, together with the second-order changes in family status that are required for them to proceed

developmentally. How useful is this model for helping relationship counsellors to understand South African families? 3. Professional values are beliefs that guide a couples counsellor in his or her conduct with couples. Identify and explain the values that you would expect a couples counsellor to portray during the counselling process. Discuss the ideal conditions proposed by the Person Centred Approach necessary for the creation of a meaningful helping relationship that addresses couple relationship issues. 4. Counselling requires the mastery of communication skills. Discuss the communication skills you consider to be critical to the field of relationship counselling. Define each skill and explain how each may be used to work with couples. 5. Discuss the main purposes of an eclectic approach of working with couples. 6. Discuss the six phases of the counselling process as outlined in your guide and elaborate on the helpers role in each phase? 7. Identify and discuss the seven psychological tasks that couples need to complete in order to achieve fulfilment. Select a couple that you know and critique their relationship, according to these concepts. 8. Discuss the difference between love and infatuation. Explain love according to Haucks theory. Make a point of discussing the common myths that couples have about love and propose ways that you can assist couples to prepare for commitment in their relationships. 9. Explain the differences between premarital counselling, marriage enrichment, couples counselling, divorce counselling and divorce mediation. Provide case examples of each, using 5 different cases. Note that this is your first assignment. 10. Compare and contrast the person centred approach as used in relationship counselling with another theoretical approach discussed in your study guide.



These self-study questions may be answered by studying the five themes in your guide. Adult learning is enhanced when learners integrate theory into practical situations. We encourage you to apply theory to practical situations. Please do not feel threatened by these exercises. You may discuss any family or person, living or fictitious. Most of this work does not have to be handed in. In some instances this kind of reflection opens up a deeper awareness of personal dynamics. This may be painful in some instances, and if it is, you are encouraged to refer yourself to a counsellor. If you are uncertain about whom you need to see you may contact us for suggestions for referral to relevant professionals. 11. FURTHER TRAINING

Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA) from time to time present practical courses on marriage counselling. Contact them on (011) 788-4784/5 or e-mail them on famlife@iafrica.com. 12. ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENT CRITERIA


Due date: 9 April Extension date: 16 April Admission credits: 50

Explain the similarities and differences between premarital counselling, marriage enrichment, couples counselling, divorce counselling and divorce mediation. Provide an example of each, using five different cases. (10) Suggestions for the completion of this assignment You need to discuss each concept separately. Your discussion should cover definitions; the purpose of that form of counselling, the helpers role; the core relational conditions that the helper has to create; the degree of structure; the format; potential service providers of that form of counselling. Create hypothetical cases to illustrate each form of counselling.

When you have discussed all five forms of counselling you should note in what way certain forms of counselling are similar to one another and in what ways they are different. Please ensure that you follow the correct reference techniques and attach a table of contents and a bibliography to your assignment. This assignment will be returned to you unmarked. This is a selfmarking, self- study assignment that has to be registered by the Assignment section in order for you to obtain the assignment credits and the assignment feedback tutorial letter.


Due Date: 16 July Extension Date: 23 July Admission Credits: 50

This is a lengthy assignment. Note that it consists of three separate tasks. At least one month must be allocated per task if you are to successfully complete the assignment. You need to plan your time well to enable you to gain entrance permission to the examination. This tutorial letter serves to provide you with some guidelines to simplify each task. A suggested time and activity frame is as follows: TASK ONE Task 1: Interview of Couple focusing on the stages of the Family Life Cycle Commencement date: 1 April 2010 Identify a couple in your community whom you consider to have a good relationship. Interview them to explore the dynamics of families pertaining to the Family Life Cycle. Explore their perceptions about the stages that families go through in time. The interview should last for about an hour. You are required to provide a typed/written report of their responses to the following themes:




Provide an explanatory introduction to the Family Life Cycle mentioning all the stages. Describe the couple you interviewed, their ages, the number of children in their family, their occupations and any relevant information about them such as language, ethnic group, urban or rural geographic location, religion. Identify and discuss the stage of the family life cycle that they are in? Discuss any major or minor adjustments that they have had to make during this life cycle phase? Refer to Carter and Mc Goldrick (1989) to identify any changes typical of this stage that they failed to mention. Try to explain why they have not mentioned these changes. How did the family experience the previous life cycle phase? What were the biggest challenges that they faced during that stage? What resources did they access to help them to cope with those challenges? The resources may be things such as support from the extended family, professional counselling, a family discussion, lessons learned from the past. What vertical stressors impact on this family? What are some of the more obvious horizontal stressors that the couple has dealt with during their marriage? Discuss any system level stressors that the couple has to manage. List the couples relationship strengths according to their own frame of reference? What advice would they like to give other couples who are in the same life cycle phase as themselves? (10) Stages and procedures for Task One

12.1.1 Theoretical preparation Study theory from theme 2, Changes that couples go through, psychological tasks and family life cycle developmental stages, theme 4.6, The counselling relationship, theme b Structured assessment tools. Summarise the theory on the family life cycle in a table that highlights the key principles of each stage and the second order changes identified by Carter and Mc Goldrick (1989).

12.1.2 Develop an interview schedule or questionnaire Look at the questions you have to discuss in Task 1. Develop a short questionnaire/ interview schedule that will help you to keep your interview with a couple focused. You must ensure that you obtain the relevant information for the task. 12.1.3 Recruit a couple to interview Identify a suitable couple to interview. It is impossible to determine at face value if a couple have a good relationship or not and so one should explain the purpose of the task very clearly so that they can decline if they believe that their relationship is not a happy one. You may wish to approach a couple that you know from your religious group, community group, mothers group, sports club, etc. Do not interview family members or close friends. Make sure that you get permission to proceed from both partners. Reassure them that this is a voluntary activity and that their identities will be protected. Tell them that you have chosen them because you consider them to be good role models for couples. Emphasize that you are not a counsellor and will not be able to help them with any problems. Instead, their role is to help you to understand the developmental stages of families. Set a suitable time, day and place to conduct the interview. 12.1.4 Preparations for the interview Look up the names and contact numbers of service providers in your area who offer couple counselling just in case the couple you interview need to be referred for professional assistance. Revise the Theme 4.6 The counselling relationship. Make sure that you understand how one demonstrates the core conditions of helping when working with couples. Pay special attention to the values that a couple counsellor needs to embrace when working with couples. Decide how you will record the interview. You may wish to use a tape recorder, a dictaphone or make notes. Test your interview schedule out on someone you know to make sure that the meanings of the questions you plan to ask are clear and jargon free.

12.1.5 Conduct the interview


At the interview you will need to spend time establishing a relaxed atmosphere before you can administer your interview schedule. This may involve telling the couple about yourself and your studies and making general conversation. Explain to them what the purpose of the interview is. Reassure them that their opinions are very important and it doesnt matter if they differ from other families or even if they see things differently from one another. There is no right or wrong response to these questions. Remember to request permission to use your recording device when you begin the interview. Remind the couple that you will not include any of their identifying details in the assignment and that the records you make will be destroyed as soon as you have captured the information. Ask the questions you have prepared from your interview schedule. Make sure that the couple understands all the questions. Before you leave the interview look over your interview schedule/questionnaire again to make sure that you have asked all the necessary questions. Thank them for participating in the exercise and indicate that their involvement has been most helpful to you. 12.1.6 Consolidate the information needed for the questions and set your answers out under the following sub headings Introduction to the family. Write a brief introduction about the family you interviewed. Discuss their demographic details such as age, gender, family constellation, ethnic group, duration of their union, occupations and status in the community. ( page) Outline of the Family Life Cycle Model. Provide a broad overview of the Family Life Cycle and the different stages and developmental tasks of families according to model proposed by Carter and McGoldrick (1989). (1 page) Identify the stage of the family life cycle that best resembles the stage of family life that the couple is experiencing.

Identify what stage of the family life cycle the couple you interviewed is in and explain why you decided to place it in that stage. List the typical characteristics of that life phase that you recognized when interviewing your couple. ( page) Key principles and Second Order Changes the family are experiencing Discuss any changes (major or minor adjustments) that the family is dealing with that are typical of their family life cycle phase. ( page) The extent to which the couples family life cycle adheres to Carter and McGoldricks Model(1989) Compare the experiences of change mentioned by your couple to those specified in Carter and McGoldricks model (1989) and try to provide explanations for any differences that you identified. ( page) The couples experiences pertaining to the preceding developmental stage of the family life cycle. Discuss the couples experience of the previous life cycle stage. ( page) Mention the most obvious challenges that they were faced with in that phase. ( page) Identify and discuss any resources (internal, relationship strengths, previous life experiences and support systems such as extended family, counselling, faith) that enabled them to transcend that developmental stage. (1/4 page) Vertical Stressors Discuss some of the vertical stressors that your couple has had to manage. Remember that vertical stressors are those that are handed down from one generation to another. The different upbringing that each party was exposed to whilst growing up may make these issues stressors as each entered the relationship with different expectations. Vertical



stressors may include family myths regarding racism, sexism, poverty, gender, or generational patterns such as alcoholism, gambling, occupational expectations, or genetic makeup such as abilities and disabilities, or emotional or interaction patterns such as family matters are private, children should be seen and not heard. ( page) Horizontal Stressors Discuss the most significant horizontal stressors that the couple has dealt with in their union. These may be predictable life cycle transitions such as coping with children leaving home, managing an acting out teenager. The stressors may also be events such as relocations, unpredictable events such as illnesses, accidents, or even natural disasters, economic recession. ( page) System-level Stressors Mention significant factors that impact on the couples relationship such as socio cultural, political, economic, community issues, and extended family. (1/2 page) The couples relationship strengths Discuss what the couple identified as their strengths and then add your own observations. You may wish to refer to the Marital Happiness Rating Scale on page 192-194 of the MGG201W study guide and the section on identifying strengths on page 208 to help you identify positive aspects of the couples relationship that they failed to mention. ( page) Guidelines for other couples Capture any advice the couple would like to offer to other couples who are entering the life stage that they are in. ( page)

Critique of the Family Life Cycle Model Reflect on the Family Life Cycle model and comment on whether the model is useful or not useful for work with couples in your community. ( to 1 page) 12.1.7 Attend to technical aspects of the task Write up a table of contents that reflects the themes listed in this table with the corresponding page numbers. Compile a bibliography. Check references within the body of your report. Attach the outline of your interview schedule as Appendix A. Check the numbering of your themes and make sure that the pages are in sequence.

Do not post this task. File it and only post it when the other two tasks have been completed. All three tasks must be placed in one assignment cover sheet marked assignment 02 and be posted /submitted together. Mark allocation for Task One Introduction, overview of Family Life Cycle Theory, definition of terms and clear overview of the developmental stages, horizontal, vertical and systemlevel stressors. Interview schedule and its relevance for collecting information for the task. It must be attached at the back of task as an addendum. Ability to relate theory of the Family Life Cycle to the family interviewed by providing examples taken from the interview. You should be able to explain why you believe the couple is in a particular phase, note discrepancies between the model and the couples experiences of the model. 10




Ability to identify and the couples ideas, perspectives about their relationship strengths and their suggestions for other couples in the same life cycle phase for strengthening relationships. Ability to criticise model, overall quality and depth of essay. Technical aspects (table of contents, bibliography, correct referencing in text, lay-out, use of sub headings, neatness).

10 5

TASK TWO Task 2: Assessing Families according to the systemic concepts identified by Hepworth and Larson (1990). Commencement date of task: 1 May 2010 Hepworth and Larson (1990) suggest several systemic concepts that the helper should consider when assessing families. Refer to the study guide to remind you of what the ten concepts are. Think about your family of origin, and assess your family according to each of the ten points. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The outer boundaries of the family systems. The internal boundaries of the family subsystems. The power structure within the family. The decision making processes used by the family. The expression of emotion. Goal formation. The myths, faulty cognitive patterns adopted by the family. The family roles and the manner in which the roles were allocated. 9. The communication styles within the family. 10. The family strengths. (10)

12.2 Stages and procedures for the preparation of Task 2 12.2.1 Theoretical preparation Study Theme 3.5.5 in your study guide, A systemic assessment of the family Summarize the explanations of each concept in your own words. You may need to refer to reputable professional dictionaries such as those used in family therapy, psychology and social work to make sure that you understand the meanings of the terms that are listed below. These dictionaries are usually placed in the reference section of libraries. Systemic assessment Unique family properties Outer boundaries Internal boundaries Family power Family decision making Family affect Family goals Family myths and cognitive patterns Family roles Communication styles Family strengths 12.2.2 Personal review of your family of origin

Think about your family of origin, in other words the family who raised you. You may have grown up with your extended family such as a grandmother, uncles and aunts, or in a nuclear family with your mother, father and siblings, or a surrogate family such as a childrens home or foster home. Look at each term listed in the task and think about your family and then provide examples of each of the 10 assessment criteria discussed by Hepworth and Larson (1990). You may need to talk to siblings, cousins, parents or uncles and aunts to help you remember things more clearly. Jot your ideas down on paper



12.2.3 Consolidate the information needed for questions 1 to 10 for task 2 in tutorial letter MGG201W/101/2008 and arrange information under the following headings: Introduction Discuss your definition of family and provide a general outline of who the significant family members in your life were. Your outline should tell us a little about each of the members such as gender, the role he or she played in the family, any significant information about ethnicity, religion, occupation, and the impact these factors had on other family members and the family as a whole. Elaborate on your position and role in your family. Inform us briefly about the broader context meaning the socio structural context in which your family operated. (1/2 -1 page). Introduction to assessing families systemically Explain the terms family properties and systemic assessment and introduce us to Hepworth and Larsons Assessment Framework (1990). (1/2 page). Discussion and illustration of terms Provide an explanation of each of the following terms as discussed in your guide and the dictionaries and then consolidate your personal reflections about your awareness of each property as it manifested in your family of origin. For each term you need to provide a theoretical definition and then explain the term in your own words. Thereafter refer to your familys patterns or unique responses in terms of that concept: Outer boundaries (2/3 -1page) Internal boundaries (2/3-1 page) Family power (2/3-1 page) Family decision making (2/3-1 page) Family affect (2/3-1 page) Family goals (1/2-3/4 page) Family myths and cognitive patterns (1/2-3/4 page)

Family roles (1/2-3/4 page) Communication styles (1/2-3/4 page) Family strengths (1/2-3/4 page) Conclusion

Reflect on the discoveries that you made doing this exercise. Discuss your views as to whether this assessment tool is an useful aid for understanding family relationships. Do you consider this assessment tool to be culturally sensitive? 12.2.4 Attend to the technical aspects of this task Write up a table of contents that reflects the themes listed in this table with the corresponding page numbers. Compile a bibliography. Check references within the body of your report. Check the numbering of your themes and make sure that the pages are in sequence.

Do not post this task. File it and only post it when the other two tasks have been completed. All three tasks must be placed in one assignment cover sheet marked assignment 02 and be posted/submitted together. Mark Allocation for Task Two Introduction, overview of the purpose of Systemic Family Assessment and brief explanation of each of the 10 assessment concepts. Introduction of your own family (the one you grew up in) making reference to back ground information such as the number of members, their genders, ethnicity, the socio political context at the time you were growing up, occupations, significant patterns or themes that the family had to deal with, etc. Ability to relate theory of the Systemic Assessment of families to your family by providing examples or illustrations of each concept based on your memory of your family. 10





Your ability to criticize the assessment framework in terms of its usefulness for assessing families, and cultural sensitivity. Technical aspects (table of contents, bibliography, correct referencing in text, lay out of work, use of sub headings, neatness). Personal insights gained from doing this exercise. TASK THREE Task three: Conflict Management Commencement Date: 1 June 2010 Instructions

You are required to investigate conflict in couple relationships. Conduct a short literature review about conflict resolution in intimate relationships. Develop a handout on conflict resolution for couples based on the sources of information you collected. Your handout should be one page long. Interview five people to explore their views about conflict within intimate relationships and then ask them to assess the handout that you developed in terms of its usefulness for educating couples on how to effectively manage conflict in intimate relationships. Write up your research report using the following headings: Introduction and purpose of the study Recruitment and description of interviewees Research methodology: a detail of steps taken during the research process Findings: Conflict as a necessary element for growth in a couples relationship? Modern system-level stressors impacting on couples Areas of conflict as identified on MHRS Destructive actions couples resort to during conflict

Helpful strategies for couples in conflict Proposed handout for couples in conflict Interviewees reactions to the handout Conclusion: new insights and observations gained from doing this task.

1.2.3 Stages and procedures for preparation for Task 3 12.3.1 Planning the information needed for the task Refer to the section on conflict management in your study guide (Section Consult at least three additional sources about rules for conflict management such as brochures compiled by Couple Counselling Service Providers, books on conflict management or negotiation, and the internet. Identify and summarize the most common pointers made by these different sources. Study the Marital Happiness Rating Scale in the study guide for MGG201W on pages 192-194). Make a summary of the MHRS. Refer to section in the study guide for MGG201W and revise the System-level stressors on page 41. 12.3.2 Plan your mini research on conflict management Identify 5 individuals who have been in a serious couple relationship who are willing to participate in your mini research project on conflict management. Invite them to participate in your mini research and set up appointments for the interviews. You may decide to see them individually or as a group. Each interview should take between 15 and 20 minutes long. A group discussion will last about an hour. 12.3.3 Compile your interview schedule/questionnaire Compile a short questionnaire about conflict in couple relationships to administer to your 5 interviewees. You need to find answers to the following questions: Is conflict a necessary element for growth in a couples relationship? Interviewees must explain their answers.



What modern system-level stressors aggravate conflict between couples at this point in time? Identify the 3 biggest areas of conflict in modern relationships as listed on the MHRS? Identify 3 destructive actions that partners engage in that aggravate conflict situations. Provide 5 recommendations on what couples should do to manage conflict more constructively.

12.3.4 Prepare your own tool on conflict management Look at the information sources you collected and select 5 guidelines for conflict management that you consider useful for couples and prepare this as a handout. (A one page information sheet). The information should be summarized in your own words or words that are not too technical. The information should be presented in an easy format for couples to understand and remember. Some creativity in the form of metaphors, diagrams, symbols is needed. The layout and design of the content should be neat and attractive. 12.3.5 Interview the 5 interviewees Remind interviewees that their participation in these interviews is voluntary and that their anonymity will be protected. They do not need to refer to their relationships but relationships in general. Your questionnaire should guide your interview so that you can collect relevant data from the interviewees. Be sure to capture their answers in their own words. You may use a tape recorder, Dictaphone or take notes during your interviews. Present your handout on conflict management and ask interviewees to critique it. Record their comments. Thank interviewees for their participation. 12.3.6 Write up the report Write up the findings of your mini research. You may use tables, bar graphs or any other visual tools to graphically depict your findings. It is also important to use some quotes from your interviews to give a qualitative slant to your evidence. Make sure that you set your

findings out under the following headings: Introduction and purpose of the study (1/2 a page) Selection and description of interviewees (1/2 a page) Research methodology: a detail of steps taken during the research process (1 page) Findings: Conflict as a necessary element for growth in a couples relationship? (1/2 a page) Modern system-level stressors impacting on couples (1/2 a page) Areas of conflict as identified on MHRS (1/2 a page) Destructive actions couples resort to during conflict (1/2 a page) Helpful strategies for couples in conflict (1 page) Proposed handout for couples in conflict (1 page) Interviewees reactions to the handout (1 page) Conclusion: new insights and observations gained from doing this task(1/2 page)

12.3.7 Attend to technical details Make sure that your handout on conflict management and your questionnaire are carefully fixed to the report as Appendix A and B. Complete the table of contents and bibliography. Make sure that tables, bar charts, graphs are properly labeled. Check that quotations used from interviews are properly punctuated. Check report for spelling and grammatical errors. Marking Schedule for Task Three Introduction and purpose of research should be clear and concise. Planning research Development of relevant questionnaire Recruitment of interviewees Methodology The process followed to arrange and conduct the interviews must be carefully and accurately 5


documented with justification for the research steps that were decided upon.


Collection of relevant conflict management information and successful integration of this information into the research report. There must be evidence of research over and above the study guide. Findings must be clear and a reliable summary of information collected and collated from interviewees and conflict management resources. Handout must be concise, informative, creative and stimulating. Language must be appropriate and nontechnical. The conclusion should provide a concise review of the findings and personal discoveries made about conflict whilst you conducted this task. 13. ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION DATES




Assignment 01 for MGG201W The closing date for submission of assignment 01 is 9 April 2010. Extension submission date is 16 April 2010 Assignment 02 for MGG201W The closing date for submission of assignment 02 is 16 July 2010. Extension submission date is 23 July 2010. 14. GENERAL

We hope that you enjoy this module and encourage you to contact our department with your comments and recommendations. Kind regards Mrs. A Petty (Module Leader)




APPENDIX 1 EVALUATION OF COURSE By completing this evaluation form before you write your examination you will help us to improve this course. We are interested to know about your ideas and experiences whilst doing this module. Your feedback enables us to make the course more student friendly and relevant. Complete the form and post to: Module leader for MGG201W Department of Social Work PO Box 392 Unisa 0003 (1) Is the course content interesting and relevant? Yes No Please explain your answer. (2) Is the language in the study guide clear and user friendly? Yes No

If not, explain with examples/suggestions. ....................................

(3) Did the study guide offer enough practical examples of theory covered? Yes No

(4) Identify the most important discoveries you made about couples counselling whilst you were completing the prescribed tasks. . (5) Identify the most important discoveries you made about yourself as a potential couples counsellor whilst completing the prescribed tasks. (6) Do you feel that the course has provided you with a satisfactory introduction to the dynamic nature of working with couples? Yes No

Please explain your answer.



(7) What recommendations do you have for the improvement of this course? .................................... Thank you for your feedback and active participation in this course. Ann Petty