Domestic issues? Families can turn to new centre

More help is on the way for families at the Family Therapy Institute (FTI), a centre focused on nipping domestic issues in the bud.

Attending the official opening at the Eunos Crescent headquarters of welfare organisation PPIS yesterday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said: "Divorce rates and minor marriage rates are coming down as a result of the good effort of PPIS, the Syariah Court and other partners."

Aside from marital counselling, which has a short-term, specific goal, more open-ended therapy could help couples better address their issues, he said.

"Hopefully, with that, couples can resolve their differences in an amicable way and strengthen their families," said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.

A space for the institute, which serves people of all races and religions, was carved out of PPIS' premises, with the cosy chairs and warm earth tones of the decor designed to make clients feel at home.

FTI has seen more than 200 cases since starting in April this year.

Besides couples facing marital problems, the institute's four fulltime therapists have also aided parents who need help managing their children, and working adults.

"It's not just about solving the problem; it's also about helping the clients understand the problem so they can identify and develop a way of dealing with it," said Madam Maimunah Mosli, principal family therapist at PPIS.

Also launched yesterday was the Temasek Cares-PPIS Family and Marriage Counselling Programme, which will provide comprehensive marriage counselling services to Malay/Muslim couples.

Zhaki Abdullah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2015, with the headline 'Domestic issues? Families can turn to new centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe