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Adovcacy Events - Marriage check-up for same-sex couples

February 9, 2005

Marriage check-up for same-sex couples

The pace of daily life can get pretty crazy. It's easy to coast along and only deal with things after they become a problem. Marriage and family relations are no exception. That's why we need "Marriage Checkup Week".

There's a lot to be said for prevention. That's why the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (OAMFT) is offering you a free marriage checkup during Valentines Week, February 14 - 18, 2005.

The checkup is offered to all couples - young, old, married, common-law, same-sex, foreign born - because healthy relationships and healthy families are the lifeblood of the community.

The marriage checkup is a confidential 50-minute interview with you and your partner. It will shed light on the strong points in your marriage as well as any potential problem areas. It's a way of strengthening and protecting your marriage. And it's an early warning system that helps you deal with small problems before they become more serious ones.

Celebrating Marriage Equality

"It is with great enthusiasm that O.A.M.F.T. celebrates the long overdue, recognition of same-sex marriage in the province of Ontario. We applaud the tremendous courage and patience of our gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gendered citizens in our ongoing struggle to win equality before the law and have been delighted to witness the many successes to-date. As systems therapists, we appreciate how the efforts to gain security and recognition for some of our citizens will eventually be of benefit to us all. As we are all diminished by prejudice and injustice, so are we all empowered by inclusivity and equality. We look forward to the day that every couple who chooses to have a registered marriage will do so effortlessly and that very soon, all the energy absorbed by the inequities of exclusion, can be more appropriately applied to the happiness and health of the couple relationship"
Ontario Association For Marriage and Family Therapy

The needs of same-sex couples and their families are sometimes overlooked due to convention or policy. Marriage is now a legal option for same-sex couples in eight Canadian regions. In the years that have passed since the historic 2003 victory for gay marriage, gay and lesbian couples have claimed their human right and shared, with Link to OAMFT article:  What is Marriage and Family Therapy? opposite sex couples, the joys and challenges of marriage.

The first divorce of a same-sex couple has already worked its way through the justice system. As we obtain all the rights and obligations available to opposite-sex couples, it is encouraging to know that OAMFT welcomes all couples with an offer of support through initiatives like the Marriage Check-Up.

Your same-sex marriage checkup is conducted by a highly trained and certified professional who is specialized as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). You can't just hang out your shingle and practice as a registered MFT. You need at least a masters degree and 2 years of post-graduate clinical experience. And you need to be a member of the professional body, the OAMFT.

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) doesn't treat the individual in isolation. It treats the person within the context of the marriage relationship or the larger family unit. These are important influences on the individual and cannot be ignored. This approach works well regardless of whether the "client" is a couple, an entire family, or a single individual.

Marriage and Family Therapy is brief, solution-focused, specific (with attainable therapeutic goals), and designed with "the end in mind".

The Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, founded in 1975, is the professional home to over 700 couple and family therapists across the province. It is a division of the Registry of Marriage and Family Therapists in Canada, Inc., which is a part of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (www.aamft.org). AAMFT has over 23,000 members and is responsible for establishing and maintaining high standards of ethical practice for registered and licensed couple and family therapists as well as their training and supervision.

Studies show that the average length of treatment for couples therapy (11.5 sessions) and family therapy (9 sessions) is shorter than that for individual therapy (13 sessions). Research also shows that: 83% of clients report that their therapy goals were completely met; 90% of clients report improvement in their emotional health; 98% of clients rated services as excellent; and 96.9% of clients would recommend the therapist to a friend.

Marriage and Family Therapy is available through registered private practitioners, health institutions, community and social service agencies, and employee assistance programs. There are approximately 700 certified Marriage and Family Therapists in Ontario, 1,300 across Canada, and 50,000 throughout North America.

For your free marriage checkup call 416-364-2627 (Toronto/GTA) Or 1-800-267-2638 (outside Toronto/GTA)


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