Ending a relationship can be a very painful and traumatic process. Not only do we loose the person who made out such a large part of our lives, but we also loose everything about him or her. We can suffer the loss of families, income, our house, our neighbourhood, friends, the loss of a partner and friend, and so much more.
Considering whether or not to end a relationship can also be very stressful. Sometimes our relationships can be very conflicted, filled with hurt and abuse. At times we might feel that we just want to end the relationship and start over. However, we also hesitate as we still love our partner so much and there are so many good memories as well. Ending a relationship is a very big decision. This is a decision that we are not always able to make by our selves. There are so many thing that we have to consider like our families, our children, where we are going to stay, what are our friends going to think, what are our community going to think and say…
At FAMSA we realise that ending a relationship is not something to be taken lightly. We are there to help support you through the decision making process. Our counsellors will guide you through the process whilst helping you to consider all the factors relating to ending a relationship. Our counsellors will support you in the warm and caring environment that you at times so desperately want.
Unfortunately divorce effects so much more people then just our selves. FAMSA also offers you the opportunity to come for counselling with you partner or family. Although it is not always that easy to accept, our partners are also part of the decision to end a relationship or not. It can be of great value having our partners as part of the decision making process. Your family can also greatly benefit from entering the counselling process with you.
The divorce/ separation process can be traumatic, for children and other family members. We can guide you as a family through the process and help you to find support within your family.
We also offer a mediation service to help you and your partner make those important decisions regarding your children, access, finances and other important decisions that need to be made in your divorce. Mediation can often be more cost effective than the traditional legal route.
Mediation ensures that your children are also heard, because “Children are for Keeps”.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest challenges and transitions that we confront in life. It is however inevitable that each of us in our lifetime will experience loss through bereavement. Helping people to cope with loss, grief and bereavement is one of the many services that FAMSA offers.
We are unable to take away the loss or grief feelings but our highly experienced and trained counsellors will walk alongside you through your journey of grief, whether you come to us as an individual, couple or family.
We are there to help you through the process of healing after the loss of a loved one.
The loss may be that of a parent, spouse, sibling, a close friend or a colleague. Sometimes even the loss of a beloved pet can evoke similar feelings. Sometimes we overlook or disregard the significance of a loss. For instance, the loss of grandparents, stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions.
Where appropriate we also offer sessions to groups, families, and organizations where there is an opportunity for sharing what the deceased meant in their lives. Each person deals with loss in their own unique way which is neither “right” nor “wrong”. Some may respond to the loss immediately, while others may take longer. There is no definite time frame within which people need to come for counselling. Some come soon after the loss, whilst others may realize they have unresolved grief much further down the line.
Sometimes we only discover much later in life that we have not dealt with our losses. This could lead to blockages in our ability to form, develop and maintain meaningful relationships.
How we respond to death could depend on many factors – this could be the relationship we had with the deceased and whether the death was “sudden” through an accident or suicide, or whether the death was “inevitable” due to a terminal illness, or old age. Whatever the situation you find yourself grappling with we are there to help, support, and guide you through the process.
Domestic Violence Counselling
At FAMSA, we realise that domestic violence affects many families with devastating effects. Many of us go through this in silence. We often fear what others might think or say or whether the people we confide in will believe us. We are also sometimes scared of further abuse, should our partner find out. We may fear for the safety of our families.
It has been widely publicised that one in every three South African Women are beaten by their intimate partners, and almost 400 women are killed by their partners each year. It is accepted that South Africa has the highest rate of femicide on the African continent, and the highest incidence of rape worldwide.
These alarming figures have called FAMSA into action to assist individuals, couples, families and communities affected by domestic violence. Domestic violence has been recognized and addressed by us since 1988 when the importance of working with both perpetrators and victims of domestic violence was highlighted.
How we can help you:
We also offer the following:
Counselling and support for victims of domestic violence.
Counselling for perpetrators of domestic violence.
Group treatment programmes for men who are violent towards their partners through our MSVG programme.
FAMSA has professional counselling offices in Observatory, Bellville and Khayelitsha, to assist men, women and children exposed to violence in their homes. These offices offer private and confidential counselling for victims of domestic violence, their children and families, whilst also offering group treatment programmes for men who are perpetrators of domestic violence.
Additionally, FAMSA’s satellite offices in Dunoon, Joe Slovo Park, Mitchell’s Plain, Elsiesriver and Factreton, along with the Khayelitsha office, offer free education and awareness workshops for youth at several schools.
Domestic violence awareness projects for youth. To find our more click here.
Community awareness programmes.
Training of other professionals. To find our more about our trainings, please visit our Trainings page.
Marital Preparation and Relationship Enrichment
Prepare for Marriage
Getting married is always an exciting rite of passage. First there is the engagement which brings a whirlwind of magic and a newfound status as fiancé and fiancée. Then there is planning the wedding, where you start planning for the day that you will make one of the greatest commitments of your life. With all the anticipation, we sometimes neglect to focus on preparing for married life. Preparing for you future together is one of the most important choices a couple can make. FAMSA can help you plan for your life together.
Our counsellors are trained in helping you explore your relationship. With your counsellor, you will explore the areas in your relationship that need some growth. Your counsellor will help you find ways in making this growth happen, through fun and practical exercises. FAMSA offers an Internationally-used Program, designed to help you develop a strong and growing relationship. Through this program you will learn, as a couple, to share your feelings and ideas and develop the necessary skills to work together to achieve your goals.
Enriching your Relationship
Marriage can be challenging at times. Unfortunately we do not always achieve the happiness we want from our marriage. At times we neglect exploring our relationship with our partner. Marriage, like a growing plant, needs continuous nurturing, support and love to keep it growing. We can help you grow and nurture your relationship. Our counsellors will help you explore the areas in your relationship, which might need some growth. We can guide you, through fun and interactive exercises, to build your relationship.
FAMSA offers an Internationally-used Couple Enrichment Programme for married couples and co-habiting couples. The program will assist you, as a couple, to build on your strengths and deal with problematic areas of your relationship more effectively. The programme facilitates increased communication skills, helping you to increase your intimacy.
What is relationship counselling?
At FAMSA we believe that relationships are integral to being human. Relationship counselling can assist you in making the most of your relationships, whether they are previous, present or future. All relationships at times go through difficulties.
We are there to help you.
Relationship counselling can also help strengthen your relationships even if you feel you do not have any concerning relationship problems. You will talk to someone trained in relationship counselling to help you explore, understand and improve your relationships. Our counsellors are warm, non-judgmental, friendly and supportive.
It is not always easy to get through hardships as a family. We sometimes go through stresses such as divorce, illness, death and financial strain. This can lead to conflict and relationship breakdown. We often feel as though we go through these problems alone.
FAMSA is there for you when your family goes through a tough time.
When we go through hardships, family support is often the one thing you can count on. But, sometimes our families just need a little help to become the pillar of strength we need.
Being part of a family can be a wonderful experience. However, even in families that are generally strong and supportive, there can be problems or issues that we struggle to deal with. At times, we might also feel lonely, distant and unheard.
In family counselling everyone gets a say and gets heard. We provide a safe space with a trained counsellor in order to help you explore the difficulties in your family, even if it seems insignificant. You will work together with your counsellor to strengthen the relationships within your family, and explore ways in which you as a family can work together in order to deal with your problems.
Let the FAMSA family be there for your family.
We provide a range of services to couples. Pre-marital counselling, marital enrichment, couple’s counselling, divorce counselling, divorce mediation, sexual counselling.
You do not need to be going through a difficult period in your relationship to go for counselling. We can also help you strengthen your relationship through counselling or our Marital Enrichment Programme.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) relationships
In LGBT relationships we sometimes feel judged and alone. We can feel afraid to ask for help and support. Our families may not give us the support we need.
Every couple, at some point in their lives, experiences relationship challenges. At FAMSA we understand that each relationship is unique, regardless of sexual orientation. Our counsellors are warm, supportive and non-judgemental.
As LGBT couples, we sometimes experience our own unique problems. At FAMSA we can assist with issues such as coming out, sexual orientation and gender identity, isolation, discrimination, relationship issues, parenting and transitioning. We recognize the diversity that exists within the community of people who identify as LGBT. In addition to discrimination based on sexual orientation, many LGBT individuals face other forms of discrimination as well; sometimes from within the community itself. Our programs/services reflect awareness that additional factors such as race, class, age and ability influence the way that individuals experience their sexual orientation and gender identity.
We are there for you.
Trauma Debriefing, Support and Counselling
Trauma is an unfortunate reality of living in our society.
Trauma occurs when we are exposed to a life threatening event. It often has devastating effects on our life. Trauma can have a range of short term and long term effects, not always only on the individual who has experienced the trauma but also at times on those close to the person. We sometimes are not aware of these effects until much later.
Trauma is usually an experience we would prefer to forget. Unfortunately this is not always possible or helpful. Intervention can be of great help after you have experienced trauma. Talking about the traumatic event in a safe and supportive environment with a warm, understanding and non-judgmental counsellor can help you deal with the effects of the trauma. We can help you make sense of the traumatic experience, looking at why we react the way we do and why our bodies react as they do. Our counsellors will help you to look at how to cope with the effects of the traumatic event and how to start the healing process.
Let us help you take your life back.
We understand that talking about trauma can be painful at times. Our counsellors are there for you to help make the process of healing an enriching one. We offer trauma defusing, trauma debriefing, and trauma counselling for those who are affected by trauma.
We can assist you in dealing with trauma whether it happened recently or years ago. The affects of trauma can be long lasting. Starting the process of healing is of benefit to yourself as well as those you love. We can help you identify and come to terms with the feelings you experience during and after the traumatic event.
Trauma can change us. It can leave us feeling angry and fearful, often hurting those close to us and avoiding the things and people we love. Take control of your life by talking to one of our counsellors and starting the healing process.
We are here for you and those nearest to you. Whether you have been through a traumatic experience yourself, or want to find help for someone close to you.