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Over 40,000 Czechs sought marriage counselling in 2014

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Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – About 41,700 people used the services of family, marriage and human relations counselling in 2014, the Association of Family and Marriage Counsellors in the Czech Republic (AMRP) has told CTK.

There are 65 family and marriage counselling centres, administered by regions and municipalities in the country. Other facilities are private.

The demand for these services has been rising. People seek mainly psychological counselling and couples therapy. They ask for the experts’ advice concerning their family life, children’s upbringing as well as problems with divorce and disputes about childcare, Jirina Kozonova, member of the AMRP’s board, said.

The Czech society has considerably changed in the past 20 years.

While in 1989, when the communist regime collapsed in the country, there were eight marriages per 1000 inhabitants, Sunday it is only four.

Twenty-five years ago, 37 percent of marriages broke up, while in 2010 it was a half and last year 47 percent. In addition, more and more couples live together without getting married.

The number of children born out of wedlock has been rising as well. In 1989, it was 8 percent, while last year their share amounted to 47 percent.

The AMRP says people seek experts’ consultancy voluntarily. They want to improve and harmonise their relationships and mutual communication.

Men seek family and relationship counsellors more often now than in the past when their wives or girl-friends usually initiated such a visit. Men make up more than one-third of the family counsellors’ clients at present. Couples therapy is also more common than in the past.

“More and more people are willing to voluntarily solve their partnership troubles with the other partner present,” Kozonova said.

In the past, infidelity was a frequent reason for seeing a family therapist, but Czechs’s stances on it has changed, they are more tolerant of it and fewer clients consult experts on this problem, she added.

Marital and premarital counselling centres, founded a few decades ago by the late psychiatrist Miroslav Plzak, who would turn 90 on August 25, have changed into family, marriage and human relations consultancy.

The AMRP was established in 1990. It associates 141 psychologists, social workers and other experts.

Since 2007, family and marriage counselling has been included in the law on social services under the specialised consultancy category.

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