Record 30,000 counselling sessions delivered by ACCORD in 2005

17 Feb 2006


17 FEBRUARY 2006



In 2005, Accord, the largest marriage and relationship counselling service
on the island of Ireland, delivered over 30,000 counselling sessions to
married couples. This isthe highest level of activity in a given year
provided by Accord since it was formed in 1969.

Commenting on the 2005 figures, Mr John Farrelly, Director of Counselling with
Accord said, “notwithstanding the increasing year-on-year demand for our
services, the existing 400 Accord counsellors continue to provide the highest
professional standard of care to clients in need of marital support.

“These clients represent ordinary couples who face life challenges brought
about by: having children; both parents working outside the home; less family
quality time due to increased working hours and time spent commuting; and,
in trying to reconcile family budgets.

“On average Accord clients are aged between 30 and 40 years old. They are
married for 12 years and 71% of couples have children. Of these children, 77%
are under the age of 11 years old.”

Mr Farrelly concluded, “Most problems that couples face can be addressed with
the support of professionally trained counsellors who are focused on, and are
sensitive to, the dynamics of married life. Where couples have the courage to
identify and face their own problems, it is in the common good that society
provide appropriate structures and services to facilitate this process.”


Notes for Editors
* Accord is an agency of the Catholic Irish Bishops’ Conference
Accord has 58 centres and 400 counsellors throughout Ireland.

* The mission of Accord is to: “empower people, foster relationships and care
for couples facing the challenge of Christian marriage”. Accord is a voluntary
organisation which prepares couples for marriage or also helps to enrich and
build on their current relationship. Accord also provides a national counselling
service which includes marital sexual therapy and fertility support.

* The most common causes of unhappiness amongst married couples are:
– partners being critical of one another, insulting and not listening;
– partners inability to solve conflict;
– dissatisfaction with task sharing in the home particularly childcare
and housework.

* Source of statistics: Accord annual returns for 2005. Interviews are
available on request.

Further information:
John Farrelly, Accord Director of Counselling (087 288 9720 or 01 5053105)
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)