Work-family balance in narrative premarital counselling: a postfoundational practical theological approach
This study aimed at addressing the research gap found between the combination of premarital counselling, work-family balance and narrative therapy. The central research problem addressed considered the contribution narrative counselling can make towards work-family balance for premarital couples who have the intention of getting married. This study employed research methods from the qualitative research design, and more specifically from the pastoral care division of practical theology and narrative therapy, in exploring the above issues. The epistemologies of social constructionism, postfoundational practical theology and the narrative approach guided the research in creating a route for premarital narrative counselling. The primary researcher utilised the transversal space allowed by postfoundational practical theology to include the voices of various fields of study, which included a Biblical social-science background, business science, the narratives of premarital couples and an interdisciplinary team that reflected on those narratives. With the use of metaphors that co-researchers created themselves, through the course of narrative counselling, the primary researcher embarked on a journey with the co-researchers in the construction of a preferred alternative narrative.1 The metaphors which the couples created incorporated both the realities of work expectations and relationship values chosen by them. The metaphors that couples chose guided them towards a co-created future to live their lives in a preferred and satisfying manner that they agreed on. This narrative process constituted an aid in couples’ communication through the values chosen by premarital narrative counselling and extended the conversation by creating an approach for pastoral counsellors in facilitating conversations with premarital couples on work and family life.
- Theology