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Marital First Responders

Help someone through their relationship troubles by becoming a Marital First Responder.
Enrollment in this course is by invitation only

About this course

The Marital First Responder course is developed to enable participants to gain a deeper appreciation of their role as Marital First Responders (MFR) and equip them with core skills to perform their role effectively. Participants will learn about their role as an MFR and be exposed to the common marital issues faced by couples. They will learn how to communicate effectively with confiders to guide them to resolve their own marital conflicts by employing the following core skills – Listen, Empathise, Affirm and offer Perspective (L.E.A.P.) and Challenge, Advise and suggest Resources (C.A.R.).

Materials for this course are used with permission by The Doherty Relationship Institute.

What you will learn

  • List common marital conflicts
  • Distinguish between "hard" and "soft" problems
  • Describe the ways to handle marital conflicts
  • Describe intimate partner violence
  • Describe the situation when a confider is contemplating divorce
  • Explain the role of a "Marital First Responder (MFR)"
  • Recognise the ten types of unhelpful behaviours of friends
  • Apply the Level 1 core skills of an MFR - Listen, Empathise, Affirm, offer Perspective (L.E.A.P)
  • Apply the Level 2 core skills of an MFR - Challenge, Advise, suggest Resources (C.A.R.)
  • Explain how a Marital First Responder can maintain boundaries - Challenge, Advise, suggest Resources (C.A.R.)

Course Staff

Dr Charles Sim, PhD
Master of Counselling and Couple and Family Therapy Programme
Graduate Diploma in Systemic Therapy Programme


Dr. Charles Sim, PhD, graduated from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, with a Master of Science in Family Therapy in 2002. He did his clinical training at the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry, King's College Hospital, as well as the renowned Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital in London, England. He then went on to complete his doctorate in Couple and Family Therapy at the University of Minnesota (USA), including specialized training at the Minuchin Family Centre (NYC), Gottman Institute (Seattle), and Medical Family Therapy at the Medical Centre, Rochester University (USA). Charles received further supervisory training in “Integrative Systemic Therapy” from Prof. Douglas Breunlin (Northwestern University, USA). He was the visiting consultant and clinical supervisor in systemic family therapy at the Psychological Medicine Department, National University Hospital, Singapore.

As the former Head of the ... Master of Counselling programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), Charles developed the Master of Counselling, specializing in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) and the Graduate Diploma in Systemic Therapy programmes. He revamped the “Clinical Supervision in Counselling and Systemic Therapy” course, as well as taught and supervised graduate students in CFT and qualitative research methodology.

In collaboration with UniLEARN-SUSS, Charles designed the online “Essentials of Clinical Supervision” and the “Supervision-of-Supervision” training courses. At the moment, he is training a group of supervisor-in-training (SIT) at the Mental Health Services (MHS) Centre, Beijing Normal University. Charles is a clinical member of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy (Singapore), and a fellow of the Asian Academy of Family Therapy (Hong Kong). He is also the master trainer for the “Marital First Responder” (MFR) and the “Person-of-the-Therapist” (POTT) Model training workshops.

  • Start: Available Now
  • Length: 3 hours
  • Price: N.A.
  • Course Provider: SUSS
  • Subject: Social Sciences
  • Language: English



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