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PLA Hires Marriage Counselors for Soldiers
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China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) is to hire 60 marriage counselors for the soldiers and their spouses in the Beijing Military Area Command.


They are the first group of marriage counselors in the "Save the Marriage" project, initiated by the All-China Women's Federation in an attempt to curb the rising number of marital and family problems.


"Soldiers' families are a special group. It's common for the couples to live in different places, and there are many marital, family and children's education problems in their marriages," said a federation expert.


Besides psychology and professional training, marriage and family counselors must have a good grasp of sociology, physiology, marriage law, marriage culture and parenthood education, he said. They must know how to communicate effectively with their clients and give good advice.


Experts were invited to give a 20-day training course for the counselors on sociology, the history of marriage and family, marriage law, education, ethnicity and psychology.


The federation said it would train more marriage counselors for the armed forces and civilian service.


According to government figures, China's divorce rate has risen each year since 2002. A total of 1.78 million couples split in 2005, up 7.2 percent on the previous year.


No statistics are available on marriage and divorce in the armed forces.


(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2007)

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