In Withness Conversations, Biakolo interrogates love, commitment
In his new book, Withness Conversations: Love and Commitment in Couple Communication, Emevwo Biakolo looks at the various aspects of the communication of couples: their personalities, the verbal and non-verbal content and issues, the modes of communication, the media and social contexts, as well as the causes or triggers of couple conflict and intimate partner violence.
Then he proposes solutions through a therapeutic modality that he has called Withness Conversations. This is a procedure based on dialogism, on attentive listening behaviour research, nature-culture interaction as well as spiritual sensitivity, especially that spiritual experience called committed love.
Committed married love is a spiritual and moral experience, which goes beyond sexual and sensual attraction or even the justice of a transactional relationship. Rediscovering this commitment is at the heart of making your marriage safe and happy. This model of therapy, Withness Conversations, takes you on this journey of rediscovery.
One central insight he explored in this book is that communication is more than a tool, even more than the so-called lifeblood of couple relationship. Communication and relationship are one. This insight leads to the unique collaborative approach to intervening in problematic couple systems, a model that has proved useful in various other relational contexts. This means that this model is fruitful in resolving conflicts and communication problems in the business and community settings.
The book has 414 pages and 19 chapters. Natural Family Network, a Lagos-based publisher of marriage and family content, publishes it.
Biakolo is Emeritus Professor of Communication at the Pan-Atlantic University. He is Founding Dean of the School of Media and Communication of the Pan-Atlantic University, formerly, Pan-African University. Before coming to PAU, he also taught at the University of Ibadan, and the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Southern Africa. He was a as writer and member of the Editorial Board of The Guardian newspaper between 1989 and 1996, and Southern African Correspondent for the Post Express from 1996 to 1998.
He studied Family Therapy at Northcentral University, Scottsdale, Arizona, and practices marriage and family therapy in Lagos, Nigeria. His earlier book, The Meaning of Marriage (2010), has undergone several reprints, and a second edition is forthcoming.
In 2010, along with his late wife, Dr. Margaret Biakolo, he founded the not-for-profit organisation, Natural Family Counselling and Educational Network (NAFACEN). This is an NGO devoted to family therapy, addiction counselling, mental health advocacy, and education. He is currently Director of the NAFACEN Family Centre, Lagos.