Wed, May 27, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Taitung association provides support for single fathers

By Chen Hsien-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Every Saturday, the Taiwan Family Care Association’s Taitung branch runs a program for single fathers to help them find empathy and moral support from each other.

The father of a child nicknamed Hsiao Lung (小龍) said he raises his son by himself and puts special effort into making Hsiao Lung feel as if he is part of a typical family.

“It is a tough job that sees many of my emotions suppressed,” the father said, adding that before he knew of the association’s program, his life consisted only of work and easing the family’s worries.

After joining the program, Hsiao Lung’s father said that he had relieved a lot of the pressure that was building up inside him, adding that he was given a chance to consider the meaning of life and develop his potential through art therapy.

“In the program, we are taught to explore ourselves, and to forge a more intimate connection with our feelings and emotions,” Hsiao Lung’s father said.

In one class, the group was asked to draw their exterior and interior “masks” to better understand sources of inner pressure and what influence it had on their behavior, he said.

In another class, titled “scenes of life,” the single fathers learned how to develop their potential and re-establish their self-confidence, he said.

Psychiatrist Chou Niu Chu-kuang (周牛莒光) said that single fathers are often unwilling or even afraid to ask for help, adding that the greatest achievement of the Saturday groups is allowing single fathers to express themselves.

“Through this program, they have developed a social network and are helping themselves and others,” Chou Niu said, adding that the men are learning how to smile again.

Chou Niu called on more people to help and care for single-father families, adding that single-parent families in Taitung County are increasing in number.

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