Pressures on families arise from many fronts and occur on a range of scales. They may reflect major events such as a financial crisis, drought or flood or they may be less obvious with issues that crop up in everyday life. Irrespective of their source, they can cause a problem in relationships.
Family life these days is more complex than in the past, with the progress of societies. Meeting material needs is now easier than in earlier times and each generation has become wealthier than the previous one. Money worries often lie at the heart of relationship difficulties and can amplify any underlying relational and emotional difficulties. Changes in family transitions such as a new baby, moving house, illness, social issues with children, in-law complications and a myriad of other factors can create a pressure on a relationship. This highlights the need for supports for individuals and their relationships, including education, counselling and clinical interventions at multiple points in life. There is evidence that couples increasingly seek support from relationship services to help them resolve the difficulties they confront. *
Many relationships that struggle or falter are CAUSED BY OR accompanied WITH issues such as mental illness, substance abuse or violence. It makes sense that a therapeutic intervention would be more effective than either turning a blind eye or seeking an eye for an eye. A relationship counsellor has a key contribution to make in breaking the cycle of relationship difficulties which, if left unaddressed, can lead to further exacerbation of the patterns of mental health problems.
* In the General Population of Parents Survey 2009 undertaken by the Australian Institute of Studies, over on-quarter of parents who were living with a partner reported that they thought their relationship was in trouble at one stage and around half of these parents reported that they had turned to professionals for their relationship difficulties (Kaspiew et al., 2009).