The Making of a Flourishing Family

Have you ever wondered what makes some families capable of moving through very tough times without cracking under the strain? Are they just lucky somehow, or are they doing some things to get through in a happier, healthier way than typical families? What do you make of the family members’ responses to adversity in the following example? »

Challenges of Families Who Experience Domestic Violence

There is no way around it; all four functions of a family are put at risk in the sad situation of family violence, and to a large degree the risk factors are interrelated. Focusing first on Function One, family formation and membership, we can comprehend how the pervasiveness of family violence in Australia (which is a microcosm of the global picture) hugely distorts the capacity of the family to ... »

Challenges of Blended and Step “Remarried” Families

The “blending” of a re-marriage means that the old norms, rules, and ways of gaining acceptance are now null and void. Blended and step family members generally do not realise this at the outset, wanting to re-create the biological family of origin (the children’s desire), or the first marriage (the spouses’ unconscious wish). They cannot. In remarriages, there are at least three types of “emotion... »

Challenges of Single-parent Families Due to Death or Separation

In this article we will explore challenges faced by single-parent families due to death or separation. But before we dive into this subject, we encourage you to explore a little background information that will set the tone for the series. First, we recommend you read the article Trends and Statistics of the Contemporary Family to understand some of the emergent trends and statistical truths about... »

Trends and Statistics of the Contemporary Family

If the family is society’s “fundamental unit”, what are some of the emergent trends and statistical truths about the unit in these times of accelerated change? If one of our goals, as counsellors, is to assist families in the crisis of transition, we must understand the changes and concomitant stressors that accompany the new forms. In this article, we look at some trends and statistics of the “co... »