15 Mar

The five stages of a relationship

We’re all different. Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Mental Health & Family Wellbeing services help couples and families to mange these differences and to pick up the pieces if things go awry.

Despite the prophets of doom in the last half of the 20th Century the family unit is still the cornerstone of society in the 21st Century. In all wellbeing studies, “family” is still cited as the single most important attribute of daily existence. Family is where we learn the foundational skills for all our relationships to come. It is the vehicle by which we acquire our future resilience and upon which we base our identity of self. Even in our constantly changing modern society family mostly works well. But there are times when every family needs support and yes, sadly, there are times when that support can come too late.

When a family stumbles, we all stumble. When a family fails we as individuals and as communities are lessened and countless future possibilities are lost. The scope of this article does not allow us to explore the life cycle of family in detail, except to say that each phase has its own characteristics, opportunities and risks. It’s important to keep in mind that conflict is inevitable.

Sometimes problems in the family can be caused by alcohol and other drugs. Other times it can be mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Or there can be problems in understanding and dealing with children (and adolescents) and partners. It may come as a surprise to many people trying to attain a perfect relationship that the counsellors at Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Mental Health & Family Wellbeing services believe there is no such thing as a perfect relationship.

Each relationship is different but they typically go through five similar stages – courtship, living together, have children (or not), stabilisation, and the later phase. Our ability to thrive as families, to have fulfilling, loving and long-lasting relationships, depends to a large extent on our ability to recognise and manage those opportunities and risks throughout the life span.

Whatever your phase, Anglicare’s goal is to help you to grow as family and as an individual and community. Anglicare works with other community and government agencies to deliver a wide range of counselling, community capacity building and education services to families and communities throughout Southern Queensland. Our services cover the full spectrum of issues that can confront our modern families, including family enrichment, relationship building, parenting and grand-parenting, child development, school issues, divorce and separation, blended and same sex families, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, childhood abuse, mental illness, and ex-offender family reintegration.

From Southport to Bundaberg and from Cleveland to Charleville and beyond, Anglicare offers support to families that can be face to face, web based video or chat, phone or email, and located in our offices, the family home, community facilities or virtual training and counselling rooms.

Anglicare offers workshops and seminars throughout the year for parishes, counsellors, school counsellors, social workers, youth workers, clergy, school chaplains and anyone involved in pastoral care.

The nature of family, its composition, size, proximity of its members, even its definition has changed over the last 100 years. But nonetheless the intrinsic value of the family in the shaping of who and what we are as individuals and as community remains an undeniable truth.

To find out how Anglicare can support you or a family you know call 1300 610 610.