Relationships Australia NSW™ Helps Couples, Families, and Communities Build Stronger Bonds Through Counseling and Education

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Relationships Australia NSW™ Helps Couples, Families, and Communities Build Stronger Bonds Through Counseling and Education

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews
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The Short Version: Disagreements and traumatic events can rip at the seams of relationships, and those couples often yearn to feel loved and supported as they navigate those issues. Relationships Australia New South Wales (NSW) is a nonprofit organization that helps couples and families work through their challenges and stay connected. Experts from Relationships Australia NSW offer therapy, counseling, and educational services to holistically improve connections at every level. The nonprofit believes stronger relationships build stronger communities.

Some relationships show early signs that something is amiss. Maybe a couple fights constantly and over the smallest things. Perhaps communication has dropped off dramatically, causing intimacy to fade. Sometimes, relationships start devolving into patterns of secrets and lies. According to Reader’s Digest, these are a few of the signs that relationship counseling is needed.

If members in a relationship are experiencing trust issues, they often need to address the underlying reasons before anyone can find lasting happiness. Today, many families and couples are looking to therapy to help them overcome seemingly impossible emotional problems. The first step in the process is finding a professional who can help reframe issues so a couple or family can start making progress quickly.

Screenshot of Relationships Australia NSW service offerings

Relationships Australia NSW provides individualized therapy that people need.

Many Aussies trust Relationships Australia New South Wales (NSW) to help them along the path to healing. The nonprofit organization has 30 locations throughout New South Wales and believes that teaching people how to work through their difficulties can strengthen both relationships and communities.

“Relationships are precious to us. Therefore, it is important to see someone who is well-trained and equipped to work effectively with you when the stakes are high,” said Elisabeth Shaw, CEO of Relationships Australia NSW. “We train couples and family therapists, so we’re a leader in this space. We are a safe, trustworthy, and reliable provider, and we work hard to ensure people receive quality service.”

Relationships Australia NSW provides a wide array of services for people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and situations. The nonprofit is not only making a difference in the lives of people throughout New South Wales — but also Australia.

Formed in 1948 for Service Members, But Now Assisting Anyone Seeking Therapy in Australia

Relationships Australia NSW was founded in 1948 to support Australian soldiers returning home from World War II. As was the case all over the world, these servicemen found that, when they came back, both they and their families had changed. The trauma of war greatly strained relationships and left communities suffering throughout Australia.

“We were founded as a result of difficulties returning servicemen had in settling back into family life — and of those families re-accommodating them as well,” Elisabeth said. “We continue to work with those themes of family disruption and enhancement. We support individuals, couples, and families as they negotiate these challenges that cross many lifespans.”

Families and couples experience strain in their lives for many reasons. External events, such as unemployment and moving, can cause financial stress and feelings of isolation and loneliness. Illnesses can bring an emotional burden for both the person who is sick and the caregivers. And work issues can spill over into the home, becoming a significant source of anger and frustration.

Photo of Elisabeth Shaw, CEO of Relationships Australia NSW

Elisabeth Shaw, Relationships Australia NSW CEO, said counseling helps individuals.

Emotional events can lead to relationship problems, too. If one partner was unfaithful or a child begins to act out negatively, it can be hard to restore healthy communication and bring love back. When someone is faced with that dynamic, it’s hard for even the most experienced, educated people to overcome it. Relationships Australia NSW often works with those who are struggling financially and lack the support systems they need.

“We train and recruit experienced practitioners from diverse backgrounds to ensure we are meeting the community needs,” Elisabeth said. “We’re developing services online, as well, because so many people in a country as vast as Australia can’t always make it to an office. We want to be much more accessible and aim to deliver our expertise through any channel, anytime, anywhere.”

Resources Provided by Trained, Experienced Professionals Who Care

Clients of Relationships Australia NSW have many counseling options to help with their concerns. They can sign up for face-to-face sessions with a trained counselor, or they can connect with its Sydney-based online counseling services if they can’t — or simply don’t want to — visit an office. They offer couples therapy, family counseling, and services aimed at those of Aboriginal origin.

When legal issues are involved, the organization also offers valuable mediation services. Both parties meet with an impartial, trained facilitator and can often save the time and money spent on drawn-out, painful court proceedings.

The organization also offers group programs. These include sessions aimed at helping young children gain confidence, parents bond with their children, or couples learn how to communicate better.

Other group programs focus on teaching people how to control their emotions, manage anger, and move past patterns of abusive behavior. Leaders at the nonprofit are particularly proud of their work in this area, as it can help reduce occurrences of domestic violence in New South Wales and beyond.

“We offer an extensive suite of services to address family and domestic violence issues,” Elisabeth said. “We offer programs for men, women, children, LGBTIQ communities, and male victims of violence. We also offer a violence prevention group program for fathers who are refugees and an elder abuse prevention service. It is great to have so many ways to address this difficult — and entrenched — community problem.”

Relationships Australia NSW is Encouraging Changes That Promote More Love and Respect

Elisabeth said those who work with Relationships Australia NSW, including caseworkers, group leaders, educators, counselors, and family dispute resolution specialists, do it because they care deeply about the people in their communities. They believe that by helping couples deal with issues that arise in relationships, New South Wales — and Australia — can be made stronger.

“We can’t always compete for wages compared to the public sector or corporate providers. But our staff often tells us that they want to do meaningful work, have a social purpose, make a difference, and give back to the community,” she said.
Relationships Australia has providers located in every state and territory throughout the country, and some areas have more than one location. The goal, Elisabeth said, is to meet the unique needs of each community.

Screenshot of a Relationships Australia NSW banner

Relationships Australia NSW experts are proud to be making a difference in people’s lives.

“Every office has a staff that reflects the cultural mix of its local clientele. We have also developed a diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure our staff is attending to the work from a culturally competent position,” she said. “This includes work which we have done for many years with our First Nations people and LGBTIQ communities.”

Over the years, the organization has seen plenty of evidence that its strategies are working. Elisabeth remembered hearing from one man who attended a program designed to help change violent behavior after he was violent with his first girlfriend.

“He rang me some years later and said it was the wake-up call he needed. He was grateful to have learned early on about respectful relationships and how to be a better partner, even though he regretted he’d hurt someone he cared about,” she said. “He said he had changed for good.”