Every family has its quirks – and certainly some are quirkier than others. But most of us still consider the traditional family a ‘fundamental unit’ of society.

The truth is, the very idea of a family has been changing radically over recent times and there are 5 trends that are having a noticeable impact on the modern family.



  1. Young adults are marrying later, preferring to live with parents or friends.
  2. Couples – both gay and straight – are choosing cohabitation over marriage.
  3. There is an increasing divorce rate and a growth in single
  4. Women are forming a greater part of the workforce, meaning the father is no longer the sole breadwinner.
  5. Smaller families and longer life expectancy means people will spend more years ‘post-children.’

So what does this mean for your modern family?


In short, families have to deal with a lot of change. In Australia, 43% of marriages end in divorce – and the experience of marital breakdown can have a dramatic effect on everyone involved. Single parenting is difficult enough, and may often include financial hardship. And blended or step-families, which make up one third of all marriages, have their own unique set of challenges.

For the modern family, adapting to these challenging, emotional circumstances is not always a smooth or easy process. So the need is greater than ever for support from outside the family unit to help care for and prepare member of the family for their roles in the larger community.


Counselling can play an important role in helping you and your family deal with the process of change, as well as the emotional transitions and personal challenges involved in being part of the modern family.


To book in to speak to our Counsellor Janet Gibson or Psychologist Ammata Phathanak, contact the clinic today on (02) 9938 1090.

Reference: Casper, L.M., & Bianchi, S.M. (2002). Continuity and change in the American family. Thousand Oaks, C.A.: Sage. Divorce Rate. (n.d.) Divorce rate in Australia.  Divorce rate.  Retrieved on 19 June, 2012, from: weblink Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2010). Australian households:  The future. 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, Dec 2010.