MATTERS program


MATTERS is a free service for families experiencing conflict or relationships in need of strengthening. Children, young people and their families meet together to work through issues in a safe and friendly environment. 

We use therapeutic approaches to assist families to explore alternate solutions and communicate more effectively.

We also provide group work for parents experiencing violence from their adolescent children (T.A.R.A – Teenage Aggression Responding Assertively).

MATTERS is available to families with children ranging between the ages of 8 and early adulthood who are experiencing relationship difficulties and live in the local government areas of Banyule, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Darebin.

MATTERS is funded by The Department of Families, Housing, Community & Indigenous Affairs.


Case study

Anita called the MATTERS service to request counselling for her family following her separation from Sam, her partner of 18 years. Anita was distressed by the escalating verbal abuse and angry outbursts directed towards her by her son Chris (15 years) which had worsened since the separation. Anita attended the TARA (Teenage Aggression Responding Assertively) support group for parents experiencing violence from their adolescents and learnt some concrete strategies to reduce the violence and aggression and improve the communication between herself and Chris. Importantly Anita was also able to gain support from other parents facing similar experiences.

Together in family therapy sessions, Chris was able to describe to his mother the strain of being drawn into his parents' conflicts he had felt over the past 2 years as well as his fear for his father’s wellbeing. Over a three month period of family sessions, which included Anita’s younger son James (12 years), Chris developed ways to manage his anger and express his concerns with his mother and brother. With the family’s permission the therapist was also able to engage with Sam to help repair the relationship between father and sons.

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