‘An ongoing and lifelong process’: Dr Arne Rubinstein and Whole Family Wellbeing

Dr Arne Rubinstein is an internationally recognised expert on childhood development and rites of passage. His programs have been attended by over 200,000 people in more than 20 countries around the world and are now a part of over 50 schools around Australia.

Dr Arne is a medical doctor, first specialising in family medicine before spending 15 years in Emergency Medicine until he moved to creating programs for parents and their children full time.

He is the author of the bestseller The Making of Men and has won multiple awards for his work, including being nominated in 2008 for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work with youth, providing much-needed answers and tools to support a generation of young men and women be happy and motivated about life.

Dr Arne is the proud father of two wonderful young men and a mentor to many others.

Can you explain what you mean by Whole Family Wellbeing?

Families are the basic unit of our communities. Whole Family Wellbeing speaks to the idea that within this unit, we have the ability to support each other and this will be more effective than each person having to find their own way. I know from 25 years of experience that when families break down and there is conflict, everyone is negatively affected.

Being a family member is an ongoing and lifelong process. Naturally it will have its ups and downs. It can be the most rewarding or most distressing experience but definitely it will have a huge influence on our wellbeing and therefore our overall health. Our Transformational Parenting programs have been designed to support you and other families around the world to create Whole Family Wellbeing – you can access a free ebook on our website.

What inspired you to dedicate your career to helping others to improve their health/wellbeing?

Having worked for 20 years in medicine, I know that in times of crisis and uncertainty, our immediate concern will naturally be for our families and those closest to us. But in order to best support others, it is critical to make sure that we are safe and functioning well.

I left my medical career because I saw that so many of the issues I was dealing with started when people were still in the family home and impacted the rest of their lives. I decided to focus my work on children between the ages of 7 to 17 and in particular the transition from a child who believes they are the centre of the universe to young adults who understand they are part of a community. This transition is explored in my model for the difference between normal child behaviour and healthy adult behaviour.

‘in times of crisis and uncertainty, our immediate concern will naturally be for our families and those closest to us. But in order to best support others, it is critical to make sure that we are safe and functioning well.’ 

What is one aspect of the Invitation to Wellbeing that you connected with?

The Invitation to Wellbeing program that Carey created was a fantastic initiative designed to not only bring families together, but to look at the opportunities arising during this period. With families in lockdown and spending so much more time together, we can either see it as a jail sentence and do the time, or alternatively find ways to learn new skills, improve our communication and discover more about each other. The ultimate goal here is for each person to find their own best way to thrive but in doing so to bring their gifts to the rest of the family and benefit everyone.

What is one message you would like to leave with the Carey community?

The GOLDEN check-in we shared in the Invitation to Wellbeing sessions is a perfect way to keep track of each other in both the short and long term. It allows us to genuinely find out how family members are going right now, and to also track their progress over time. I do hope you will revisit the elements of the GOLDEN check-in and make it part of the culture of your family.

Category: