“Using the Case Study Provided Develop a Treatment Plan for This Client. Justify Your Assessment and Proposed Actions in Terms of the Relationship Models and Concepts Introduced in the Module.”

People will often ask what makes a good or long lasting relationship. In truth there is no one answer, what works for some will not work for others, it’s about finding the balance that suits the both of you. When we start out in our new relationship it easy to ignore the bad points of the other person for a while until the excitement dies down or you are unable to hide your own bad habits any longer, and you are both left with the reality of everyday. So balance is a good place to start.

The Equity theory came about as a result of previous studies in disruptive justice and concerns that for a relationship to be successful then there must be some balance, which was summarised by Walster, Walster and Berschild (1978) in their four principle approach. Generally people will try to get the most out of a relationship while trying to avoid any unpleasant experiences. Although we all like to get what we want we are also very conscious if the other party appears to be getting more from the relationship. The second principle looks at how these “rewards” are shared out equally so both feel they are putting the same amount of effort in while receiving the same amount of recognition and reward. If these needs and rewards are not balanced the third principle looks at the distress this causes, while principle four sets about trying to resolve the state of balance or equity without putting all the effort on to one person. The idea of equality in a relationship does not have to be an equal 50/50 split of chores but a mutually agreed level that suits both without causing conflict.

Thibaut and Kelly (1959) proposed a four-stage model of long-term relationships called social exchange theory. Each stage explored a particular time in the relationships development. Stage 1 was all about sampling and exploration of the costs and rewards of different relationships, either by trying out relationships or by observing others. Stage 2 looks at bargaining, once we have found a partner...