RELATIONSHIP & MARRIAGE COUNSELLING
FAQs about our Relationship Counselling
WHAT ARE THE FEES INVOLVED, AND ARE THERE ANY REBATES?
Couples Counselling and Marriage counselling sessions are 50 mins Cost: Ranging from $150 – $220 Private health rebates should apply if you have ‘psychology’ as an extra, but we recommend that you call your fund and check your level of cover if this is of concern to you. Unfortunately funds don’t give us these details. Medicare rebates may also apply if you are suffering anxiety, depression etc, and you are successful in applying for a Mental Health Care Plan with your doctor. These plans are not provided for relationship counselling as such, but you may be able to use them for appointments when you are in attendance on your own. It is quite common to attend some sessions on your own whilst undergoing relationship counselling. You may be able to use them with your partner in attendance for some appointments, but this would be up to each individual psychologist to determine once they have seen you for the first time and sighted your plan. Please contact your doctor or GP to determine your eligibility for a Mental Health Care Plan. The Medicare rebate is $84.80.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A MARRIAGE/RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING SESSION?
Initially, we offer you both an equal opportunity to speak about what are your problems and issues in your relationship. Our counsellor will then clarify and summarise your particular issues, and also give you additional insight as to what dynamics are operating between you and where they may have come from. From here, we will begin to work on resolving these issues for each of you, working from the most significant issues first, and always with a positive and win-win approach. We balance listening to and understanding each of your problems with moving forward in a positive way, so that by the end of each session, you will feel that you have had an opportunity to be heard and also feel your problems are resolving and your relationship is improving. Each session we also review how these changes are progressing, and address additional issues at a pace that is manageable by both of you. Celebrating gains in relationship happiness and satisfaction is important along the way. Many couples are surprised to find that through this process they develop an even better relationship than they have ever had before.
WILL MY PSYCHOLOGIST READ OR TAKE A PHONE CALL WITH EXTRA PERSONAL INFORMATION BEFORE THE FIRST SESSION?
Generally, no; the psychologist only works with information given in the room for the first appointment, especially when two people are involved in couples work. At that point a confidential arrangement is set up in the face-to-face couple session. Once clients have established a rapport and a working relationship with the psychologist, they may then ask him/her in further appointments about the possibility of reading extra information and taking calls in between sessions.
WOULD SKYPE COUNSELLING BE SUITABLE FOR US OR ME?
WHAT IF I CANCEL?
We understand that there may be reasons why you may need to change your appointment. We just ask that you be considerate that our Psychologist has set aside an hour of their time for you and give us at least 24 hours notice of any changes you might need. If you cancel or change your appointment within the 24 hours, and we can’t fill this appointment, you may be charged half the normal fee. If you don’t turn up for an appointment you have made and don’t give us notice, we reserve the right to charge you the full rate.
HOW HELPFUL WILL IT BE?
In addition to each of our Psychologists checking in with you on how the sessions are going for you at each session, we ask all of our clients to give us email feedback on how helpful their counselling has been for them 8 weeks after they have started counselling. As of 2nd September 2016, 94% of our respondents have told us that their counselling has been helpful and worthwhile for them and their relationship. Couples have told us that they have found the following helpful: – They appreciate being able to get clear about, and speak about what has been bothering them, in an environment that is listening and caring and non judgemental. – They also find it very helpful to get insight and a fuller understanding about the dynamics that are operating in their relationship that they weren’t aware of. – They like having the opportunity to communicate in a healthier manner, and to better understand where their partner is coming from. – They appreciate finally being able to resolve long standing issues that they didn’t know how to resolve. – They like coming to someone who wont not let the power balance get out of hand. – They find it helpful to be held accountable for making positive changes to the relationship. – They like being able to learn new things about how to make their relationship good, and to create hope for having an even better relationship than they have ever had before. – They appreciate having the opportunity to learn new relationship skills that they have never had the opportunity to learn before. – They love the renewed feelings of love they now feel for their partner that they thought were lost forever. There are occasions where each partner of a couple comes to counselling with differing wants from the process, for example, one partner may want to work on the relationship and the other wants to leave it. On these occasions, we do our best to honour both needs while also exploring what deeper needs there may be, and encouraging partners to explore all possibilities before ending the relationship.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE FIRST SESSION?
You can prepare for your first session by thinking about the following: – What are the main issues for you in your relationship – How you might be contributing to the problems in your relationship – What are your non-negotiables in your relationship right now
CAN I COME ON MY OWN WITHOUT MY PARTNER?
Yes you can. If you prefer to get some confidential help or advice on your own first, then we can help you. As we have said before, just you having insight and making changes will definitely change the dynamic in the relationship. If you are unsure of what you want to do in your relationship situation, then we can help you sort through and clarify what you want and need and options available to you. Alternatively, if you are sure you want to part, we can help you in making this transition as painless as possible.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY PARTNER DOESN’T WANT TO COME?
We suggest you come on your own anyway. If you can bring home some strategies that will help your situation, your partner may be encouraged to also join you in the sessions at a future date. Even if that doesn’t happen, there are many insights and strategies we can show you that will help you with your issues. One person changing can and does change the dynamic in the relationship. You still have power in your relationship by making changes yourself.
SHOULD WE FIRST COME TO SESSIONS TOGETHER OR ON OUR OWN?
You may choose either option. Generally we suggest that if you have been together for a long time or have quite a number of issues, it is usually best for each of you to have an individual session first before then coming together. If you have been in a relationship for a short time, or have only a few issues, then it is usually best to come together from the start.
(FOR MEN) WILL THE GIRLS GANG UP ON ME?
The short answer is No. Sometimes a man can be a little hesitant to come to counselling, as he fears with 3 people in the room, and with 2 of them being women, that the bias may be toward the female orientation. This doesn’t happen in our sessions, as we are very much committed to a win-win solution. We have also found that there is always contribution from both sides to any issue, and taking sides is not at all helpful.
DO YOU SUPPORT RELATIONSHIPS OR INDIVIDUALS FIRST?
We believe that a great relationship is created by balancing our basic human needs for togetherness and individuality. We have found that relationship problems arise from either one or both of a loss of connectedness, and/or loss of self in the relationship. Therefore we are committed to helping with the balancing of both of these. Strong relationships need strong (but not power hungry) individuals.
DO YOU TAKE SIDES?
No we don’t take sides. Having said that, we will help each of you see the contributions you are making to the problems in your relationship and encourage you to take responsibility for your own part.
CAN WE HOPE FOR ANY REAL LASTING CHANGES?
The short answer to this is yes. We can change anything about ourselves when we are sufficiently motivated. What our relationship counselling offers is a process where your motivation remains high, as we show you specifically where the problems lie and why, and give you information and support to resolve them as a joint project in a positive way.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL IT TAKE?
The average number of sessions is around 4 to 8, but varies from couple to couple, and person to person, and it is ultimately up to you when you feel happy with your progress.
ARE WE TOO LATE FOR RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING?
Sometimes one partner can feel so stressed and exhausted that they have no more energy to work on their relationship. If they also feel that their partner has no desire to make any changes, then they may be left feeling that they just don’t have it in them to keep trying. Having said that, most people realise that splitting up is not exactly an easy solution either. It has huge negative effects on members of the family, as well as financial, personal and social disadvantages. What we offer is a way through this to give you the opportunity to see what the potential of your relationship is. We work for a win-win relationship for both of you, without the exhausted partner feeling they have to commit indefinately to a long unknown process. In almost every relationship there are good aspects which most couples would like to preserve. Then there are also problematic aspects which need resolving in an effective way. Our very fine-tuned process offers you targeted help quickly. You need only commit initially to a period of as little as 4 to 6 weeks, before seeing how well the changes are happening. When you can see there is a major positive improvement, you can choose to commit for a further period. If, in the worst case scenario, there are not sufficient changes for you to feel you want to continue, and you decide to separate, at least you can satisfy yourself that you have done everything you could have done to try to save your relationship before making that decision.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK?
We have a very high success rate with couples who both want to save and improve their relationship, because of our unique positive methodology. Sometimes, however one partner may not be as willing or as ready to work on the relationship as the other. What our process does do, however, is to give you the best chance of finding out for yourselves what the potential of your relationship is at this time. Even if it is ultimately decided that you will go your separate ways, you can be satisfied that you have done everything that could have been done; you have left no stone unturned.