Psychologist Interview with Chris (Online Marriage Counselling)
Christine offers online counselling through Skype or Zoom. She is a registered psychologist with 14 years of diverse experience in private practice as well as psychology consulting to the private sector in Australia, USA and UK. Christine is an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society.
- What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
To be in true connection with another, where we can feel secure, loved, bonded, valued, respected and as though we have a companion and ‘fellow adventurer’ through all that life has on offer, is so beautiful. I know from my own background and family history, that I have carried some beliefs, ways of being and self-perceptions that have not always led to having rich and meaningful connection in a partner relationship. Having explored and ‘trial tested’ on myself a wide-range of strategies (from wide and varied sources and perspectives) to heal my own blocks to being in a healthy union, I feel so blessed to be able to share what I personally have had work for me, with others who may be desiring to create and maintain a loving relationship with their partner, family members and so on.
- What are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming to you?
As I reflect on this question, after seeing couples over the past 13 years, there are some clear and consistent challenges that couples often want to move beyond. They include:
- Not feeling seen, heard, valued or respected by their partner
- How to communicate lovingly and in a way that meets the needs of each other
- How to work through conflicts that may arise so both people can have their needs met
- How to keep the love and ‘spark’ alive once kiddos are part of the equation
- How to make the couple relationship a priority when life is so busy, and life seems so full of routine
- How to keep intimacy and sex-life awesome
- Navigating a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) lifestyle if one person works away from home
- How to work together as a couple with challenging family members (e.g. in-laws, own parents, ex-partners who may be a co-parent, step-kids)
- How to survive an affair
- Anger issues
- How to support a partner with depression, anxiety, high-stress etcetera
- How to transition from being partners to parents
- How to stay connected when have different parenting styles
- What would you like clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
- Both parties need to be genuinely committed to the common goal of having the relationship succeed
- New ways of thinking and behaving takes time, effort, and consistency – there are no ‘one-hit-wonders’ and both parties in the couple need to make the effort required for sustainable change to happen
- Transparency, vulnerability, honesty, and being able to have the hard conversations in sessions (and back in daily life), so both people genuinely understand each other’s perspective is vital
- Understanding that a range of tools and strategies may be needed for long-term success – there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ process
- All sessions with me are needs-based to each couple I work with
- I will ask you to explore, try-out, play with, and adapt the tools and skills we go through in sessions at home – you will need to have a felt-sense that they work for you, in your unique circumstances
- If there is love between a couple – ANY challenge can be overcome!
- If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
- What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
- Being present for each other on a daily basis is important
- Be willing to have conversations that may be difficult – where you say what is real for you whilst being respectful to yourself and your partner
- Genuinely listen to each other without being defensive or judgemental
- Do not let things fester
- Take accountability for what you contribute to the relationship when it is going great and going poorly
- Commit to recognising there is history in your relationship and then focus on what factors will lead to health moving forward
- Both parties need to be constantly investing time, energy, presence, love, kindness, quality communication, honesty and vulnerability
- Be mutually supportive of one another
- ‘Choose’ each other every day – invest time in identifying what you love and appreciate about each other
- List 5 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having.
- I call it as I see it
- List 5 strengths that you have as a Psychologist.
- I tend to see what lies under the surface that can be difficult for the client when they are ‘in it’
- Adaptable and flexible in co-creating strategies (with the client) and solutions that are based on the needs of each client’s unique needs
- I never ask a client to try tools and strategies that I have not rigorously trialled on myself
- How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
I have been a registered psychologist since 2004
If you would like to make a booking with Chris or any other of our psychologists, you are welcome to fill out an enquiry form here, or call our friendly receptionists on 1300 830 552.