Psychologist Interview with Stuart (Marriage Counselling Melbourne)
Stuart is a psychologist with ten years of counselling experience with individual adults and children, couples, and groups in private, educational, corporate and volunteer settings. He has a friendly manner and endeavours to make people feel comfortable and supported in counselling.
- What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
I’ve always been interested in human interaction in general and romantic relationships are especially dynamic and intense given the high expectations partners tend to have of one another. In particular, intimacy tends to evoke very powerful primal emotions which can be both deeply upsetting and comforting.
- What are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming to you?
Unpleasant conflict, waning intimacy, diverging life goals, emerging power and status imbalances.
- What are the most common problems for women in relationships?
Feeling that her partner is too emotionally detached and reluctant to engage in ‘deep communication’. Also, having a wish to live a more dynamic life while her partner seems to be becoming more narrow or ‘set in their ways’.
- What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
Experiencing his partner as too harsh, critical or emotionally unpredictable. Discomfort or confusion with his partner’s desire to try to have a more diverse or dynamic life and relationship.
- What would you like clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
That the most successful outcomes occur when both parties become interested in exploring their personal contribution to the problems.
- Which couple has made the biggest turnaround, from being in severe trouble to transforming their relationship into a happy loving one?
Over the years I’ve worked with a few remarkable couples who years after a sometimes hostile complete parenting, property and financial legal separation have rekindled things and formed a more fulfilling and functional relationship.
- If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
Firstly, have ongoing discussions to ensure reasonable alignment of parenting styles especially around discipline. Secondly, consciously prioritise the couple relationship separately to the parenting role.
- What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?
Be aware that most couples are able to heal from infidelity if both partners recommit to the relationship and play their part in terms of trust recovery. Indeed, over time, many couples describe a deeper and more fulfilling relationship post-affair.
- What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
Maintain an appropriate balance between intimacy and separateness, that is, don’t spend too little or too much time together, focus on the quality of interactions and make sure both of you are thriving as individuals first and foremost.
- What proportion of your couple clients manage, with your help, to successfully recreate a happy relationship from the difficult one that they came in with?
Most I’d say, but impossible to answer as the happy ones tend not to return!
- What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
Easing extreme emotional suffering as well as witnessing people gradually overcome their shame and pride to examine their insecurities non-defensively.
- List 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having.
13. List 3 strengths that you have as a Psychologist.
Ability to present complexity simply
Not being wedded to any one therapeutic modality
Emphasising relational dynamics rather than just individual psychological factors
14. How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
If you would like to make a booking with Stuart 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.