Counsellor Interview (Relationship Counselling Sydney)
Our Hart therapist is a perceptive and thoughtful counsellor with over 14 years of professional experience. He is a clinical member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia, Australian Society of Sex Educators and Research Therapists NSW, and the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.
To read more about him or view his psychologist profile, click here. Relationship counselling Sydney.
- What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
It is essential for every individual to obtain mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. A key element of well-being is to have a close relationship with someone we can trust, rely on, and have the skills and ability to develop these relationships throughout our lives. This core value and belief lead me to counselling which allows me to work effectively with couples to achieve their goals.
- What are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming to you?
Feeling mistreated and abused, fighting over common issues, insecurity of the relationship continuing, relating to partner issues, feeling misunderstood and not listened to, not enough attention, feeling invisible in the relationship, dealing with a partner’s habits not conducive to the relationship e.g. addiction problems, infidelity, domestic non-involvement.
- What are the most common problems for women in relationships?
Partner not being open and honest, their partner not listening to them, family issues with children, needs not being met, feeling unsupported and isolated, feeling of being overwhelmed, a sense of not knowing what to do to help the relationship, abusive and violent behaviour toward them, infidelity (direct with someone else, covert by the internet)
- What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
Partner not listening to them, difficulty in communicating verbally and non-verbally, family issues with children, needs not being met, intimacy issues, abusive behaviour, infidelity (direct with someone else, covert by the internet), perception of an over emotional partner.
- What would you like clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
Confidentiality is assured. The focus throughout counselling remains with the clients. Initial appointment allows defining clearly what the concern is from each partner. What does each partner expect from couples counselling? An atmosphere is established where each can be open and feel safe in the session. Current familial relationship structure is explored to understand the couple’s close social links and responsibilities. Background information is gathered from each so that an understanding of the relationship’s beginnings and pre-relationship issues are clearly understood. Throughout sessions strategies and suggestions are discussed and are linked to specific actions each partner could do before the next session where insights and difficulties are discussed. One-on-one confidential counselling may be necessary to allow deeper understanding of each partner and their issues or concerns.
- Which couple has made the biggest turnaround, from being in severe trouble to transforming their relationship into a happy loving one?
A couple sought counselling as they did not want to divorce for several strongly held beliefs and values. The couples saw no way to rekindle their relationship and repair their individual relationships with their children. Both partners acknowledged that an obsession with online pornography and infidelity had been further impacting their deteriorating relationship. Feelings of anger, betrayal, blame and grief lead to emotional outbursts by both couples which further impeded the growth of their relationship. By clearly identifying their concerns and assisting them to develop identify skills and behaviours to allow the couple to work through their concerns allowed for the addictive behaviour relating to pornography to cease. Working with the clients in a non-judgemental manner allowed the couples to develop a loving and respectful relationship.
- If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
- What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?
Forgiving is possible, forgetting is not. The affair will not be forgotten however it can be forgiven. Remember the core reasons why you chose your partner; your decision was carefully considered at the time, now it the time to rebuild after the hurricane. It takes time and patience. Practice affection, attention, and appreciation (gratitude) toward your partner daily.
- 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 good communications to bring yourselves together, have some fun together away from the pressures of daily life – have a date night (or better day), work through difficult issues and don’t walk away, provide each other with emotional support, be compassionate and forgiving, share your goals and dreams
- 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 couples leave therapy with a strategy and tools to improve their relationship. On a few occasions couples needed help to refocus after a period following their last session. This shows that the couples identified early that they needed further assistance and sought this help promptly. Frequently I receive new clients from referrals received from previous clients.
- What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
Seeing couples grow and develop individually and happily together – the look in each other’s eyes shows emotional, spiritual, family, and social contentment. Occasionally, couples decide to separate. To watch these couples separate with mutual respect towards each other, their families and social contacts is rewarding combined with effective communication skills allows the individuals to have a strong yet different kind of relationship. Occasionally children form part of the couple’s family, to observe couples develop strong and loving parental roles with their children if separation occurs is a further fulfilling aspect in my work.
- List 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having
Perceptive, flexible, empathetic.
- List 3 strengths that you have as a Counsellor
Hope and optimism, willingness to establish a therapeutic alliance, empathy.
- How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
I have over 14 years’ experience helping clients with relationship issues.
If you would like to make a booking with this Hart therapist, 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.