Counsellor Interview with Morgan (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

Counsellor Interview with Morgan (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

marriage counselling sydneyMorgan 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 Morgan or view his psychologist profile, click here.  Relationship counselling Sydney.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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)

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?

Create

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. List 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having

Perceptive, flexible, empathetic.

  1. List 3 strengths that you have as a Counsellor

Hope and optimism, willingness to establish a therapeutic alliance, empathy.

  1. 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 Morgan 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.

Psychologist Interview with Melanie (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

marriage counselling sydneyMelanie has worked as a registered Psychologist for over 12 years, in a variety of public and private settings and provides marriage and relationship counselling Sydney. She particularly loves working with couples and families, as she feels that having healthy relationships is essential to our overall happiness.

To read more about Melanie or view her psychologist profile, click here.  Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
    I started my career working as a school counsellor, seeing children and adolescents, but also working with their families. I realised here how important the foundation of the parent relationship is in a family. It doesn’t really matter how many activities your kids are involved in, how many holidays you take them on, what laptop you buy them, couples who nurture their own relationship are stronger to ‘run’ the family, set a good example for their children and give their children a sense of stability and security. So after working in schools for a little while I wanted to impact families from another angle by working directly with couples. The experience of working with couples was more satisfying than I could have imagined. To learn and see that people can develop themselves and heal from past emotional wounds through the context of a supportive relationship made the work even more meaningful.
  1. What do you find are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?
    Since I have specialised in sex therapy (I still work with couples for other problems too), I am getting an increased number of clients who are coming in for these issues. Quite often they are issues of mismatched libidos, or a change in the sexual dynamic or relationship that is difficult to understand. Sometimes it surprises me how long couples wait to get help when it is about sex but it is also understandable because it can be challenging to talk about your sex life with a complete stranger. My advice is to come in early because preventative work is a lot easier and more successful than dealing with something that has been there for many years. Issues in the sexual side of the relationship can be a reflection of issues in other parts of the relationship but sometimes it is purely about the physiology and biology of sex and this needs to be addressed directly and so it isn’t necessarily a reflection of the relationship generally.
  1. What are the most common problems for women and for men in relationships?
    To answer this question, I have to make some generalisations because gender roles and gender issues in relationships are really shifting. One thing in relation to this issue both men and women must deal with is that we can’t rely on societal ideas of what women or men are supposed to do or be like in a relationship. This means that all aspects of a relationship need to be discussed and negotiated eg who does the what domestic jobs, how do you parent together, who is the organiser and who is the doer etc. This means that couples need good communication skills to be able to do this and can’t make assumptions. If one assumes that their partner will be responsible for a particular task and then they don’t do it this can lead to all sorts of problems. For women, they can feel like they are being unfairly burdened with the domestic jobs or have unrealistic expectations of what their partner should do and men can feel like things are being expected of them outside of the ‘contract’ of their relationship or alternatively that their partner is not competent in doing the things that are their responsibility. We are living in exciting times as we are moving closer to gender equality which means that each couple can decide how to structure their relationship- this can be based on traditional gender roles or completely different and unique to the couple- but it all has to be negotiated explicitly.
  1. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
    See about to answer both questions- I’ve edited the question to include both men and women. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
    Before couples come in to counselling I would like them to know that part of the process taking the counselling home. It is just as important what they do in between sessions to create change as it is what happens in session, if not more. So, at the beginning all the challenging or important things might happen in session but unless this is transferred to day to day life at home then there can’t be any sustainable change.
  1. What has been the couple you remember who has made the biggest turnaround, from being in severe trouble to transforming their relationship into a happy loving one?
    One couple who really stands out for me is a couple who were in the early years of their marriage and had just had their first child. In their first few sessions their resentment and hurt toward one another created a heavy feeling in the room as they sat as far away from one another on the couch in my office. They blamed each other for every unhappiness in their lives even though they told me the beautiful story of love at first sight when they met. Slowly as we worked through things they began to hear what the other was hurt about, they stopped personalising it and hearing it as a criticism and each of them began to see the things that they could change to make the relationship better. They were sitting closer to each other on the couch and reaching out to comfort one another if they became emotional in session. It was so beautiful to watch this change and shift. They now have 3 beautiful children and I occasionally have some of their friends coming in for counselling on their recommendation and comment of how much it changed their lives. As therapists, we don’t often hear about what happens to our couples after they finish counselling but it has been nice in this instance to hear that this couple is going strong.
  1. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
    The most important things for a relationship are respect, time and fun and a sense of humour. I was once told that the word respect could be seen as re- again; spect- to look – so to look at again. This is what I mean by respect- look at it again, notice things that are happening, give it attention, even look at it with fresh eyes from time to time. Giving it this time and attention is the respect necessary to keep your finger on the pulse of the relationship. We monitor everything else that is important for us in our lives- our work or study progress, our health, our children- why is the relationship any different?
    This leads to the importance of time. If we don’t spend time on the relationship then there is no chance for it to thrive. I often see that couples with children don’t differentiate between family time and couple time. These are two very different things. Taking the family to the beach is a different experience to going to your favourite couple restaurant and spending time to know what is going on in your partner’s internal world.
    Lastly fun and a sense of humour. This is an important ingredient in day to day life. It can be so challenging to have this appear in a day when there is so much rushing around, dealing with work deadlines, sick children, the mundaneness of housekeeping but this is exactly where it is important. Fun doesn’t have to happen only on a day the family has a day out at Luna Park, it is an attitude driven by the idea that this family loves each other, cares for each other and the most important thing is that everyone is happy and healthy. With this filter, you can choose to let certain inconsequential conflicts slide for the greater good of the relationship and laugh off one another’s shortcomings.
  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
    The most satisfying part of my work is when couples make the big leap from finger pointing to taking responsibility for their own behaviour. This creates a magical shift in counselling after which time so much change and growth is possible. It is from this position that relationships can thrive or alternatively individuals can have a really clear understanding of whether they still want to be in the current relationship. Blaming really blinds us to what is really going on.
  1. What are 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having?
    I became a psychologist because I was the one that my friends and family would naturally go to for an ear to listen or some advice. They suggested that I would be a good therapist and it got me thinking about a career in this field when I was still in high school. They would describe me as really patient, caring and having a calming nature. I’m glad I listened to their advice in this because I really love my work. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
    I have been working as a psychologist for 15 years now. The more I work with couples the more I feel like I learn about the way people do relationships differently and how powerful a relationship can be in supporting change and healing in one’s individual life as well. This isn’t just about someone being there for you to be able to heal. It is quite often in the way we replay and relive patterns through our romantic relationships that help us recover from our old narratives and experiences. That is why I feel the work that is done through relationship counselling can be so powerful. Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

If you would like to make a booking with Deborah 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.

Psychologist Interview with Deborah (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

relationship counselling sydneyDeborah is a registered psychologist and provides marriage and relationship counselling Sydney. She has worked for over 15 years in the private and public sector including education, rehabilitation and private practice.

To read more about Deborah or view her psychologist profile, click here.  Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What do you find are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?
    The most common relationship problems in my practise centre around communication, trust, conflict and intimacy.
    At the heart of many issues is communication: it can diminish intimacy, create conflict and compromise trust. A focus on effective communication can be key to understanding one another’s reality and to find safety to discuss issues knowing that the other may not like what is said but each are able to turn towards one another and feel safe to share what is important. Teaching one another about self but also taking the time to be a good student to learn.
    Becoming aware of negative emotional patterns and dynamics within relationships is another key area. These patterns may arise from our past disappointments and experiences and how we try to get these needs met in our current relationship and in doing so, place a lot of expectations upon our partner.
  2. What are the most common problems for women and for men in relationships?
    Common issues for women in relationships include intimacy, both physical and emotional, lack of communication or unhealthy communication and conflict style, not feeling a priority in the relationship be it around chores, work or children or in general. Other major issues revolve around trust and honesty, lack of commitment or progression in a relationship as well as unmet needs. As well, recurrent unhealthy dynamics created within the relationship or brought from past experiences.
  3. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
    Common issues for men in relationships in my practice are not so dissimilar to issues for women. Be it a loss of connection or intimacy, lack of desire for their partner or vice versa is a common presentation as is communication difficulties, more specifically around withdrawal, feeling judged or attacked or criticised. An inability to manage conflict in a healthy manner is another as well understanding what the other person in the relationship needs and how to meet those needs.
  4. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
    Understand that each person has an opportunity to share their perspective around issues that have brought them to seek counselling and that the aim is to create a non-judgemental, safe environment to talk and be honest without fear of shame, blame, judgment or who is right or wrong. It can be perfectly normal to feel nervous and uncomfortable speaking about very private and intimate issues to someone you have never met before. The aim is to create a safe space to work through concerns.
    It can be helpful to prepare some notes around issues you wish to discuss.
  5. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
    Children bring many rewards but can also place strains on a relationship, be it as parents of young children or navigating the demands of teenagers. Open communication with listening, healthy conflict management as well as being aligned is important for this next phase of your relationship. Try and make couple time a priority in a time constrained environment as connection can be compromised with all the demands of parenting.
  6. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
    What I find most fulfilling and satisfying is being with my clients in an environment that allows them to move forward and work through their issues and along the way develop self-awareness, self-reflection, embrace change as a positive not as a negative, to be able to reframe to see things from another perspective and to not fear vulnerability. And generally, assist individuals and couples through challenging times to get to a place that works for them in a healthy way.
  7. What are 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having?
    My friends and family would describe me as being kind, patient and trustworthy with a sprinkle of humour!
  8. What are three strengths you have as a psychologist?
    Three strengths I believe I possess are assisting clients to think about things in a different way, an ability to engage and relate with individuals in a warm and empathic manner and to help create understanding and acceptance through a non-judgmental and respectful space.
  9. How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
    Over 20 years of experience working with many different client groups including adolescents, adults, couples, LGBT, people from diverse cultural backgrounds as well as individuals with disabilities has created exposure to a very broad range of issues which has been an asset to my practise as a Psychologist to date. It is always a privilege to work with my clients, to have their trust, to hear their stories and to learn from them as much as I hope they learn from me.

 

If you would like to make a booking with Deborah 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.

Psychologist Interview with Noga (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

relationship counselling sydneyNoga is a Psychologist with 25 years experience. She enjoys working with couples and families on relationship issues to improve skills in communication, problem solving and conflict resolution. Noga provides relationship and marriage counselling Sydney, Crows Nest.

To read more about Noga or view her psychologist profile, click here. Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
    In my 25 years as a Psychologist, I’ve learnt there are many different ways to “do relationships”. Generally, a strong long-lasting relationship enables two individuals to become “more than two”. That is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Good relationships empower individuals to grow, expand, improve and achieve. Good relationships are healing and make healthier and happier individuals. Over the years, I’ve researched, studied and gathered a large reservoir of relationship stories and I feel well-equipped to help individuals and couples create their own blue-print for a successful, long-lasting relationship. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. What are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?
    Most relationship problems stem from communication breakdown. Often, it’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it. Fortunately, good communication is a skill – which can be acquired through simple tools and techniques. Unfortunately, many couples seek therapy when there’s a crisis, which creates urgency and desperateness and makes it difficult to focus on communication skills as the basis for problem-solving. However, when couples learn healthy communication skills through counselling – their problem-solving ability improves and big perpetual problems become small and less-frequent.
    Another common problem is the busy-ness of life in the 21st century. Pressures to succeed in careers and relationships create multiple, conflicting demands on individuals. The resulting high prevalence of individual mental health issues often affects relationships (including children and whole families). A non-judgemental counselling process can improve understanding and provide tools to support and deal with these issues.
    Lastly: Fear Of Missing Out. FOMO drives people to seek newer, bigger, better lives. They may “trade-up” (or down?) or sacrifice their relationship for a successful career or an off-shore post. It seems we’re all driven to DO more, rather than BE more. But good relationships are about BEING not about DOING. Counselling can provide a space to discuss and challenge priorities, and agree to make changes.
  1. What are the most common problems for women in relationships?
    Women often struggle with work-life balance, especially professional and working mothers as well as those planning to start a family. They are often tired and at times, resentful about sacrificing brilliant careers and big dreams to become carers and home makers. This often breeds resentment towards male-partners who may be higher-earning, controlling financial decisions and less involved in mundane day-to-day household chores. While good relationships enable two individuals to become “more”, some relationships enable one to be “more” while the other feels “less”. Less achieving, less successful, less fulfilled, less confident. Unfortunately, this is often the woman. Which is why many women wish they had… a wife!
  1. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
    Men often feel pressure to succeed and if there’s a family – pressure to provide. They work hard, sometimes long hours, and often come home to a woman who expects them to share home/family-chores. Men who work in male-dominated industries, become accustomed to communicating in short, directive style. They may vent frustration/ anger using language which is common in male-circles but inappropriate at home. They often have trouble winding-down after a hard-days-work and at times need a drink (or two…) which sometimes leads to a dependency. Men are less inclined than women to discuss emotional issues. They tend to bottle-up and put on a brave face. This explains the prevalence of depression and anxiety in men. Many men have a difficulty talking to a counsellor, although those able to confront their reservations and open-up benefit enormously through saving their relationships, and themselves.
  1. What would you like couples to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
    Don’t leave it until it’s too late! Often couples attempt counselling as the last resort before a break up. This creates a crisis intervention mode, desperation and pressure to rescue, which makes it very difficult for everyone. In most cases there are early signs, possibly a long-history of problems. There is no shame in seeking help. A few counselling sessions to discuss a “small issue” can prevent big, expensive interventions later on. Another point: a fruitful counselling process must stay away from the blame-game. Don’t blame your partner. Accept responsibility for your share in the problems, challenge yourself where did YOU go wrong and what can YOU change/ improve. In most cases, both sides are at fault.
  1. If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
    This too shall pass… Raising children is stressful and often creates conflict for a couple. This is due to parents being so emotionally-invested in their children. However, life is very busy and time passes quickly. Enjoy the children while they’re here. Sooner or later, they’ll leave the nest. My son has just left home for an interstate university. Overnight, I went from a busy HSC mum to being a part-empty-nester (I have another high-school boy at home but I now know he also won’t stay home forever). I’m partly liberated and excited about new opportunities on the horizon, and partly terrified of the empty-nest stage. Sounds familiar? Anyone? The moral of the story: enjoy each day for the joy it brings and trust yourself and your partner (perhaps with the help of a counsellor) to be able to overcome new challenges. Lastly, I’ve counselled many children over the years and I still do. They suffer enormous distress when their parents are in conflict. It’s best to keep parental conflicts away from the children. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
    A friend of mine, in his 60th birthday speech, thanked his wife of 38 years. He said he never knows who he’ll find in bed the next morning. Wife being an artist, a creative-type, energetic and temperamental at times, unpredictable… It’s the surprise element (good surprises please!), the adventure, the ability to reinvent, regenerate and energise each other. Being able to create, and respond to CHANGE. This is the breath of air, the oxygen that makes a relationship thrive.
    However, a thriving relationship must also survive. What makes a relationship survive?
    COMMITMENT and COMMUNICATION.
    Commitment: “for better for worse… in sickness in health…” That’s the “contract”, the bones of the relationship. The more challenges a couple can endure, the stronger the bond between them. How do you know you will survive life’s trials? You don’t. But if you’re committed to each other, then you’re in it together. Come what may. Communication: it is the key to ANY good relationship. Luckily, communication can be a learnt and improved. There are fairly simple rules to good communication and I often teach couples how to apply these and improve their ability to problem-solve. Communication is the blood in the veins of the relationship. It keeps it alive.
    CCC: Commitment and Communication – to survive, Change – to thrive. A good relationship needs all 3Cs.
  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
    I love helping people and I feel privileged to do this for a job. When relationships improve, individuals are happier and able to perform better, create and achieve. This is the most rewarding aspect of my work!!!

 

If you would like to make a booking with Noga 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.

Psychologist Interview with Leanne (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

relationship counselling sydneyLeanne has been a registered psychologist since 2009 and she specialises in relationship counselling. Leanne provides marriage counselling and relationship counselling Sydney, Windsor Downs & Riverstone.

For more information on Leanne, or to view her psychologist profile, click here.

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
    Relationships are a vital component of life. If a relationship is in trouble it has a flow on effect to the children, friends and other family members. It also affects people financially and emotionally in a way that some people find very difficult to recover from. If I can help a couple to see themselves and their relationship in a different light, to help them see past the hurt and anger and get real with their feelings, then that is a very satisfying feeling. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. What do you find are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?
    There are two main problems that I see over and over. These are discrepancies in libido, where one person has a high sex drive and the other a low sex drive, and the other is difficulties in communication. Both problems can be worked through. It is a matter of understanding each other on a different level. For instance many people with a high sex drive feel that they are being rejected, whilst people with a low sex drive feel that the expectation to “perform” is making the problem worse. Relationship counselling Sydney.
    With the communication there usually is more going on than is initially presented. Sometimes it is a simple matter of putting down the technology and actually talking to each other with no distraction. Getting back to basics, like it was in the beginning where you gave each other 100% of your attention.
  1. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
    Couples counselling is not a magic solution that can solve all problems instantly. It takes time and commitment. It takes bravery to admit that you are wrong (because there is no blame and we all make mistakes and can learn from this) and it takes real effort from both people to create long lasting change. You have to do things in between sessions, and your therapist will give you tasks to work on. They most likely will be small things but can still be difficult on an emotional level. Relationship counselling Sydney.
  1. If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
    Don’t give up. If there is any love left between you work on your relationship. When you hurt each other you are hurting your children too. Don’t think because they are young they do not hear it. Children are very intuitive and even babies can feel the anger in the house. Your children need you to behave like adults, and when we are angry that is not what happens.
  1. What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?
    There is always a reason that an affair occurs. An affair is a symptom of a problem within the relationship. And, if true forgiveness can occur then a relationship can actually be stronger than it ever was. An affair allows raw honesty of all emotions, problems and solutions. It gives you the opportunity for real growth.
    There are of course exceptions to this, like if the person who has had an affair is still in the affair, blaming their partner for their behaviour  or not acknowledging that what they did was not hurtful.
  1. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
    It sounds clichéd but communication is the key. Really talking to each other, not just about day to day things but about actual emotions. And listening. All too often someone tried to express how they are feeling and the other person disregards it with statements like “that’s stupid”, “whatever” or even worse. Often people become defensive when they do not like what they are hearing. But if a couple can learn to listen to each other without cutting each other off, disrespecting the other or blaming then this is when real connection can blossom.
  1. 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?
    This is a really difficult question. If both people attend willingly, still in love and with a desire to change then most of them successfully create change and begin to feel that old feeling again, or at least a new level of respect and understanding of each other. Relationship counselling Sydney.
    If one half of the couple is coerced into attending, still having an affair or ready to leave the relationship then the success rate is much lower.
  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
    I truly love it when a couple comes in and says that things are better. It doesn’t really matter how better. Better is better! Especially after one session! But when a couple really starts to see how they are contributing to the problems and how they alone are responsible for their own behaviour that is really very rewarding. Empowering people to make change to their own lives is exactly what this job is all about.

 

If you would like to make a booking with Leanne 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.

Psychologist Interview With Joe (Relationship Counselling Sydney)

relationship counselling sydney

Joe is one of our experienced and caring relationship psychologists in Sydney, Wollongong. He provides relationship counselling Sydney.

For more information on Joe, or to view his psychologist profile, click here.

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?
    As a psychologist and a family therapist I have found that we can at times underestimate the importance of healthy and fulfilling relationships and the impact that they have on our mental and physical wellbeing.  I was initially trained as a psychologist to treat individuals and not couples in therapy but most of what affects individuals occurs in the context of relationships and family. Working as a relationship counsellor provides a holistic process and the opportunity to resolve issues using a whole system approach. Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What do you find are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?
    By far the most common problem in couples seeking counselling is to assist with managing and learning to minimise conflict and arguments. It is common for many couples to have conflict or arguments but when this becomes a chronic a negative interaction pattern can become entrenched. It can be helpful for couples to have professional therapy to learn to recognise and change these entrenched patterns of behaviour. Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What are the most common problems for women in relationships?
    Frequently women report that they are not being heard by their partner. By this I mean that they are not being understood and cannot get their message across in a way that can facilitate communication.  Another related area of concern commonly reported by women is that their partner does not understand that their expression of emotion is normal and even healthy. Men sometimes do not know how to respond this and tend to either try to fix the issue or disengage as they may, for example, feel powerless to affect or change the concerns raised.

 

  1. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?
    I have found that many men feel that their partner has misinterpreted their intentions. They may not be able to express their feelings and intentions well. They may express anger or that they withdraw emotionally in response to feelings of helplessness which many people find extremely uncomfortable to sit with.  A significant number of men may find it difficult to express their feelings and this can lead to a sense of emotional disconnection in their relationship.

 

  1. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?
    I would like them to know that the counselling process is a process. There will be an opportunity to explore in detail the issues and patterns which have affected the relationship and the issues which are concerning each individual. It is important to be clear that while the therapist has had specific training in relationships and providing therapy to couples, the therapist’s role is to guide and encourage insight, not to give advice or take the side of either party in the relationship.  The alliance with the couple is a therapeutic and cooperative relationship and which proceeds in accordance with the priorities and needs of the individual couple involved. I would like couples contemplating therapy to understand that while therapy can be challenging it does not need to be feared or the need to seek therapy viewed as a failure.  Therapy is an opportunity to have a fair and equal opportunity to express their perspective in an atmosphere of non judgment.

 

  1. If you had one word of advice for couples with children, what would it be?
    Teamwork. Relationship counselling Sydney.

 

  1. What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?
    This is always a very difficult process to work through for couples. At the time many couples feel that there seems little hope that they can go on to rebuild their relationship. However I have found when couples are motivated to work through the issues and work on the rebuilding many can go forward in their relationship with a better understanding of the specific vulnerabilities and strengths in their partnership. Working through this process requires a lot of time, and a great deal of commitment from both partners. With this couples can go on to experience a stronger and more connected relationship.

 

  1. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?
    Healthy and fulfilling relationships do not just happen.  As a couple we each need to nurture, provide positive input and regard for our partner.  No couple relationship is perfect but when we are mindful and proactive about what we value in a relationship, and we are also mindful and proactive about what our partner values then we are well on the way to a satisfying and emotionally emotional connected partnership. We cannot take for granted our relationship.

 

  1. 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?
    I have found that sometimes couples can manage to work through and change unhealthy habits and negativity in the relationship very quickly eliminated once they become aware it.  For couples that are motivated and prepared to change their behaviour and also do the work at home the majority will benefit and learn to identify the triggers and factors that caused the issues in the first place. Once couples learn to work through the process of change and begin to connect again the success rate is very high. However at times couples come to the decision that they do not wish to continue in the relationship, or one partner is not motivated to continue the relationship. In this instance therapy can also be utilised to assist in managing conflict and agree on how to manage separation.

 

  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?
    The most fulfilling aspect of relationship counselling is that you have made a positive difference in terms of couple’s interactions. The most satisfying outcome for me would when a couple do not need to attend anymore as they have made the necessary changes in their relationship and are now connecting well. They can identify and communicate with each other about potential issues and resolve them on their own. I particular find it fulfilling when the improved relationship leads to improvement in the lives of the couple and their children.  I work very hard to support couples and where there are children involved to explore with them the impacts on the larger family system to assist them shift in a positive direction.

 

  1. What are 3 qualities that your friends and family would describe you as having?
    I asked my wife to answer this one, she identified loyal, caring, and determined.

 

  1. What are 3 strengths that you have as a Psychologist?
    – Practical experience and specific post graduate training in the field of relationship and family counselling.
    – The ability to develop rapport and help couples feel comfortable with the therapy process.
    – Insight and empathy.

 

  1. How many years experience do you have practicing/helping clients?
    I have been practicing for over 25 years. I have been employed in the past in the Department of Human Services as a Team Leader for a specialist Behavioural Intervention Team. Early in my career I have worked with families in crisis in my role as a Psychologist for Human Services in Victoria. I have been in Private Practice for over 10 years and have worked with individuals, couples and families.

 

If you would like to make a booking with Joe 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.

Love and Trust: the absolute essential ingredients of relationships

Have you thought about what is the key missing ingredient for you in your relationship when you are feeling very distressed about your relationship?

From the many thousands of couples I have counselled, I have found that beneath their specific problem in their relationship, it is that they feel that their partner doesn’t love them, can’t be trusted, or isn’t there for them.

And then, over time, the emotional injuries they sustain from a lack of trust & love build a huge gulf of emotional distance between them, leading to an eventual betrayal or the gradual loss of love.

For Happy Couplesrelationship romantic couple

Happy couples, however, who experience love and trust between each other, describe the concept of “trust” as something that  creates safety, security, and openness for both of them.

Trust and love makes their relationship safe, that makes it possible for them to be vulnerable with each other, and thereby deepen their love beyond the first passionate infatuations and illusions of courtship.

As love and trust matures, these couples feel their relationship ripens to a sense of mutual nurturance and moral responsibility for building a life together.

For them, love and trust are intertwined and grows together into a lasting relationship where friendship and intimacy blossoms.  Partners accept each other despite perpetual personality issues, and romance and sexual intimacy is possible because of it.

The BIG LOVE questions

The Big Love & Trust Questions are:

Love:

-Do you really care about me/Do I really matter to you?

-Am I valued and accepted by you?

-Do you care as much about me as you do about yourself?

-Can I count on you to put me first over others in your life?

Trust:

-Can I count on you to be who you say you are?

-Can I count on you to follow through on your promises?

-Can I count on you to be there for me when I need you?

LOVE and TRUST are the Bedrock Foundation of a Healthy Loving relationship.

If you are feeling these are missing ingredients in your relationship, we can help.

Both Relationship and Individual Counselling is available by our trained Psychologists in 70 locations Australia wide, either In-house, by Phone or Skype Sessions – 50 mins

Cost: $155  ($175 for after hours sessions)

Phone 1300 830 552 to enquire or make an appointment.
Private Health Insurance Rebates apply and Medicare Rebates may apply (please check for details)