Psychologist Interview with Carole (Marriage Counselling Adelaide)

Psychologist Interview with Carole (Marriage Counselling Adelaide)

relationship counselling adelaideCarole has been practicing as a psychologist for over 12 years. During this time, she has developed a passion for working with couples and families as she believes these relationships can be central to the well being and health of individuals.

To read more about Carole or view her psychologist profile, click here.  Marriage counselling Adelaide.

 

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?

I believe that there is not enough emphasis in society on learning how to effectively interact with others in any form of relationship – intimately, friendships, workplace etc – that any help that I can give people to deal with their relationships can have be an invaluable and lifelong benefit to them.

 

  1. What are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming to you?

Conflict, difficulties communicating, affairs, introducing and adjusting to having children and parenting.

 

  1. What are the most common problems for women in relationships?

Feeling like they aren’t being heard and validated and having difficulties communicating their needs.

 

  1. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?

Feeling like they are juggling competing demands and unable to express their feelings and vulnerabilities.

 

  1. What would you like clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?

That there is no judgement and they will really enjoy the process and learnings, and that what we discuss will be relevant to many areas of their lives.

 

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

Patience.

 

  1. What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?

Every hurdle you address now, will have value for you later. And – From the most difficult times can come the most valuable lessons.

 

  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?

To communicate, regularly and honestly.

 

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

Kind, caring, supportive.

 

  1. List 3 strengths that you have as a Psychologist.

Compassionate, friendly, helpful.

 

  1. How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?

Over 12 years.

 

  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?

When couples have enough tools that they no longer need help (even though they often like to keep coming) and can happily enjoy their lives.

 

Relationship counselling Adelaide and Couples counselling adelaide.

If you would like to make a booking with Carole 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 Peter (Marriage Counselling Adelaide)

Peter’s passion is Relationship and Marriage Counselling in his Adelaide clinic. Peter’s services are available in his own dedicated, personal, and homely counselling consulting room, or by Skype or telephone. Expert relationship counselling Adelaide.

To read more about Peter or view his psychologist profile, click here.  Marriage counselling Adelaide.

 

  1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?

Relationships make people happy. Happy people are sociable. Good relationships raise the potential for very happy couples. Relationships with our partner helps define our lives, along with our other relationships with our colleagues, children, parents, close friends. When relationships are glowing, so are we. We can make relationships glow, because we can decide the terms of our relationships. Improving our relationship with one person increases our potential to improve other relationships. Counselling for relationships helps people become happier.

 

  1. What do you find are the most common relationships problems that you see in couples coming in to see you?

I see five categories of relationship problems:

(1) when a relationship isn’t working, it may be that one or both people is not feeling secure. Someone is not safe being who they are. Living through positive values and beliefs helps people transcend problems and allows relationships to flourish;

(2) People need to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit to make relationships work. Energy is important. It encourages thinking and reduces impulsivity, making assumptions, and increases and maintains effort. Self-regulation and managing energy are powerful forces for healthy relationships;

(3) A relationship is a system. It has many interconnecting parts, a Kabbalah of interacting aspects of relational life which create a unique culture built of knowledge, experience, and creativity, which fills all members with confidence. Relationships are about activity, decision-making, problem solving, building trust, and weeding out toxicity. Conceiving a relationship as a system develops patience and tolerance, and helps people make the right call at difficult moments;

(4) Adaptability. Over time in a relationship people play many parts from friend, through lover, to partner, husband/wife, mother/father, maybe business partner, aged parent, ex-husband/wife and so on. These mental, emotional, and behavioural shifts require different ways of meeting our needs and wants and meeting our intentions and expectations while remaining authentic and allowing new versions of the people in the relationship to develop;

(5) Making choices rather than falling into habits. We always have choices, and making choices creates personal power and control, and also develops responsibility. We are responsible for our relationships.

 

  1. What are the most common problems for women and men individually in relationships?

Relationships prosper when the above factors start to operate freely. Problems in these five areas affect men and women equally, but sometimes differently, in relationships, and I find it a useful template for seeking out the nature of problems. Marriage counselling Adelaide services.

 

  1. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?

People will be given support and practical guidance to develop confidence and skills to develop their relationship their own way and deal with relational stress, so they find the pathway they are looking for to take them from their present sate to the one they desire.

 

  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?

A couple who separated on the birth of their child, because the father did not want a child, and believed he was talked into having the child, who later in the year re-united and the husband became a very loving and happy father and husband with a very contented and loving wife in a great relationship, and who are now contemplating a second child together.

 

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

Happy parents = happy children — refer to Q1

 

  1. What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?

Respect and accept the pain of the faithful partner to help rebuild trust, be open and disclosive to reduce distress in this partner and in the relationship, acknowledge the pain of your faithful partner to open the gateway for healing, take responsibility, avoid defensiveness, and both partners should expect setbacks and painful feelings, should maintain boundaries and avoid anything that creates risk, and he non-faithful partner must close off the affair, while both should e mindful of meaning about what happened and live in the present, and realise there will be pain on both sides so both people need to face fears, grief, losses, and need to examine the personal decision making in the relationship, as per Q2.

 

  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 information in Q2 is relevant here. Couples need to be relationship ready, with their mind, brain, body system in the right place, and know that coming together as a couple requires skills and learning each can acquire, so it becomes important for couples to take up the tools, techniques, and strategies to create and build lasting relationships. Relationships incur trouble spots and

disagreements, which means also acquiring the means to deal with them, which refers to all aspects of effective communication, understanding, and appreciation. Finally, if you find yourself in a rut, throw away the shovels. If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will dig deeper and get what you’ve always had. Change, and some new beginnings are called for.

 

  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?

It depends how success is judged. Some relationships end in counselling, and sometimes only one walks away happy, sometimes both have sense of happiness and relief. Occasionally, one person is attempting to use the counselling process against another, and find when they cannot do this, they exit the process. Often the other person stays! At times, a person can uncover the nature of the personality of the other, and change the way they process through counselling with greater empowerment. At other times couples work systematically through problems to happiness.

 

  1. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?

The new beginnings people create. Personal power, growth of personality, growth in knowledge and skills, and development of creativity is like money in the bank for couples. It can be saved and spent wisely and becomes useful and enriching, optimising the relationship. New insights can be created and the relational Kabbalah enriched. Seeing couples using their growth and energy to make changes can be personally satisfying. Seeing life together through new and different eyes, seeing people create new and significant options for themselves, watching couples grow and work towards their dream, while developing resilience, relapse prevention, and preparing for difficulties, all as part of core competencies, is satisfying and fulfilling, as you see what they have achieved.

 

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

My Wife tells me I have good interpersonal skills, and I express myself well, and I am intuitive, warm, and accepting, empathic, and focused on the client, encouraging them to do the work. I will leave it at that.

 

  1. List 3 strengths that you have as a Psychologist.

It is said I am helpful, mindful, effective, and that I reduce distress and promote good mental health while encouraging prevention through the work I do. It is for others to say.

 

  1. How many years’ experience do you have practicing/helping clients?

The APS sent me a 20 year membership award at the start of last year. The two years before that 20 years commenced I worked in a community health centre. The five years prior to that I worked as a Lecturer in Psychology, following a stint as a student counsellor. Marriage counselling Adelaide.

 

Marriage counselling adelaide.

If you would like to make a booking with Peter 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 Ros (Marriage Counselling Adelaide)

Relationship Counselling AdelaideRos has worked in a variety of practice settings for over 15 years. She now specialises in relationship counselling with individuals, couples and families. She is a psychologist, family therapist and a qualified family mediator.

To read more about Ros or view her psychologist profile, click here.  Marriage counselling Adelaide.

 

 

1. What has made you interested in helping couples with their relationships?

Modern couples have come to expect a more equal partnership in their relationship which is a major shift in perspective. The fact that the majority of relationships break down means that many people do not have the necessary skills to do relationships and need help. These skills are learnable and will make a difference to whether relationships last and thrive or are chronically miserable. People who are in thriving relationships are generally happy, resilient and healthy. They are also effective parents. Therefore healthy relationships contribute to individual well being and protect against mental distress. For all these reasons and more, I find that the couple client is a very important and interesting group to work with.

 

2. 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 comprise of the inability to manage conflict effectively; emotional distance between the partners due to exclusive focus on work, children; sexual and emotional distancing; power struggles in narcissistic relationships; and affairs. Essentially, distressed couples have forgotten how to be generous and kind to each other.

 

3. What are the most common problems for women in relationships?

The most common problems for women are that they can not trust their partners to be there for them when they need them and that there is not enough intimacy and emotional connection. These complaints cause them to distrust their men’s reliability, accountability and whether they will be “met”, emotionally.

 

4. What are the most common problems for men in relationships?

The most common problems for men in relationships  are that there is too much fighting and there’s not enough sex. They are often lonely, and actually want more emotional connection

The most common problems for men originate from how they have been socialised as boys to be “unemotional” and not to show “vulnerability”.

When conflicting with their partner, they are at a loss and react by shutting down and emotionally withdrawing.

Men assume that they have to fix the problem central to the conflict and women tend to reinforce that position. When they fail, men experience a deep shame and feelings of failure and defectiveness. These feelings make them confused and they turn away from their partners therefore worsening the situation.

 

5. What would you like couple clients to know about the couple counselling process before they come in?

They need to understand that each person will be listened to in an even-handed way, that I would encourage them to speak in turn about their issues from an “I”- position and when not speaking, to listen with respect and as openly as possible. I will also be inviting them to tell me what they expect from therapy, how they might know that therapy is successful.

 

6. 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?

The couple I remember are a professional couple in their 40s, he was a banker and she was a management consultant and they had met during their internships at a major company. They had big incomes, three teenage children and their busy lifestyle was made possible by support from her parents and a housekeeper. They appeared to be the polished couple who had it all but when they came to see me, they had not been sexually intimate for 4 years. Underneath their glamorous exterior, they were emotionally disconnected. Therapy was their last attempt to repair.

Over 18 months, I saw them using the Gottman approach for several sessions and then individually. On their own, each expressed a deep sadness and longing for the other. She was repeatedly disappointed by his inability to be there for her and he was intimidated by her strong intellect and capability. Eventually, he decided to leave and was surprised by her distress when he told her. She was also surprised by her vulnerability and in a joint session, she was able to speak to him from her vulnerability and he was able to get over his anxiety, reach out and comfort her. In a poignant moment she was able to tell him that she needed him to care and protect her and that she no longer wanted to be the “iron lady”. He confessed that he was intimidated by her confident exterior which made him feel diminished and disrespected. She was able to hear him and they both committed to keep talking and to reengage.

 

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

Make one another your main priority and keep being curious abut each other’s changing needs and fears. Good relationships are incrementally built by one positive interaction at a time.

 

8. What advice would you give to couples trying to rebuild their relationship after an affair?

While affairs can be the cause for divorce, research shows that most affairs begin in an attempt to find friendship, support, attention, caring, consent and respect outside a relationship because of the severe lack of these qualities. The betraying partner is often emotionally disconnected from the other.

There are three phases to recovery: atone, attune and attach and it will be slow.

 

9. What, for you, are the most important things that couples need to remember if they want their relationship to thrive, instead of just survive?

  • Spend time together on a regular basis and communicate in a relaxed manner about your desires and dreams
  • Maintain your personal interests within reason because this will breed resentment
  • Support each other’s passions and dreams
  • Learn to maintain an open-ended dialogue and learn to be a good listener; learn to take turns
  • Avoid the “blame game”. It is human to be wrong; reflect before blaming
  • Foster your relationships with family and friends; don’t isolate yourselves into a “twosome”.
  • Ramp up your positive interactions; avoid bad behaviour and realise that you need to do more than “I’m sorry” to repair a rupture
  • Have realistic expectations; every relationship has problems and research shows that 2/3rds are unsolvable and the skills to manage and repair disruptions can be learned.

 

10. 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 estimate that 75 – 80 % of my couple clients find new hope and learn new ways to manage conflict and increase their appreciation of each other.

 

11. What do you find is the most satisfying and fulfilling part of this work that you do?

The most satisfying part of this work has always been to witness very difficult cases achieve the impossible, to witness how the human spirit can rekindle and try one more time; to have the privilege of making a difference to one life.

 

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

I actually asked the question of two close friends and was told: empathy, intelligence and kindness; and curious, persistent, diligent (comments from a GP).

 

13. List 3 strengths that you have as a Psychologist.

My first strength is my breadth of knowledge areas. My first training in the biological sciences in which I specialised as a researcher in molecular biology. This gives me a felt understanding of the interconnectedness of physiological and energy systems which readily extends to relational systems and body-mind connections. I readily use biofeedback techniques and concepts in my treatment approach and I look for opportunities to enhance connectivity. The interpersonal neurobiology pioneered by Dr Dan Siegel fits nicely in this framework. My second training is in sociology which introduced the whole areas of inequality and gender dynamics and the formation-dissolution of groups, of organizational politics and policy-making, of the power of social influence at community and national levels. My third training is in psychology which enables me to develop instruments/ approaches to put into effective practice at a person to person level. My fourth training is my doctoral thesis in gender and education which brings into sharp focus the intersection of family, social and national dilemmas in our modern globalised society. Writing the dissertation enabled me to pull together a good amount of my past trainings, and developed my ability to think in a hard-nosed evidence – based way when working in therapy.

My second strength is my interest in keeping up-to-date with effective treatment approaches. For example, the two outstanding marital therapy approaches are the Gottman approach which is based on longitudinal research findings over 40 years and Sue Johnson’s Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) which has been shown to have lasting results following intervention. I have trained in Levels 1,2,and 3 in the Gottman Approach and I have done the externship in EFT and will be pursuing Core Skills training in 2018.

My third strength is my ability to draw on my vast background in helping clients and running programs. I have been a researcher in academia and a high school school teacher. I have worked in palliative care, in child adolescent mental health, in prison, in the defence force, in EAP, and in private practice in doctors’ rooms and in my own practice. I have been instrumental in bringing a behavioural program to South Australia and in the installation of the Canadian Sex offender and Violent Offender treatment programs into South Australian Corrections. I have an appreciation of the FIFO lifestyle and the impact on relationships as my work at Defence SA required me to travel to Defence bases across the country at short notice and to be on-call for emergencies for deployed forces. As such, I have counselled in almost all kinds of settings: in a prison cell, aboard an aeroplane, in hospital wards, in coffee shops, by telehealth, in classrooms and in home visiting. I have collaborated with all types of allied health, school staff, military staff and medical staff. Marriage counselling adelaide.

 

14. How many years experience do you have practicing/helping clients?

I have been a practicing psychologist for 7 years and before that a clinical social worker and family therapist for 16 years. Therefore, I have been working in the couple/family space for 23 years.

Marriage counselling adelaide.

If you would like to make a booking with Ros 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.