Frequently Asked Questions About Couples and Relationship Counselling

What if my partner is not as committed to therapy as I am?

Of course, in an ideal world both parties are equally engaged and motivated however, the reality is that often one party is the driver of change. This is ok because, even if change happens in one person, the ripple effects of these changes are felt by the unit. Never discount the impact of your own growth!

How often do we need to attend?

The frequency of attendance will depend entirely on you and your needs. Some couples will come weekly, some fortnightly and occasionally monthly. In the beginning, it is usually best to come once a week to build up momentum. After this, we can reassess and move down to fortnightly or whatever is a comfortable amount for you.

How long is therapy?

How long is a piece of string? This is completely dependent on you and how you move through therapy, how much work you are both willing to put in outside of the therapeutic space. Some couples have as few as 6 sessions, and others will continue to check in periodically for years. There is no hard limit.

What if we have already decided to separate?

People often assume that couples counselling is only for couples that want to stay together. Sometimes, it is just as useful to see a therapist to help you separate amicably with respect and kindness.

What if we both want to see you for individual therapy?

When you attend couples counselling, you are seen as a unit. Both of you together will be the client, therefore if one person requires individual treatment it becomes difficult to split loyalties. However, sometimes it becomes relevant to see each party individually to gain a better understanding of how to help you both – this is perfectly acceptable.

If we need to come back after some time, does this mean we have failed?

It helps to think of marriage like a beautiful little cottage – it will periodically require some maintenance! You may have found that therapy fixed your current problems, but later down the track there may be more difficulties. This is perfectly normal! Life moves along and sometimes we need to check in again to get back on track.

Frequently Asked Questions about Individual Therapy

How does therapy work?

The counselling process helps you to work towards your goals. I believe you are the expert on your own life story, and no one knows the intricacies of your lived experience better than you. For this reason, I will facilitate your own growth process and hold your hand through all the difficult phases that we need to work through. You will be gently challenged when necessary, and I will use evidence based models to help you achieve your goals.

What is the main difference between counselling and psychology?

Psychologists will make a diagnosis when needed and counsellors will not. If there are any indications of clinical symptoms, you will be referred to an appropriate professional to help you further. Additionally, counselling tends to work with situational difficulties. This means that if you have major clinical symptoms, you may be better placed to see a psychologist (ask me for recommendations).

Can I claim sessions on Medicare?

No, Medicare does not provide a rebate for counselling at this stage.

Can I claim sessions through my private health fund?

Yes, some private health funds will offer a rebate for counselling. Talk to us about which private health funds cover our services.

Can I bring other family member to my sessions?

Individual therapy is generally between you and your therapist, however if there is a benefit to including other family members to facilitate the process, and they (and you) are willing, this is certainly a possibility and can be discussed in advance during your session.

What sort of problems can I bring to counselling?

I can help you with a wide range of difficulties; situational anxiety and depression, decision making, grief and trauma, terminal diagnosis, bereavement, self-esteem, life changes, relationship and parenting to name a few.