Whenever we ask our clients what is most important to them in life – relationships, connectedness, love and intimacy almost always take top spot. Relationships with friends, family, partners, children, parents and colleagues give you both life’s greatest joys and heartaches. Our psychologists and counsellors will help you to experience the joys more richly and more often, and to meet the heartaches with peace, kindness and acceptance.
Together or alone?
There are two ways that you can engage in counselling for relationships – on your own or in joint sessions with the other person. We call the first way Individual Counselling for Relationships and the second Relationship Counselling (which includes counselling for partnered couples). All our psychologists and counsellors offer Individual Counselling for Relationships. Brock Bastian, Josh Hobson, Patch Callahan and Deborah Hart offer Relationship Counselling.
Many clients who want to resolve a relationship issue accept that they cannot bring their partner, so Individual Counselling for Relationships will suit them. This option is also best when you recognise that your own behaviour, moods or emotions are at the root of the issue you and the other person are facing. Or if you have concerns about your partner’s behaviour or history, or are considering separating and want an objective listener with whom you can confidentially explore your concerns, Individual Counselling may be right for you.
On the other hand, if the other person is at least open to Relationship Counselling (they don’t have to be enthusiastic or even believe it will “work”, just willing to try it for a few sessions) then a joint session is suitable.
How does Individual counselling for Relationships work?
You might think that for a relationship to improve, both partners need to be involved. While that is sometimes the ideal situation, it is possible to influence – not necessarily control – the other person’s behaviour in a direction that is healthier for both people. If that wasn’t the case, many professions simply wouldn’t exist – schoolteachers, personal trainers, salespeople, even politicians! Your counsellor will use principles and techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well as other evidence-based approaches, to help you respond differently to your partner and to your own reactions.
How does Relationship Counselling work?
Human relationships – whether those of partners, friends, siblings, parent and child, or workmates (we’ve even worked with comedy acts and bandmates!) – don’t come with a manual. But relationship science has taught us some principles that you can put to work to bring more fulfilment, connection and fun into your interactions. Principles such as:
- Conflict is normal, necessary and healthy – not something to avoid
- Relationships work better when both people are being true to their values
- You are not responsible for the other person’s feelings, nor are they for yours, but you can have an influence
- ‘Being right’, point-scoring and ‘winning’ arguments are fatal to good relations
These principles may seem obvious, but your relationship counsellor will do more than just talk about them. They will ask you to change the way you ‘do’ conflict, communication, closeness and intimacy so that connecting becomes your default rather than a lucky accident.
Our Relationship and Couples Counselling Practitioners
About Josh Josh Hobson is a compassionate and supportive psychologist who works with his clients to identify their inner strengths, and to draw on these strengths so that his clients can bring about the change that they want to see in their lives. Josh empowers his clients to achieve their goals and work towards the…
About Patch Patch has been working as a clinical psychologist since 2010 in public youth mental health, child/developmental, health psychology, headspace, and hospital-based outpatient group therapy. He has trained in and worked with a range of evidence-based therapies, however, his passion, both personally and professionally, is with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is extremely important…
About Brock Practising as a psychologist for the past 15 years I have worked with a great variety of people from a wide range of backgrounds. My approach draws on humanist-existential psychology, which means that I aim to help people build a sense of meaning and coherence to their experiences. I also draw heavily on…
ACT Therapist, Counsellor and Coach
Who am I? I have spent the first three decades of my working life as a professional horn player with orchestras around Australia and The Netherlands. Most of that time I struggled to consistently produce my best under the constant pressure of performing at the elite level. That experience made me curious about why humans…