Create positive and lasting change in your relationship
Being in a relationship can have a profoundly positive effect on your sense of self and wellbeing. The benefits of sustaining good relationships are well documented: people in healthy relationships tend to live longer and experience less physical, emotional and mental health issues. Conversely, being in a relationship beset by problems can have a crippling effect on one’s self-esteem, and capacity to live life to the fullest.
Relationship & couples counselling works
The good news is that there is hope for those struggling with relationship issues. A growing body of evidence-based on decades of couples counselling research – suggests that with appropriate therapeutic support, couples can overcome relationship issues and live happy, fulfilling lives together. Closeness, communication and commitment are the keys to authentic intimacy. Life Supports couples counsellors and psychologists can help you unlock the doors to relationship success.
Common relationship issues
If you’re experiencing difficulties in any of the areas listed below, you’re not alone. When problems arise in these areas, couples often seek help. Rest assured that all of these concerns may be addressed and resolved with effective couples counselling:
- Communication issues
- Financial problems
- Loss of intimacy
- Lack of honesty
- Loss of trust
- Sexual difficulties
- Controlling or abusive behaviour
- Blended and extended family issues
- Perceiving the relationship as one-sided
How relationship counselling can help you
Relationships are as individual as the people in them. Each relationship presents unique circumstances and challenges, particularly when there are different backgrounds, personalities and value systems involved. Your counsellor or psychologist will form a collaborative alliance with you. Together, you will identify key areas for change and learn practical tools to help you and your partner create a mutually beneficial, rewarding relationship.
We can help you and your partner:
- Improve communication
- Manage conflict
- Cope with stressors
- Increase emotional and sexual intimacy
- Minimise criticism and blaming behaviours
- Identify and nurture relationship strengths
Life Supports relationship counsellors and psychologists use proven, evidence-based therapeutic techniques such as Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT-C) and Integrative Behavioural Couples Therapy (IBCT) to help our clients create successful and happy relationships.
What happens in a family relationship counselling session?
It is common for one or two family members to initiate the counselling process, with other family members joining in if and when they are ready. We also provide individual family counselling if you need a nonjudgmental, confidential space to explore and address your own family issues.
Family counselling is suitable for both small and larger family groups– there are no prerequisites that the entire family needs to be present. In fact, family counselling can be incredibly effective even if certain family members choose not to participate.
Your Life Supports relationship counsellor or psychologist will collaborate with your family to build on relational strengths and encourage change and interpersonal growth opportunities.
Life Supports relationship counselling helps families to:
- Clearly identify issues affecting each family member
- Foster inclusiveness and consideration of every family member’s needs
- Develop clear family goals (e.g. reducing the frequency of conflict)
- Practice safe, effective ways to address family challenges and grievances
- Cease engaging in blaming behaviour, by taking responsibility for the family’s welfare as a group
- Use effective, respectful communication when discussing distressing or challenging issues
- Break the cycle of family conflict by encouraging new ways of relating
- Recognise setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning
- Focus on and celebrate the family’s unique strengths
- Review progress and maintain improvements
What can I expect in a couples counselling session?
Often couples that are new to the counselling experience are worried that relationship therapy may be biased towards one partner, emotionally confrontational, or that it simply won’t work.
To ensure this is not the case, each session is:
- Tailored to be inclusive of both partners
- A discreet, nonjudgmental space to unpack your relationship concerns
- Focused upon giving you an insightful understanding of your individual situation
- Designed to give you practical tools to address problems and create long-lasting, positive changes
Couples and relationship counselling often involves a blend of joint and solo counselling sessions, depending on your personal therapeutic needs. This flexibility allows your counsellor to accurately assess your communication styles, patterns of behaviour and relationship needs as individuals, and as a couple. Our team of relationship counsellors are compassionate, competent and capable of helping you to achieve your relationship goals.
How does individual relationship counselling work?
We frequently see clients for individual relationship counselling. Sometimes one partner is reluctant to seek help, or simply unable to attend counselling due to work commitments or geographical distance. The great news is that individual counselling is just as effective as joint couple counselling when it comes to improving relationship quality.
Recent research by clinical psychologist Dr Howard Markman studied 300 married and unmarried couples who attended relationship skills counselling together or individually: results from the study indicated that those who attended counselling individually showed a marked improvement in the quality of their relationships, on par with those who attended counselling with their partner.
You may be struggling with conflicting thoughts and feelings about your relationship; you might be having difficulty balancing your own needs with the demands of your partner or family. In some cases, you may be experiencing the feelings of depression, anger, anxiety or grief associated with separation or divorce.
Whatever you bring to counselling, your Life Supports relationship specialist will work alongside you to help make sense of your experience, and support you moving forward in a constructive and positive way. For some clients, simply talking through issues can be a helpful process, while others may be looking for specific guidance or strategies to enhance their relationships. Together we will identify the most constructive and useful way that we can support you to make sense of your relationship and bring about positive change in your life.
Specialist Relationship Psychologist and Counsellors
Seeking expert support is crucial for those wishing to improve their relationships. Setting achievable relationship goals and exploring healthy communication skills are the keys to enhancing your relationship, and living a life together that is free of unnecessary conflict and stress.
Life Supports accredited relationship psychologists and counsellors are qualified, experienced and competent to provide you with the specialist services you need.
Relationship counselling services may be subsidised through Medicare or your Private Health Insurer. Please read Medicare rebate for counselling services or Private health insurance for counselling services for further information.
Life Supports counsellors offer confidential relationship counselling services from offices in all major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and many other various local towns and cities throughout Australia.