About Us

How We Work

When your relationships are on the line and especially when there are children in the mix, you need to feel confident that the Therapist you choose has the right skills and knowledge to help you, your family, and/or your children.

Couple and family work is a specialisation. There are many skills required to manage the complex dynamics and sensitivities involved with this type of work (which is different to the work a Psychotherapist or Psychologist might do with an individual). All the Therapists at the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists have chosen to undertake continuing specialist training so they are equipped to help you get the positive outcomes you need from relationship and family therapy.

The work in the therapy room will be tailored to suit your particular problem. You can expect a dynamic and interactive approach designed to help you get the most out of your sessions. We start by understanding what has lead you to your current situation, followed by a focus on helping you change behaviours and improve relationships.

We understand there can be a range of reasons you may be seeking professional help. It may be because your relationship or marriage is in trouble, you are thinking of separating, or you are worried about an off-track child or teenager. You may need parenting help for a child who has AD/HD or ASD. Or it could be that you have a difficult relationship with a family member.

No matter what your relationship problem nor how challenging your family life may be, the experienced, expert therapists here are uniquely equipped to help you.

What happens after you have booked your appointment?

In the first session we carefully assess your problem and what you would like help with.  We then give you feedback on our assessment and you are invited to make comment and contribute to the plan to ensure you are happy to proceed with our tailored intervention.

Our work as couple and family therapists is direct, fast-paced, and you are given constant direction and feedback. This is particularly important if you are a parent who is worried about your children or adolescent. We understand that parents want to know and be included in the treatment process. Many couples also want an idea of what interventions the therapist is likely to use and how their therapy will progress.

Our training is in the following frameworks:-

Systemic Therapy  –  we look at the problem in the context of your system, which is essentially your family (often your wider family).  This means instead of just treating a symptom like self-harm or an affair, we also look at why these problems may have occurred. This ensures that problems don’t come back after treatment.

Systemic therapy is also valuable for understanding why communication between people is not working. This framework is essential given all the different types of couples and families today. We respect and consider cultural, religious and other values that your family holds.

Systemic therapy is complex and there are many different types of modalities that fall under this category.  All Therapists who work with couples, children, teens and families should be trained in systemic theory as this is the foundation framework.

Solution Focused Therapy– a good, fast-paced approach when working with couples – particularly those in crisis or at risk of separation. As the name suggests, Solution Focused Therapy is about moving clients through a short-term treatment plan that gets results straight away.

Gottman Therapy–  an approach that works well with couples who need to learn communication skills as well as helping couples move out of constant arguing and bickering.  All of our Therapists use Gottman ideas in therapy. However, Alex Ryder has the most extension training in this approach.

Emotionally Focused Therapy–  an approach used with both couples and families. The techniques employed from this framework facilitate helping people connect again. It’s an effective approach for couples who are struggling with intimacy, and very good for helping to repair and strengthen relationships in a family.

Post-Milan–  this framework directly targets negative or unhelpful behaviour that is coming from either children, teenagers or adult family members. Clients are shown alternative ways to interact with each other, and parents are supported to make changes that manage the negative behaviours of their children and teens.  When there are behavioural issues in the home from children and teens we employ a lot of the skills and techniques from this approach.

Narrative Therapy– another approach used to strength and facilitate strong bonds between couples and families.  This approach is useful when couples and families need to work through a trauma such as loss, sexual assault, psychological and physical violence.  It is a non-shaming, safe and respectful way of working with clients.

Trauma Informed Therapy– a respectful, safe framework that facilitates support and recovery from trauma. Many of our children and adolescents have experienced trauma and we support these kids (and parents) in many different ways to help them stay engaged in school, in the home and to make healthy social connections with their peer group.  With mental health illnesses on the rise it is imperative that you see a professional who knows how to work with children and adolescents who are at risk.

All Therapists are skilled to work on relationships and couples. However, some Therapists have specific expertise pertaining to parenting skills as well as other family counselling problems. We suggest that if you are not sure who to book in with either discuss this with our friendly receptionist by calling 02 8968 9397or alternatively email us at info@sydneycoupleandfamily.com and your situation will be assessed and matched with the appropriate Therapist.

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