What is relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling is for anybody who would like to work on their relationship with another person. It does not have to be just your partner. It can also be relationship counselling with a family member, a friend or work colleague. Your relationship does not need to be in trouble to benefit from relationship counselling. Often people who access relationship counselling are looking to improve or strengthen their current relationship. Typically, there is a focus on improving communication skills to do this. Regardless of why or who, relationship counselling provides a safe and contained space to explore what has happened between people – and how to improve the relationship moving forward.
Who attends relationship counselling?
Typically partners and family members attend relationship counselling. Because there can be more than two people in the room, it is important that you access a properly trained relationship counsellor. This means a person who has specialised in this area of work and has postgraduate qualifications in the field.
Can I get relationship counselling on my own?
Yes, many people choose to come to relationship counselling on their own to explore their concerns in a private space. It might be to work out if they want to stay with a partner, or to work on how to communicate better in an important relationship e.g. between a parent and child.
People who come to relationship counselling on their own come for the following: –
- To learn communication skills to implement with a partner, family member or friend.
- To learn how to make behavioural changes which might be impacting their relationships.
- To gain some insights into their relationship.
- To make a decision to stay or separate from their partner, wife or husband.
- To get support to separate from their partner, wife or husband.
- To learn how to connect with their child or teenager.
- To learn why they keep connecting with the wrong people.
- To address intimacy issues they have with others.
- To work out whether they should cut off a toxic family member or friend.
- To learn how to manage difficult or toxic relationships in the family or at work.
- To work out what kind of significant relationship they are looking for.
- To learn how to introduce a partner to children and family.
What happens in relationship counselling?
At the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists we have counsellors who are extensively trained in relationship counselling. In your first session, we assess the presenting issue and the work that will be required to address it. Sometimes we want to see people together for the first session but at other times we prefer to see people separately – especially if there has been a cut off, or there’s risk of a cut off. We are aware of people’s anxiety when they attend relationship counselling and will map out a plan that helps contain the work and therefore people’s anxiety. Feeling safe in the room with the relationship counsellor is vital.
Once we determine the goals for the work, we set up sessions to facilitate those goals. We examine behaviours that might be contributing to relationship dynamics, and teach communication and other skills that can help change those dynamics. At the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists, we provide direct feedback and give you strategies to strengthen and repair relationships or help you create relationships that are healthy and satisfying.
Why do people seek relationship counselling?
Couples or families seek relationship counselling for a wide variety of reasons – and not always because the relationship is on the verge of collapse. There are a range of scenarios that crop up regularly, and these include:
- Communication difficulties
- Feeling stuck
- Emotional withdrawal and feeling disconnected
- Growing apart
- Losing the ‘spark’
- Lack of intimacy, affection or sex
- Sexual problems
- Feelings of resentment, boredom or lack of fulfilment
- Getting stuck in a cycle of arguing or bickering
- Being unsure about the future of the relationship
- Needing help with separation
- Financial difficulties
- Affairs, infidelity, pornography and cyber-sex
- Struggling with the demands of parenthood
- Coping with extended families and in-laws
- Managing external stressors such as health problems or work
- Mental health issues
How can relationship counselling help?
Professional relationship counselling can help you move forward in your relationship. It can enable you and your partner/another person to:
- Improve communication skills
- Re-ignite love, romance and desire
- Enhance intimacy
- Gain insight into conflict and disagreement
- Heal personal issues that are adversely affecting your relationship
- Learn healthy ways to manage conflict and disagreement
- Enhance emotional connection and trust
- Acknowledge and resolve specific trouble spots that may be impacting on your relationship
- Foster honesty, trust and acceptance
- Be more open about needs and how those needs could be met
- Learn to know yourself and your partner better
How does relationship counselling work?
Relationship counselling works in a different way to a situation where you and another person tries to resolve the issue. At the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists, relationship counsellors formulate questions in a way which are designed to help you think about a problem in a different way. The questions are also asked in a way to reduce defensiveness or anger. The majority of people avoid difficult conversations with people they love and care about. Relationship counsellors are very good at facilitating those conversations so you can really get to the heart of the matter without further adding to the problem or risking your relationship in other ways.
Is relationship counselling effective?
Relationship counselling is very effective and more than 90% of our clients say they feel better and more connected after attending relationship counselling. Clients who are open to making changes get the most out of relationship counselling. These changes not only impact the relationship they have come to work on but in most cases other relationships in the person’s life. In fact, it is so effective (and supportive) that we have many people who choose to continue with relationship counselling on their own because it helps them in all areas of their life – marriage, family and work.
What makes Sydney Couples and Family Specialists so special?
We have been successfully providing relationship counselling to couples and families in Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs for over 25 years. The key to our success comes down to a few important factors including:
- The high calibre of our therapists who have undergone special training in the complex field of relationship counselling.
- The passion our counsellors have for providing effective relationship therapy.
- Our outcome-driven focus. Our counsellors want to see clients heal and leave sessions with the tools to work towards better relationships and a better life.
- Expert management of counselling sessions in a safe environment and making sure everyone in the room has an equal turn. Our therapists know how to deal with conflict and hostility if they arise.
- Our therapists’ ability to put couples and families at ease so that they can open up about their issues.
Does your relationship counsellor have the right training and experience?
Relationship counselling is highly demanding, and counsellors must be well-trained if they are to be successful. Qualifications in relationship counselling are important. As are ongoing professional development training and clinical supervision. Make sure you source a relationship counsellor who is not a generalist but who has chosen to specialize in relationship counselling.
Our relationship counsellors want to help you create relationships that bring joy, meaning and fulfilment to your life. At Sydney Couples and Family Specialists, we provide some of the best relationship counselling in Sydney.