“78 per cent of women and 83 per cent of men in intact relationships thought the problems they came to counselling about had changed for the better”
“Over 80 per cent of men and women would recommend counselling to others”
Research indicates that couples counselling is more successful when couples seek expert help early.
When you’re in an unhappy relationship, getting back to a happy place can seem impossible.
Relationships can be complicated and messy, and sometimes you may need experienced and professional help to get to the root of the issue, and find a way forward. With confidential, supportive counselling from Psylegal, you can look forward to a better outcome for your relationships.
What is relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling is a general term used to describe any type of therapy involved in improving one’s companionships or one’s feelings about their social life. This means one can attend relationship counselling for issues regarding their family, friend or love life. They are taught to recognise any issues that repetitively arise, and are given advice on the best way to approach and deal with such difficulties. People may come to such therapy on their own, or coupled with their romantic partner, or with their family including siblings, children, parents, or other relatives.
Signs that you may need relationship counselling:
- Struggle to communicate with your partner and feel your voice is often not heard?
- Have chronic conflicts that never seem to end?
- Have sexual issues or trouble creating intimacy?
- Have trouble trusting your partner because of previous infidelity?
- Have difficulty adjusting to parenthood or different attitudes towards child rearing?
- Have financial strain or have different attitudes towards managing your finances?
How can counselling help my relationship?
Relationship counselling is all about tackling the common issues that most people face in intimate relationships and breaking them down into smaller, easier steps that both parties can utilise. You might not see results immediately, but everything your counsellor does or asks you to do is based on years of evidence-based, and proven tactics. Couples counselling doesn’t work like taking a pill. It requires complete honestly, an open mind and a positive attitude. This isn’t a matter of each person putting in 50% towards recovery, but rather about both people putting in 100%. Getting your relationship back on track can take anything from a few weeks to several months of regular appointments. Yes, it’s not easy and it isn’t quick, but if you’re both willing to put in the time and effort, couples counselling can be incredibly effective, and could be exactly what you need to restore happiness to your relationship.
Relationship counselling is very broad and may consist of the following:
Couples & romantic relationship counselling
Couples counselling is a type of therapy delivered to couples or individuals who want to reconcile differences and problems within one’s relationship. Counsellors can teach you a lot – the best way to communicate with each other, help you understand each other’s needs, identify and address the problems creating relationship discord, increase emotional and physical intimacy, increase trust between each other, increasing one’s tolerance, identify any underlying psychological conditions contributing to or exacerbating one’s marriage problems, and more.
Pre-marital counselling teaches couples the skills necessary to maximise their marriage potential. It prepares two people for a lifelong commitment together, and helps to ensure that two people are in fact compatible. Individuals will gain a better understanding of their partner’s personality style, lifestyle expectations, communication style, interests, values and priorities, cultural background, parenting style and beliefs. At pre-marital counselling, the psychologist may identify any weaknesses in one’s relationship, and will equip couples with conflict-resolution skills to deal with such issues if they happen to arise in the future.
Divorce & separation
On average, in Australia couples divorce after approximately 12 years into their marriage, often separating when they have established a home together. Divorce and separation counsellors can help you emotionally adjust to the separation, provide you with a safe environment to express all of your emotions, help ensure the negotiation process between partners runs smoothly, and help you figure out the best way to manage the children.
Same sex couples
Research demonstrates that homosexual relationships are more likely to break down compared to heterosexual relationships. For individuals interested in the same sex, it can be harder to find potential partners; they may find it difficult to cope with any negativity still existing in society around homosexuality; coming out to parents or introducing a same sex partner to parents, especially traditional parents, can be emotionally difficult and may cause familial complications; it is often more difficult to agree on how open one’s relationship should be; and the lack of legal recognition of marriage can lead to commitment difficulties especially during rocky periods. A relationship therapist will be able to help you tackle such problems, and help couples understand each other and their needs, communicate effectively, and have a fulfilling relationship.
Some couples may not be experiencing any problems but choose to attend counselling to strengthen their emotional and physical connection. Counselling can enable you to explore new and exciting avenues with your partner, get to know your partner on a different level, enable your relationship to reach its full potential, and enable both partners to grow together.
Family counselling which is also referred to as ‘family focus therapy’ or ‘family systems therapy’ is really helpful during stressful times – such as when there is familial conflict; a child or family member is diagnosed with a mood or conduct disorder, psychiatric disorder, has issues with their body image, or drug-addicted; if there’s a separation or divorce; someone is diagnosed with a terminal or serious illness such as cancer. While a family therapist often consults a group of relatives at once, they may decide to do separate, one-on-one consultations with one or more family members. Attending family counselling can improve communication and interaction between family members, help family members understand mental illness and its effects, and aid individuals with their emotional and behavioural functioning.
How can Psylegal help you?
Perhaps you’ve tried counselling in the past and found it unpleasant and ineffective. Unfortunately, not all Counsellors are created equally, and many just aren’t equipped to deal with couples and relationships. At Pyslegal, all our Counsellors have the following important qualities:
- They never take sides. Our Counsellors will challenge you and push you to see things from another perspective.
- They never judge or shame. Our Counsellors practice unconditional positive regard, which is listening without judging or scolding. You can share your darkest and most negative emotions without shame, and get positive guidance or correction. Everything that you discuss with your counsellor remains confidential, and can only be court subpoenaed if someone is in danger.
- They mediate. Our Counsellors won’t try stop you from fighting with your partner. Instead they will help you fight ‘better’, so you feel that you are making progress and not just repeating yourself.
- They give you homework –Our Counsellors will give you ‘homework’ between each visit and push you to practice what you’ve learnt in sessions outside of their offices.
Successful relationship counselling requires expert professional training and experience. At Psylegal, our psychologists assist with individual issues that may be affecting relationships, such as work problems, individual anxiety or depression and/or other social problems. Our approach clears the way for more productive couple’s sessions with a relationships expert, who can help each party identify and work out their difficulties, improve communications, stop the blaming and resentment, and find solutions.
Remember, relationships can be hard work, but with the right tools and skills that you will learn from counselling, you can enjoy happy and positive relationships with your partner or family well into the future.
Call us for more information on our relationship counselling services on 1300 79 22 09.
Medicare rebates are available for individual counselling. You will need a referral from your doctor.