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Couples Therapy

To make a relationship last: couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other's hopes and dreams.

- Dr John Gottman

Why go to therapy?

If you're struggling in your relationship, you are not alone. Most of us weren't modelled how to navigate relationship challenges, resolve conflict and communicate well. We're just figuring it out as we go and operating from our past experiences and behaviour patterns which aren't always helpful.

 

Most couples also wait too long (around 6 years) to reach out for professional support. And by this time there is often so much disconnection, animosity, criticism and dislike for one another. Does that mean you can't turn it around? No! But it's going to take commitment, effort and honesty from both of you to get back to a good place.

You may be experiencing some of the following issues in your relationship:

  • A feeling of disconnection, just rolling through the motions of daily life, passing like ships in the night.

  • You don't talk about anything deeper than work, the kids, chores, and weekly schedule.

  • The 'spark' is gone and intimacy is lacking or non-existent.

  • You can't remember the last time you laughed or had any fun together.

  • You're having persistent issues resolving conflict, stuck in communication patterns that feel impossible to change and you never feel like you're being heard.

  • You may have no conflict at all which might seem like a good thing, but it's just because you're just avoiding talking about any issues you have.

  • You don't understand each other anymore and feel like you no longer know the person standing in front of you.

  • There has been a betrayal in the relationship and the trust and respect has been lost.

How therapy can help your relationship.

Couples therapy can support you to:

  • Rebuild your connection, friendship and intimacy.

  • Learn to handle conflict in a healthy way, repair after fights and find compromise.

  • Bring back 'teamwork', fun and shared meaning to the relationship.

  • Get you communicating on a deeper level, understanding each other's inner world, emotions and past experiences.

  • And also look at what is working in the relationship (it's easy to overlook what works when it feels like a lot isn't working).

The Gottman Method

I'm a big believer that if we want to create change we need to do something different than what we currently are. But it can feel difficult when you don't know how to create that change. I like to support my clients with practical strategies that they can take and use between sessions and that's why I was drawn to The Gottman Method.

 

Dr John and Dr Julie Gottman have done over 40 years of research with over 3,000 couples into what makes relationships work (or not), and they have developed a therapeutic model with interventions for supporting couples to improve their relationships. This is the foundation for the work we will do together, but I may draw on some other models or techniques if needed.

 

This is an active therapeutic model, and it will be hard work at times as you begin to reshape the dynamics and behaviours between you. This is not a quick fix and you'll both need to take responsibility and make some changes for this to work in your favour.

Here is a short video on predictors of relationship breakdown as per Gottmans' research. The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse.

Sessions & Fees

We will start with an assessment phase (3 sessions) to understand where you've gotten to and why. From there I can see exactly what you need support with and then we can start working on the appropriate interventions. The interventions used will be specific to your relationship needs and will be practised in our sessions so you can use them at home.

 

Example session schedule:

Session 1: Joint session (90-minutes)

Complete assessments between sessions 1 and 2

Session 2: Individual sessions (45-minutes each) 

Session 3: Joint session (90-minutes) - feedback on assessments, planning/goals

Session 4: Joint session (60-minutes) - Interventions begin and continue as needed.

Fees:

First joint session (90-minutes) $180 - includes cost of online assessments

Individual sessions (45-minutes each) $120 in total

Ongoing joint sessions (60-minutes) $120

In-person sessions are at Aberglasslyn, NSW (Hunter Valley).

Online sessions are available if you aren't in the area or prefer the comfort of your own home. 

I recommend that clients come weekly or fortnightly at first. This allows us to build a solid counselling relationship, and allows you to make progress towards your goals. The amount of sessions required will depend on each couple and what is happening in the relationship

Payments & Cancellations

The first session is to be paid at the time of booking. Ongoing sessions can be paid upfront, or 50% to secure the booking, and 50% on the day of the session.

 

Rebates are unavailable.

 

If you are unable to attend your session I require 24 hours' notice so that I can offer the appointment to someone else - cancellations within 24 hours may incur the full fee.

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