We offer relationship counselling for couples, singles and parent/child relationships.
How much time, energy and money do we invest in our careers, in seeking knowledge and developing our skills? And yet in comparison how much do we invest in our relationships? Although relationships are the most important thing in our life, we get very little education about them, other than what is modelled to us in our families and what we are exposed to culturally.
There is a wealth of research and invaluable information to help us to recognise, engage in, and better manage differences and any repeating stressors in our relationships. All relationships will go through a myriad of changes over their lifespan as we progress through different phases of life. There can be external stressors and internal changes we have not accounted or prepared for. Understanding ways to relate honestly, and develop healthy communication, without unrealistic expectations, is what you can expect from therapy.
Couples relationship counselling package
Gottman Method Couples Therapy (GMCT) combines the knowledge and wisdom of 4 decades of research and clinical practice.
Why the Gottman Method works
Research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future.
If you’re like many couples, you and your partner argue in a way that inflicts pain on the other. Disagreements bring out meanness and disrespect. Afterwards, you feel ashamed. This is not the person you believe yourself to be, and you have hurt the one you love. And yet next time you argue, you do it again.
Gottman Method Couples’ Therapy was developed to help you and your partner to:
- Increase respect, affection and closeness
- Break through and resolve conflict when you feel stuck
- Generate greater understanding
- Keep conflict discussions calm and respectful.
Transform inevitable relationship conflicts so you can build solid bridges between the two of you:
- Deepen your understanding of one another
- Repair old hurts and resentments
- Unearth the values and life purpose you share
- Strengthen your friendship
- Spice up your intimacy
The Gottman Couples’ Intensive Therapy approach has been demonstrated to have significant benefits for couples. It often leads to a significant reduction of feelings of distress, resolution of specific problems, and a stronger relationship.
In many cases, it has moved couples from thinking of ending their relationship to recommitting to it in new ways. Couples who have engaged in this process in the past have reported that they were able to work through a range of unresolved issues, ‘leave the baggage behind’ and go home with a renewed sense of commitment, closeness and hope for building a closer, more satisfying and intimate relationship together.
The Intensive Therapy approach is fast becoming one of the most popular and successful approaches to helping couples through relationship crisis.
It is an approach that we would recommend for all couples presenting with significant distress.
What to expect
When you contact us to book in for couples therapy, you will speak to one of our knowledgeable reception staff, who can answer any further questions you might have about GMCT.
You will then be allocated to one of our highly skilled psychologists, all of whom have been trained in GMCT.
At this point, you will be asked to book four separate sessions for your partner and your detailed assessment phase:
- Session 1: a joint session with you and your partner to meet your psychologist, and for your psychologist to perform an initial assessment on the both of you, your relationship, and the presenting issues;
- Session 2: an individual session with one of you, in order for your psychologist to further assess the issues from that partner’s perspective;
- Session 3: an individual assessment session with the other partner;
- Session 4: a joint session to discuss all results of the assessment, including the Gottman online assessment questionnaire (discussed below), and treatment planning.
Between Session 1 and 2, you will be asked to complete the Gottman Institute’s online assessment questionnaire – the Relationship Checkup (RC). This is a comprehensive psychometric measure that pinpoints the specific areas of need within your relationship. The RC is completed outside of session, and takes approximately 60-90mins, on average. It is filled out separately by both of you, and needs to be completed before your individual sessions, sessions 2 and 3.
Whilst completing the assessment phase may feel onerous, the more information you are able to provide your psychologist, the more able your psychologist will be to tailor a treatment plan for you and your partner that addresses the specific issues within your relationship.
The Gottman Institute recommends a minimum 17hrs of therapy (not including the initial 4 assessment sessions) to cover the basic necessities of the treatment. Shoalhaven Psychology recommends 11-12, 1hr to 1.5hr appointments, – whenever possible – as preference for your treatment sessions (as, from experience these sessions can comfortably address issues and skills effectively).
However every couple is different and you can discuss your therapy needs and length of therapy time with your psychologist.
The investment for your relationship is $1230. 50% of the fee would be taken 7 days before your first appointment, the final 50% would be processed on the day of your first appointment.
Strategies for relationships
There are some strategies you can apply and immediately see results from, and there is deeper work you can engage in to take your relationship to its full potential. Counselling will be more effective the more you are willing to share and process.
Developing emotional intelligence is integral to relationships. Emotional intelligence is having the capacity to be aware of, control, and express emotions. We need to be able to recognise the feelings of others also, so we can handle our relationships judiciously and empathetically, as this will add to our success and happiness in life.
Some strategies you can apply now:
- Try telling your partner each day something you appreciate about them. The Gottman Insitute has found if there are five positive interactions for every negative interaction, a couple can have a stable and happy relationship over time.
- It’s ok to fight but you need to be better at repair and forgiving -: conflict is an opportunity to learn to love your partner better over time; apologising is not about wrong and right but shows that you value your relationship more than your ego.
These strategies can be applied in all our relationships.
If your partner is unwilling to come to Relationship Therapy (they may take longer to process the value of therapy), it can still be very beneficial to come on your own. Therapy can empower you to be an agent of change in your relationship.