Couples Counselling

Zetland Psychotherapy offers several different types of Couples Counselling:

Preparation For Marriage

Getting married is the easy part, staying married is more difficult. Building a successful marriage takes time and starts before the wedding. Thereafter it requires ongoing attention and commitment.

Zetland Psychotherapy offers a Marriage Preparation Program. The aim of this program is to explore areas of strength and vulnerability in your relationship. It is designed around 12 themes that commonly come up when dealing with relationship problems.

At the start of the first session you both fill out a questionnaire where you are asked to rate the different areas of your relationship. This information is then shared and guides us as to what issues need attention. After the first session you will each take home a detailed information booklet outlining the 12 areas mentioned above.

Sessions are tailored to individual needs. This process takes between three to six sessions. What you will walk away with is an increased sense of empowerment around the skills of:

  • effective communication
  • openly sharing thoughts and feelings
  • conflict resolution

The more you are able to understand the dynamics of your relationship, the more open you will be to embracing acceptance in relation to your partner. Acceptance of what is, and the willingness to work on what needs to be different, forms one of the corner stones of a successful relationship.

Relationship Difficulties

This can refer to literally anything that is making you unhappy in your relationship. Sometimes issues can be very serious and we look at core themes that continue, over time, to cause unhappiness and tension.

On the other hand your relationship may in fact be quite healthy and happy, but there are a couple of areas of stress. Good relationships can hit obstacles and coming for counselling at this point can help to resolve the difficulties there and then, before they start to brew and become more entrenched.

If more couples went for counselling, before things reached the serious stage, less marriages would end up in divorce.

Same Sex Relationships

There is not a lot to say here as same sex relationships experience the same problems that heterosexual relationships do. I have seen many same sex couples for counselling and I do not do anything differently.

I have had several single homosexual clients and have taken the opportunity to learn from them. I have in fact asked ‘are your relationships different?’ The responses have been varied. Some say no, some say a little and some say, yes they are very different.

One client said that if you are mixing in the club/party drug community, then the rate of infidelity is higher. Another client mentioned that long term relationships are pretty similar, with possibly a slightly higher degree of relationship breakdown.

Zetland Psychotherapy is located in an area of Sydney where there is a large homosexual community. Everywhere you go you see same sex couples and to me they look like everyone else. They do their grocery shopping, go to the local pubs and most likely have the same ups and downs as everyone else.

If you are experiencing issues in your relationships, even if you are engaged in risky sexual behaviour and are becoming concerned, you will be received with acceptance and a non-judgemental attitude. My role is to assist you work out how best to deal with your situation and your concerns.

Contemplating Separation

Maybe things are starting to become just too hard. Perhaps the ratio of bad to good days, months or years is becoming too negatively weighted. Maybe the levels of tension and conflict in the house are becoming unbearable and the children are being affected.

Perhaps you have already been to several relationship therapists and nothing seems to have worked. Maybe it feels like the end. There is a time in every relationship to think about if the situation is really viable. It takes a lot of work to keep a long term relationship happy and stable. It takes even more effort to try to rescue a relationship that feels bad.

So, maybe a separation is a good option. Maybe this will be temporary, maybe it will be permanent. Either way, separating can be done in a manner that minimises pain for both of you and your children, if you have any.

I once heard someone say “better a good separation than a bad marriage”. By law married couples can only get divorced after being separate for a year. This, is a way of ensuring that couples have the opportunity to do everything that they can to try to restore the relationship. But if you cannot, I am able to assist you with your separation and talk through the best way to go about this.

This can sometimes be about practicalities or discussing arrangements for the children. Doing it this way is a lot cheaper and more user friendly than going to lawyers.