Marriage Counselling – Couples Therapy – Relationship Counselling

Are you seeking good couples counselling in Parramatta or western Sydney?

  • Do you want help through a rough patch in your relationship?
  • Lost communication or emotional connection in your marriage?
  • Forever stuck in the same soul-destroying arguments?
  • Are you feeling betrayed or trapped?
  • Do you want an amicable separation while protecting your children?

Deciding to see an experienced marriage counsellor can be a daunting choice. Our team has the experience and expertise to help you resolve your relationship issues, no matter how complex they are.

Steps to couples counselling

1 Free consultation
On calling us, we make the process simple and easy for you. Our experienced Intake Counsellor will chat with you for up to 15 minutes free of charge.
2 Choice of therapists

The Intake Counsellor will listen and answer all your questions. This will help you make a well-informed decision about which couples counsellor is most suited for your situation.

3 Flexible hours and fees
Choose a time that suits you, including after hours. We also face-to-face or Skype. Generous concessions are available if there are financial difficulties.

Reach out for professional help today

Marriage is not a competition. Marriage is completion of two souls.

Choose your couples counsellor directly

Rebates and concessions may be available. Please enquire.


Click a calendar to book.

David Bridges

Director, Clinical Registered Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor

23Master of Counselling
$175 per session
Bridges Counselling Sydney (02) 9683 1444
Ralph Holwerda

Clinical Registered Counsellor and Supervisor

23Master of Counselling
$140-160 per session
Bridges Counselling Sydney (02) 9683 1444
William Fernandes

Clinical Registered Counsellor

23Master of Counselling
$130 per session
Bridges Counselling Sydney (02) 9683 1444
Jenny FitzGerald

Clinical Registered Counsellor

23Grad Dip EF Therapy
$130-150 per session
Bridges Counselling Sydney (02) 9683 1444
Christina Jonkhoff

Clinical Registered Counsellor

23Master of Counselling
$130-150 per session
Bridges Counselling Sydney (02) 9683 1444

Common questions about relationship counselling

What issues do you work with?

  • Affairs – working through the discovery and rebuilding trust
  • Anger management
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Complex, traumatic or unresolved past issues
  • Different expectations – personal, family and cultural
  • Domestic violence
  • Losing love and connection
  • Pre-marital preparation and counselling (Prepare/Enrich)
  • Parenting and stepfamily issues
  • Same-sex attraction
  • Separation, mediation and divorce
  • Sexual problems
  • Trust and addictions
Marriage counselling session

What happens in a first session of couples therapy?

The first session is a broad introduction where your marriage counsellor will ask some questions to gather information and understand your issues.

This is done in a balanced way so that all relevant issues are on the table. By the end of the first session, the landscape of issues will be clearer and some initial goals and plans agreed.


How do we stop getting stuck in arguments?

You may be always arguing over the smallest issues or domestic chores. Unresolved recurring issues can cause frustration and resentment to build up and negative cycles can develop. Relationship counselling can help couples work together to replace these negative cycles.

Do we attend marriage counselling together or separately?

It is ideal in most cases that couples attend the first session together, as it allows everything to be transparent. Sometimes, it may be better for one or both partners to first have an individual session.


What if my partner doesn’t want to attend couples therapy?

This happens. Our advice is to consider these options:

  • Are there ways to explain the process of counselling so that your partner sees a good reason to attend?
  • Would your partner prefer to have their own individual session first?
  • If your partner chooses not to attend, consider seeking individual therapy for yourself. This way, at least you get strategies for coping and creating change from your side.
  • Consider an option of online counselling through Skype, if your partner is away or busy.
  • Couples counselling is open to your partner if they change their mind later.

Should we see a male or female marriage counsellor?

Our answer is that it depends on what the couple prefers. Most couples don’t mind either way. If one partner has a preference for a male or female counsellor, we seek to honour that to ensure the best match.


Do we stay with the same couples counsellor?

Yes. Deeper changes may not occur until after a few sessions with the same counsellor. Even so, you always have the right to discuss and request a change of couples counsellor. We find that this rarely happens as our intake process ensures that you find a good match at the time of booking.


Do you offer marriage counselling that supports our background and beliefs?

We offer marriage therapy or marriage guidance that respects all backgrounds and beliefs. Our professional role is to be impartial, respectful and supportive. In our booking process, we offer those marriage counsellors who best match your needs.
We also offer counselling for Christians.

Saving and healing a relationship takes work. It depends on two partners capable and willing to being open and making a commitment to personal change, whatever it takes.

Can marriage counselling help?

Is couples counselling too late for us?

For some couples, what has happened in their relationship appears like a train wreck. Unfaithfulness, domestic violence or emotional abuse have destroyed connection and trust. This may have occurred over time or through traumatic events. There is no doubt about the huge damage.

Can too much emotional damage have occurred? It may be that the couple cannot continue to live together without further damage. The goal then becomes one of being respectful, amicable and self-controlled, while separated.

Is there hope for our relationships?

Whatever has happened, as marriage counsellors, we always look for hope. Saving and healing a relationship takes work. It depends on the partners’ willingness to be open and committed to personal change.kes.


Do you provide mediation?

Mediation assists separating couples to agree on parenting plans or financial agreements. Mediation can also help when relationships break down between family members or friends.

How may my own individual counselling for relationship problems help?

Individual counselling for relationship issues may help you:

  • to understand the impact of past relationships or your family of origin
  • to improve your reactions so that they are mindful, respectful and authentic
  • to find the assertiveness and courage to deal with an abusive relationship
  • to work through whether you wish to stay or go, especially if there has been serious abuse or betrayal
Individual counselling for relationship issues

Can you help us with our blended family?

Yes, indeed. Stepfamilies or blended families struggle with complex dynamics. Questions arise such as:

  • How do we work together as a team, as parents, when we have such different parenting styles?
  • How do I keep consistent boundaries, and be calm and assertive with a difficult ex-partner?

These are on top of the normal adjustments couples face in learning to live together. We can offer relationship counselling or family therapy alongside couples counselling.

Do you have a program to help us prepare for, or enrich, our marriage?

Our marriage counsellors run the Prepare/Enrich Program. It is a pre-marriage and marriage enrichment course that targets engaged couples or couples who wish to enrich their marriage.

How competent are your marriage counsellors?

Marriage counselling and family therapy is complex and specialised. Elisabeth Shaw writes about competency to practice:

Couple therapy and family therapy is quite commonly practised by therapists with little or no specific training. It seems to be thought that if one is individually trained, then it is not a great stretch to see other family members. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Issues surrounding relationships (violence and abuse, family law matters, sexual concerns, infidelity and other betrayals, severe attachment disruptions) all render this work highly complex and specialised.

How do you ensure a high level of competence in marriage counselling?

All our relationship counsellors have a Masters degree in Counselling, or the equivalent. We set a high bar for practice.

All our marriage counsellors:

  • have completed an integrated sequence of postgraduate course work in relationship therapy
  • have trained in couples work over a period of at least 12 months
  • have professional registration with ARCAP and PACFA
  • review their practice under the guidance of clinical supervisors experienced in couples work