Marriage Counselling / Couples Therapy

Are you seeking good relationship 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?
  • Always 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 relationship counsellor can be a daunting choice. Our team has the experience and expertise to help you in resolving your issues, no matter how complex.

The process is simple and easy

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 who is most suited for your situation.

3 Flexible hours and fees

Choose a time that suits you, including after hours. Choose face to face or skype. We offer generous concessions if there are financial difficulties.

Counselling Can Save a Relationship

Ring us for a Free 15 minute Phone Consultation with a professional counsellor anytime from 9-5pm

Or Choose One of our Couple Counsellors Directly

Click a calendar to book.

David Bridges

David Bridges

Director, Clinical Registered Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor

15Master of Counselling
$170 per session
Ralph Holwerda

Ralph Holwerda

Clinical Registered Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor

15Master of Counselling
$130-150 per session

What are the common relationship problems we help couples with?

  • Affairs – working through the discovery and rebuilding trust
  • Anger management
  • Communication issues
  • 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 counselling
  • Separation, mediation and divorce
  • Sexual problems
  • Trust and addictions

Common questions about relationship counselling

What happens in a first session of couples counselling?

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

This is a balanced so that all relevant issues can be safely put 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. Or recurring issues like work, parenting, money, time, sex and lifestyle. When issues remain unresolved, frustrations get buried and accumulate, only to emerge later. Negative cycles develop. Relationship counselling can help couples work togetehr to replace these negative cycles.

Is marriage 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 gradually 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.

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.

Is there hope?

Whatever has happened, as couples counsellors, we always look for hope. 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.


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

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

Do we attend together or separately?

Most couples attend the first session together. In most cases, this is the ideal, as this way everything is on the table and 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?
  • Maybe your partner would 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.
  • Counselling is certainly open to your partner if they change their mind later.

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
  • improve your reactions so that they are mindful, respectful and authentic
  • find the assertiveness and courage to deal with an abusive relationship
  • work through whether you wish to stay or go, especially if there has been serious abuse or betrayal

Should we see a male or female couples counsellor?

Our answer is that it really depends on what the couple prefers. Most couples don’t mind. 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 counsellor. We find that this happens rarely as our intake process ensures that you find a good match at the time of booking.

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

Our marriage counsellors run the Prepare/Enrich Program. It targets couples who are engaged, or who simply wish to enrich their marriage.

Can you help us with our blended family?

Yes indeed. Step families 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.

Can mediation help me?

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.

Can any counsellor or psychologist do marriage counselling?

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

Couple 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 couples counsellors:

  • have completed an integrated sequence of postgraduate course work in couples 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

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