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Couples Counselling

Couples Counselling

Couples Counselling by a Psychologist

Resolving conflict can be hard

We all would probably list love as one of the main ingredients of a happy life. Yet relationships, for all their potential, can be an arena where we act out old, destructive patterns of behaviour, bring up our insecurities, and communicate ineffectively. Couples counselling can be undertaken to improve or strengthen a relationship that is under stress.

If you recognise some of the following, you may benefit from couples counselling:

  • Frequent petty fights and conflict
  • Drifting apart and having nothing to say to each other any more
  • Lack of intimacy, both physical and emotional
  • Struggling to build a cohesive unit in blended families
  • Infidelity and lack of trust
  • Allowing outside influences such as in-laws or work to impact on the relationship
  • Vastly different views on parenting

Couples Counselling Helps You To:

  • Improve communication
  • Learn and practice effective problem-solving techniques
  • Explore and encourage ways to connect better
  • Learn to fulfill each other’s needs better
  • Strengthen cohesion and commitment
  • Get along better as a family
  • Build a shared vision for the future

There is a choice at Rose Park. You can do single 1 hour sessions with one of our psychologists, or you can sign up for the more structured approach of Gottman.

Gottman Method

The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

Jill Wiltshire and Dr Marie Georgopoulos utilise a research-based, structured approach to couples counselling derived from the Gottman Method. Some of the advantages of this method are that it enables a couple to disengage from conflict, look at how they can constructively learn new skills and take a different approach to future conflicts.

Gottman offers a structured and comprehensive review of your relationship and provides a framework for change. You will be expected to book a 1.5 hour appointment with your partner, complete an assessment, both see the psychologist individually for an hour and then have another joint appointment. Then you take it from there. If you or your partner are uncertain about the need for this approach, you can do relationship counselling just one hour at at time making an appointment with one of our psychologists. Paul Greeff integrates some aspects of the Gottman approach into hourly sessions for couples.

Couples Counselling at Rose Park Psychology 

Our psychologists’ approach to relationship counselling is influenced by both the Gottman Method for Couples Counselling and the Emotion-focused approach. The Gottman Method is based on 40 years of research examining characteristics of successful relationships. The research followed more than 3500 couples. They were able to predict with great accuracy, whether a marriage/relationship would survive or have ended after 6 years. This research informed the theory of relationship functioning which underpins the Gottman Method. You will learn new ways of approaching problems.

Emotion-focused couples counselling focuses on exploring and understanding the emotional experience each person has within a relationship. We aim to help couples deepen connectedness, improve communication, and build trust. The process involves clarifying the emotional experience of each partner, exploring needs and expectations, and helping devise new ways of resolving conflicts.

Couples Counselling and Health Rebates

Many GPs are reluctant to refer for couples counselling under a Mental Health Care Plan, because Medicare is for health problems not for relationship issues. If you feel that relationship difficulties contribute to mental health issues you are experiencing, you could discuss that with your GP. As stated, however, many GPs will not create a Mental Health Care Plan for this service. This means that most people cannot access Medicare rebates for couples counselling.

However, many private health funds offer cover for couples counselling under extras, so a portion of your couples counselling may be covered by your private health provider. We offer HICAPS facilities on site. Please check with your health fund for information about your refund, as we are unable to tell you ahead of time what your cover will be.

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