Services of Couples
It can be significantly challenging for people to come to relationship therapy, as it can feel like you are exposing a very private part of your life to an external party. It can also be difficult to admit to yourself or your partner that you need help with your relationship. For most people, their relationship with their partner has a huge impact on day-to-day life, happiness and sense of self. So, even though it can be challenging for both partners, it can also be hugely rewarding to improve this area of life.
You do not need a referral from a GP to seek relationship counselling, and it is not subsidised by Medicare, however some private health insurance funds may offer rebates (check with your fund).
Some couples prefer to have separate individual sessions prior to commencing joint sessions, in order to become comfortable with the psychologist and so that they can have time to formulate what they want out of therapy. However, this is not a requirement of commencing couples therapy.
Usually the first session is about establishing the reasons for seeking therapeutic intervention, understanding the individuals within the relationship and establishing the goals and values of the couple. The remaining sessions are about implementing treatment through open discussion, skills training, and increasing connection and engagement in the relationship. Naturally, couples are encouraged to practice these new skills and behaviours at home between sessions.