Couples Counselling

What is couples therapy?

Research shows that couples who participate in therapy generally report higher relationship satisfaction levels. So, what is couples therapy and how does it work?

Is there an issue in your relationship that you don’t know how to solve? Or perhaps your union is lacking in intimacy and you aren’t sure how to rekindle the spark you once had? Couples therapy can help. 

Couples therapy (sometimes called relationship counselling) is the process of enhancing communication between two partners with the support of a fully trained and qualified professional.

Couples therapy gives you and your partner an equal opportunity to discuss your issues with a neutral, trained and qualified psychotherapist present. Whether you decide to stay lovingly together or to part ways with dignity, I can help. 

Partnership can be one of the most stressful and challenging areas of life. Many couples also feel as if they should be able to cope alone. However, couple therapy and relationship counselling can provide a much-needed opportunity to take some ‘time out’ together with facilitation and support.

Some couples may seek out marriage and relationship counselling because they have reached a crisis point and require acute couples counselling. Other couples simply need space to talk, to have room to talk about the things that daily life and busyness does not allow for.

Many couples face complex challenges, such as a general breakdown in communication, chronic arguing and conflict that may lead to a loss of control, shame and guilt, loss of emotional and physical intimacy, financial tensions, feelings of betrayal, an inability to make mutual decisions, cross-cultural issues, connections and tensions with family overseas, step-families, multi cultural as well as relocated families.

Such challenging issues often arise in the complex everyday that couples and families face, so therapy can be an invaluable space in which to gain perspective, to relate to each other clearly once again, and to create constructive paths forward.

Who and what is couples therapy for?

There are a multitude of reasons you might access couples therapy, and there is no ‘correct’ time to seek help. 

Reasons you might attend couples therapy include:

  • The discovery of infidelity
  • A bereavement
  • Conflict and arguments
  • Financial problems
  • Communication breakdown
  • Other challenges

Cultural challenges

  • Financial struggles that impact the relationship
  • Disagreement over parenting
  • Addiction within the relationship
  • Parenting disagreements
  • Sexual misalignment 
  • Potential divorce
  • Moving countries
The Big 4

Having worked as a couple’s therapist since 2004, I have come to notice four major components that cause a relationship to dismantle.

The big 4 in a coupledom are usually;
Sex, power, money and culture. 


Someone once said “Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” I have seen how sexual questions in the relationship can pull the dynamics totally off track. Infidelity is one dynamic, a leakage of physical, emotional intimacy and trust. A “simple” sexual act can blow up the entire household, bringing the house of cards tumbling down. 

As a relationship grows, so can sexual identity and needs. Perhaps a partner goes from heterosexual orientation, to bravely wanting to step into bisexuality or same-sex interests. 

At other times, partnerships may open the closed doors of a monogamous way of living, and which to safely let other sexual partners and games begin. 

Illness, stress, work and diffuse displeasure with life can bring about sexual frustrations and a lull in intimacy. Once I heard a woman shout at her partner “I get too little from you, your dick included.” His retorted response “I get way too much of your consistent nagging, and have given up on fucking you.” Such tensions require immediate counselling and support, helping the rupture heal and the couple to grow. 


Is one partner considered ‘The Boss’ in your relationship? Is there an obvious power imbalance that is causing resentment? Does power shift from one partner to another after indiscretions, then get earned back over time? Perhaps one of you feels they can’t speak up, or isn’t able to contribute to important household decisions. It’s important that each partner feels valued and important within their relationship, creating a balanced equality. By exploring power dynamics, I can help to create a more fulfilling equilibrium. 


There are several ways that money might affect your relationship. It could be that you are financially struggling, and have debt (or hidden debt) causing challenges. Another issue is that you might fundamentally disagree on how money should be spent, or spend money in a way that your partner doesn’t like or agree with. Money can also cause a power imbalance. If one person earns more than the other, or if one person is staying home to raise children and therefore is dependent on the earner for money, resentments can sneak up on both of you. 

Communicating about money issues and coming to a clearer understanding of each other’s values is a positive step towards a more equal and respectful relationship. 


Cultural disagreements can be incredibly challenging because our culture is part of our individual identity. Your identity and your lived experiences make you who you are. The same can be said of your partner. But if your backgrounds are different you might find that this influences your current relationship dynamic. You may also have added cultural pressures such as connections and tensions with family overseas, the challenges that come with step-parenting / blended families, or family relocation. These issues are not impossible to overcome, and are most likely to be resolved with the help of couples counseling. 

Will couples counseling save my relationship? 

It can and I am here to do just that.  I have helped many couples come together again after serious betrayals. 

Going a bit deeper to answering this very common question though, is that you get back what you give out. Whatever is happening within your relationship, I can help you to unpack the problems and find a more thoughtful way forward. But, I can only take you as far as you want to go. There needs to be an opening from you to let me in and then, working together, we can go far.

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”

What can be guaranteed, with just a few couples therapy sessions, is that you will both have a more intimate understanding of one another, and a much clearer view on where the relationship is going. 

Acute Couples Counselling Buy a bundle and make a saving! Couples Counselling Feedback from Clients Psychotherapy

Get a free 15 min. conversation

Asking for help is an important start to the therapeutic process – all it takes is a free 15 minute conversation.

When you think about booking your first therapy appointment, you are likely to ask yourself some common questions. Some of these might be; 

  • How do I know if this problem can be helped by therapy?
  • How am I supposed to act / behave in therapy – what is expected of me?
  • What are Mark’s credentials
  • Is online or in-person therapy best for me?
  • Should I book couples therapy or individual psychotherapy?

While reading can be useful, you have specific questions about your personal circumstances that need my attention – which is where a free 15 minute conversation comes in. 

What happens during your free 15 min. conversation?

This conversation is an opportunity for you to explore the following:

  • Why you are considering therapy
  • How you’d like to work (i.e. online or in-person and how often)
  • What you’d like to achieve

The conversation will happen via phone and I will ask you open questions about your circumstances, goals and challenges. You will also have the opportunity to ask me questions too. You might want to know more about my background, approach, preferred way of working, and also what is expected of you as a client. 

There is no right or wrong way to use this time

 Ultimately, the goal should be a sense of clarity on whether or not therapy with me will be the right path for you. To get the most out of the conversation, please ensure that you are in a quiet and confidential environment. If you are accessing a conversation as a couple, please ensure both parties are present for the call. 

After this no-obligation conversation, you’ll be able to decide on a direction forwards, having been given all the information. 

Why is such a conversation important?

A 15 minute conversation allows us to begin our therapeutic relationship. Like with any relationship, there has to be a period of getting to know each other which is what this conversation is for. The advantages of doing this are:

  • By the time our first session commences, you’ll already have an early sense of who I am. I will have a beginning of an understanding of why you are accessing therapy
  • It equips me with the knowledge about what kind of therapy you might benefit from, so that I can prepare and plan for our sessions
  • You will feel more comfortable when therapy begins because you’ll know what is expected from you, and what to expect from me / therapy
  • You’ll have a better understanding of terms like ‘therapy subscription’ and ‘24 hour access’ in the therapeutic context
  • You’ll have received clear details about time limits, confidentiality, the ‘online environment’ (if applicable) and payment options including special offers, which frees us up to talk about what really matters during our sessions
  • You’ll gain clarity on what kind of commitment you want to make