Marriage counselling (also called couples or relationship counselling) can help any two people who have made a long-term commitment to each other and need professional help to discuss their issues in a neutral and supportive environment. It is just as relevant for people in de facto or LGBTI relationships as it is for those in traditional marriages.
Couples seek counselling for a number of reasons including:
- Pre-nuptial counselling
- Cross-cultural relationships
- Family issues
- Affairs and betrayals
- Separation and divorce
Each member of the couple brings a unique set of values and beliefs inherited from their own families and developed throughout their separate lives. Sometimes these can be quite obvious (such as having different religions), but they can also be subtle and involve differing opinions on things like parenting, gender equality, finance, work or even football teams.
Over time, these differences can lead to misunderstandings, conflict, divided loyalties as well as feelings of resentment, isolation and so on.
How can Counselling help?
You don’t need to wait until problems arise before seeking marriage counselling. Many couples find it helpful to have pre-nuptial counselling as it provides an opportunity for them to consider the shape they want their relationship to take and also to prepare for any potential issues that could arise.
If you are experiencing relationship problems, a qualified counsellor can help you analyse them and work out when and how they started. What factors were involved? Were there differences in how you each viewed the situation? A counsellor will help you find ways to communicate openly and honestly without resorting to anger or blame. They can also involve any children or other people connected to the relationship in the counselling process, either individually or as a group.
Deciding whether or not to stay together is often a major issue. A marriage counsellor can help you find common ground to build from again or to work out how to separate in the least painful way.
How to find a Marriage Counsellor in Melbourne
One of the best ways to find a marriage counsellor in Melbourne is to browse through the list of professionals on the True Counsellor website. You can search by postcode and then refine your search by selecting ‘couples counselling’ in the ‘type of therapy’ field.
What to look for in a Counsellor
There are no official requirements for a relationship counsellor to have a particular qualification or level of training so it’s a good idea to check that they are experienced in working with couples in the True Counsellor profile listings. Some are also members of specific couples counselling organisations which may or may not be affiliated with variousreligions.
There are many marriage counsellors in Melbourne so it is important to pick one that best suits your needs. It helps to ring up and chat to a few before making a decision. Doing your homework first will help you find a counsellor whose values align with yours and will help give you confidence and trust in them.