- What does relationship and marriage counselling cost?
On average, our fees are between $180-$220 per 55-minute session, with some therapists offering longer sessions (up to 90-minutes) for a higher fee. In some circumstances, rebates may be available from your private health insurer if you have the relevant extras cover. You will need to confirm this with your insurer.
If you’re looking for subsidised or free counselling, organisations like Relationships Australia or Uniting Care might be able to help. Generally, relationship and marriage counselling are not free and any lower-cost options tend to have long waiting lists.
Please note, Medicare does not cover couples counselling.
- How do we prepare for couples counselling?
You don’t need to bring anything to your first couples counselling session or prepare in any specific way. Some couples will discuss the areas they want to work on or what they hope to get out of therapy prior to their first session but this isn’t essential. After you first session, some therapists might provide tasks for you to do at home before your next session.
- What happens in the first therapy session?
In the first session, your therapist will then take some time getting to know you, gathering information about your relationship history, family histories and the issues that brought you to counselling. The first session is very much focused on gathering and providing information so expectations are clear and the therapist can develop a deeper understanding of your background and concerns. They will also go over the boundaries and ground rules of counselling, including confidentiality, situations in which mandatory reporting is necessary (for example, in cases of child abuse), the methodologies used by the therapist and the cancellation policy.
- How many sessions are required?
There is no set number of sessions required for relationship therapy, but there are two main patterns. Many couples benefit from 2-3 sessions where issues are quickly brought to the surface and clarified. Other couples work for around 6 -12 sessions, or more. This tends to depend on the depth of the issues you want to resolve, the motivation of each member of the couple and the approach used by the therapist. Generally speaking, therapy can be very effective anywhere from 3 sessions or more sessions.
- How often do we need to come to therapy?
Most couples will often attend weekly at first and then drop back to fortnightly or monthly once they have made significant progress.
- How long are the sessions?
Sessions are usually 55-minutes in length. Some therapists find that better progress is made with longer sessions. They may offer you the option to have extended sessions which is usually 90-minutes.
- What if my partner doesn’t want to come to counselling with me?
If your partner is just a bit apprehensive about therapy, talk to them about their concerns. Usually, one partner is more enthusiastic about attending therapy than the other. This is normal. For many people the idea of revealing personal things in front of a stranger is daunting. Some people are also afraid that the therapist might take sides or criticise them. Reassure your partner that this isn’t the case. A professional relationship therapist will remain neutral and provide an open, safe and confidential space to help you work together for the benefit of your relationship.
While it’s ideal to attend couples counselling together, if one partner refuses to attend it is still worth seeking relationship help individually. You can gain useful skills in communication and conflict resolution that you can use to improve your relationship. Or you might gain a better understanding of your needs and how to express them.
Our counsellors can show you how