Counselling and General Issues

Following are the answers to some questions you might be having in relation to your partner. We offer counselling for individuals and couples, and even if your partner can’t/won’t attend counselling, coming to an individual counselling session yourself can also be very beneficial as the counsellor will work in partnership with you to understand your situation and assist you to find ways to manage it more effectively.

Book an Appointment

For more information or to make an appointment please call us on 1300 364 277.

My Partner and I Aren't Communicating

Effective communication is essential to a loving and stable relationship and is also a valuable tool for stressed or broken relationships.

Talking through your disagreement can be helpful as long as it is done in a mutually respectful manner. Think about the points you would like to express then allocate time to talk about the issue.  This should be done when you both feel calm- never angry. 

It is important to ask questions about the other person’s point of view to gain insight on why they feel different to you.  It is equally as important to share your own perspective to ensure your needs are not being compromised.  Using ‘I’ statements to communicate your feelings can be useful as they are much less confrontational then ‘you’ statements.

Other communication tips include:

  1. Allowing time for both people to speak- avoid interrupting
  2. Consider your use of tone, volume and language when expressing yourself
  3. Clarify what the other person has said to make sure you’re on the same page
  4. Use eye contact and/or open body language to show you are listening and are interested in what the other person has to say
  5. Display empathy towards your partner and their feelings

Counsellors can provide assistance to couples and individuals who are experiencing communication difficulties.  To make a counselling appointment or to see what education programs are available near you please call 1300 364 277.

My Partner is Having an Affair

Infidelity can bring about a rollercoaster of emotions. Some couples find it impossible to reconcile after an affair, while others try to work through their issues.  Rebuilding trust is often a long-term process which needs a commitment to the relationship from both you and your partner.

You may want to consider counselling to discuss your feelings and to gain an understanding of yourselves, your situation and your needs. 

Counselling can help couples to:

  • Prepare for changes in a relationship
  • Address sexual concerns
  • Understand the relationship they have
  • Discuss what they feel about each other now
  • Decide what they are prepared to do to make it work
  • Discover why they chose each other in the first place
  • Understand how they contributed to whatever their relationship has become
  • Deal with the pain of when relationships change or end.

The role of counselling is to provide non-judgmental support and guidance. It is important to note that counsellors do not take sides or encourage couples to stay together or to separate.  If you would like to book a counselling appointment, please contact 1300 364 277

My Partner Needs Counselling But Won't Go. What Do I Do?

Trying to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do may cause them to dig their heels in and resist your best efforts. A tip for influencing your partner in a respectful and more effective way is to use the DARN principle:-

Desire – what is it that they want?

Ability – what are they able to do right now?

Reason – what is the reason for attending the course / counselling?

Need – how could it help to get their needs met? (E.g. a need may be for a more satisfying and intimate relationship)

DARN will sound less like giving advice to your partner, and more like gentle conversation.

Learn about what your partner wants, and their unmet needs. Then explore with them how the counselling or course may benefit them. This approach may increase their motivation to attend counselling or the course but it might also be helpful to consider your needs and coping. 

If you are in need of support please feel to contact 1300 364 277

My Partner is Abusive

If you or someone else is in danger right now call 000

Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected in their relationship.  Healthy relationships are ones where: 

  • You make decisions together
  • You are accepting of differences and can compromise when needed
  • You have your own space- you don’t have to do everything together
  • You have contact with friends and family
  • You feel comfortable and safe with your partner
  • You respect your partner, and she/ he respects you.
  • You can communicate openly and honestly
  • There is no abuse or violence

Unhealthy relationships may include physical violence and/or sexual violence.  Verbal, emotional, social, and financial abuse also has a devastating impact which takes an emotional and physical toll on the individual and family system. It is important to remember that using violence is a choice- there is never any excuse for abusive behaviours. 

Telling someone about the abuse is a big decision. There are a range of services available to support and listen to you, not judge you.  This includes crisis services and health professionals. Relationships Australia is one of the services who can provide ongoing counselling support and education programs.  We offer Domestic Violence Support services.

I Think My Partner is Depressed or Anxious

Mental health conditions such as clinical depression can only be diagnosed by a General Practitioner or Psychiatrist. If you feel your partner is acting differently recently, the following may be helpful:

  • Let them know you have noticed a change in their behaviour
  • Listen to them without being judgemental
  • Try to be patient and reassuring
  • Encourage healthy eating and exercise even though they may not feel up to it
  • Encourage their interests/activities which used to make them feel calm or happy
  • Discourage the use of illicit drugs or alcohol
  • Suggest that they see their doctor or other health professional

You may feel worried or concerned about their well-being and not know how best to help them.  Caring for a loved one with depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns can at times, feel overwhelming.  It can also take a toll on your relationship so it's important to look after yourself too.

It may be helpful to talk to someone about how you're feeling and how you’re coping. Relationships Australia offers individual and couples counselling and can be contacted on 1300 364 277.