A couple holding hands.

Many people experience conflict in their relationship at some point. When communication breaks down or issues become stuck or remain unresolved, this may lead to a lack of trust, resentment and/or pain. Often partners find a way to work through issues on their own but sometimes it can helpful to have the support of a neutral person.

Common problem areas that bring people to relationship counselling include:

  • Frequent and/or repeated arguments about the same issue(s): conflict about family members, finances, career or future life direction.
  • Adjusting to new life circumstances: e.g. cohabitation, coming out, pregnancy, infertility, empty nest syndrome or moving house.
  • Unfulfilled emotional needs: feeling hurt, unheard, resentful or neglected.
  • Challenges with emotional and/or sexual intimacy.
  • Trust issues: sexual or emotional infidelity.
  • Feeling stuck or trapped, having lost enthusiasm for the relationship.
  • Considering ending or seeking support to end the relationship.

Relationship counselling helps to facilitate an open and honest environment for people to share feelings, address concerns and find ways to solve problems and achieve personal and relationship goals. Through counselling, people are supported to develop better ways of relating to each other, to develop or improve intimacy and enhance connection. Counselling can highlight misunderstandings in communication between partners. It can offer a new perspective and teach strategies for improving communication. Each partner’s active participation is vital for successful therapy.

The process of relationship counselling may explore: the way in which you engage in repetitive fighting, the impact of your upbringing (cultural and attachment styles) and family of origin on your current relationship style and expectations, how you both express intimacy needs and how you can co-create a loving partnership. Through relationship therapy you can learn about your relationship habits, develop strategies for developing new communication styles which increase your ability to listen and be listened to and discover the steps for improving relationship satisfaction.

While many people attend relationship counselling to improve their connection, some attend for assistance in managing the painful process of ending a relationship. People are neither encouraged to stay together nor to leave, but to address issues and communicate their needs to be able to make their own choices.

With a commitment to diversity and inclusion, I specifically provide relationship counselling for LGBTIQ and cross-cultural partnerships. Understanding that relationships are broader than romantic attachments, I am also available to work with adult siblings and platonic friends.

“Melinda had the practical techniques and personal skills to guide us through a process of understanding the dynamics of our lives together. It’s as if we both had a witness. I felt so relieved to be able to be listened to. We learned a lot about ourselves that we could never have done on our own. Now we can get on with our lives with more confidence and awareness”. Janet, 51

Families come in many forms

Whether you are single, partnered, a single parent or part of an extended family network, including chosen family, you will have some experience of family. Families go through many transitions relating to common life events but more direct threats to family functioning such as separation, blended families, death and/or family secrets can change the structure of families and lead people to seek help.