Couples Therapy

Is your relationship requiring a check-up?

While trying to meet life’s competing demands (work, study, family, social life, health, finances) it’s easy to fall into habits, take short-cuts, make assumptions, take each other for granted and generally turn away from each other.

What is couples therapy?

Relationship therapy enables couples an opportunity to reassess and recalibrate together, creating a new focus on the things that are important in the here and now. Turning attention towards the strengths and challenges of a relationship and working towards creating a more loving, respectful and fulfilling partnership can make life’s demands more do-able, together!

What can we expect from couples therapy?

Initially, couples undergo a thorough assessment of what brings them to therapy, an oral history is taken, and identity of relationship strengths and problem areas are investigated. Individual bio-psycho-social assessments also take place. Couples will be required to complete an individual online questionnaire each (in their own time, which can take up to an hour to complete), known as the Gottman Relationship Check-up, in order for a full assessment and report to be generated.

Once the assessment phase is completed, verbal feedback and a full report and therapy planning will take place where we collaborate with couples on the areas of difficulty and a plan of how we might proceed. After the assessment phase, it varies by couple as to how many therapy sessions might be required.

What is the Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method is a research-based approach to couples therapy founded by clinical psychologists Drs John and Julie Gottman. Their method is built on 40 years of research and is designed to help teach specific tools to strengthen relationships, to manage conflict productively and to utilise dialogue in situations where couples become ‘gridlocked’ by perpetual issues.

Did you know that the way couples navigate conflict is a key determinant of whether that relationship will succeed longer term (1)? Gottman’s research on couples suggests that most conflicts (69%) are perpetual problems and unresolvable (2). Gottman therapy is designed to assist couples in navigating perpetual problems and be less stuck by them.

Gottman therapy focuses on three main components:

  1. friendship
  2. ability to manage conflict, and
  3. creating shared goals.

Gottman therapy may also be helpful where a betrayal has occurred, or relationship wounds are difficult to overcome. It is effective for both heterosexual and same-sex couples at various stages of a relationship(3).

More information can be found on the Gottman website.

What is the fee? Am I covered by Medicare?

Unfortunately, couple distress or discord is not a Medicare-rebated mental health disorder. 

Some private health providers will offer a rebate for couples seeing a clinical psychologist. We recommend checking with your private healthcare provider if rebates can be made available.

Our fees for couples therapy can be found here: Fee Schedule

Typical Couples Therapy Schedule

Duration: 90 Mins

Focus: Both individuals attend together for initial assessment.

Provided with Gottman Relationship Check-up online questionnaire (subsequent report to be provided)

Duration: 50 Mins

Focus: Each individual attends a 50min session seperately for follow-up assessment.

Duration: 90 Mins

Focus: Both individuals attend a feedback session and therapy planning.

Duration: 90 Mins

Focus: Both individuals attend therapy sessions

Information Summary

Couples Therapist: Renee Slym is a registered clinical psychologist trained to provide relationship therapy to LGBTQI and heterosexual couples and is certified in the Gottman Method.
Do I need a referral? No, a referral is not required
How many sessions will we need to attend? The number of sessions required will vary depending on the needs of the couple. Ms Slym will discuss a therapy plan after a thorough assessment.
How can I book my appointment? Bookings can be made by phone or email.