Psychologists Sydney / Relationship Counselling

Relationship Marriage Counselling

Associated Counsellors is a leading provider of relationship counselling services. We can help you choose the right counsellor.

Sydney’s leading network of marriage & relationship counsellors in private practice.
Locations across the greater Sydney area. Book with one call.
Professionally registered practitioners with an average of 10+ years clinical experience.

On this page you can learn more about how couple counselling can help and how it works. You can also read about how our unique service connects you with the right relationship counsellor.

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Most long-term couples will at some point experience periods of conflict, anger, mistrust or a break down in communications. For many couples, it can be frightening to realise that the old ways of communicating are no longer working.
Such failure to communicate and resolve core issues can then lead to loss of trust, feelings of resentment, repeated arguments and loss of the couples intimacy and sex life. Relationship counselling provides an environment where communication is facilitated to help couples express their needs and to learn the skills to resolve their conflict. Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD

Common relationship concerns

Common problem areas that bring people to marriage or relationship counselling include:

  • Frequent arguments, or a repeated argument about the same issue(s).
  • Differences in sexual needs, lack of sexual connection or other difficulties with sexual intimacy.
  • Affairs/sexual infidelity.
  • Lack of trust or jealousy.
  • Conflicts about children or family members.
  • A feeling of disconnectedness from ones partner.
  • Unfulfilled emotional needs, feeling hurt, angry, neglected or disrespected.
  • Conflicts about children or family members.
  • Conflicts about financial or career matters.
  • Conflicts about gambling, addictions or other behaviours.

All these can be examples of the sorts of issues which, if unresolved, can lead to frustration, conflict and bitterness between partners.

These problems can start in a relationship because of a personality or character conflict, because of an external change (for example the birth of a first child or a change in the finances of the couple), or because of the actions of one or both of the partner’s (eg infidelity, lack of communication, angry outbursts).

Many couples also choose to attend pre-marriage counselling to learn about each other and prevent future conflict.

How couple counselling works

The aim of couple counselling is to help partners who are stuck in patterns of conflict to find ways of communicating with each other, to decide how to solve their problems and to achieve their goals. The therapist will help the couple discuss their thoughts and feelings, in order to help them gain a better understanding of their own, and each others position.

Couple therapists will begin by listening to each partner’s view of the relationship and their perceived problems or issues. Sometimes the therapist will seek information about the history of the relationship or the partner’s personal histories. Often the therapist is able to highlight misunderstandings in the couple’s communication. This process itself motivates a change in the way each partner feels and behaves toward the other.

Often the therapist will also offer a new perspective on the issues at hand or suggest a direction for treatment to help both partners achieve their goals. This may include the teaching of strategies to help improve communications. Each partner’s active participation is vital in promoting the success of the therapy.

Sex therapy

Many couples come to counselling complaining of ongoing struggles in their sex life. For most couples, these sexual issues are a symptom of general relationship problems. It may be that there is less affection in the relationship than there used to be, that stress has increased, or that there are some anxieties about sex itself. Most of these concerns can be addressed by your couple counsellor and most couples find that sexual issues resolve once the intimacy in the relationship is restored.

For some couples sexual dysfunction or sexual issues predominate even though the couple is closely bonded and in love. Sex therapy can help when you have an otherwise functional relationship in which sexual dysfunction is the only problem. If required a couple therapists can also refer you on to a Sex Therapist.

Family counselling

Children are another common factor in the decision to seek couples counselling, and are often affected psychologically by the problems which may bring people to couple therapy. However children are not present in couples counselling, which focuses on the relationship between the two partners. Therapy which includes children or other family members is called Family Therapy. If the therapist feels that Family Therapy would be beneficial they will refer the couple for such treatment.

Why Associated Counsellors

In engaging any professional service you should ensure that your service provider is qualified and accredited. Counselling is no exception. Professional counselling is a skill that requires a high degree of training. Couples counselling is again another area of specialisation within that discipline.

In trusting your relationship to a third party, you should ensure that your counsellor has appropriate qualifications , has experience specifically in relationship counselling and that they are registered with a relevant professional association such as:

– the Australian Psychological Society,
– the Australian Association of Social Workers or
– a Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia member body.

Our network of couples counsellors adhere to all of these standards.

If you would like to book a consultation with a qualified couples therapist, or would like to discuss treatment options and obtain further advice please contact Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney

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Counsellor Reviews

I don’t usually write reviews but I was so impressed with Counselling Sydney I had to. They took such great care of my husband and me and really made us feel calmer about this whole process during the phone call. I'm confident they will find us the right counsellor. Great effort!

Tyson B April 6, 2022

I can’t lie, I was a bit sceptical when my boyfriend suggested we use Counselling Sydney to find ourselves a therapist. They proved me wrong however and were so fast in getting back to us! Props to their customer service team for truly listening to what we needed!

Esther H April 6, 2022

Counselling Sydney is great if you want to save yourself hours of research finding a therapist that fits you best. They are super-efficient with their questioning and require minimal paperwork, yet I feel confident the counsellor they recommended to my wife and me is very suitable.

Tobias D April 6, 2022

My husband and I both decided our marriage was in dire need of counselling. We wanted a therapist close by to our house. Counselling Sydney was able to provide us with some great counsellors within our area after only a short phone call. They were super professional and very accommodating to our needs and we will definitely be recommending them to others.

Carlos K April 6, 2022

Counselling Sydney’s team went above and beyond for my husband and me and made what could have been an awkward experience, super smooth. One phone call and form later and our first appointment was today. Thanks!.

Suzie M April 6, 2022

I have had some bad experiences finding counsellors in the past so I wanted to make sure the counsellor I found for my girlfriend and I was good the first time around. Counsellors Sydney asked a few key questions and was able to find us a suitable candidate that totally fit the bill. Very impressed with the attention to detail of this team.

Jaida N April 6, 2022

My wife wanted to change counsellors but neither of us had the energy to actually spend time looking for a counsellor so it was great when we found Counselling Sydney. They found us plenty of options and we didn’t have to take more than an hour out of our day to explain what we needed. Great Job.

Darryl B April 6, 2022

My girlfriend put it to me to find us a couples counsellor but I know nothing about this stuff. An internet search later, Counselling Sydney gave me a call to ask a few questions, sent us a form to fill out and had us options within days. Really speedy process, and super easy to understand.

Geordie K April 6, 2022

My husband and I came across Counselling Sydney when doing our own research for a counsellor and thought we would give them a try. They are super-efficient both in their questioning and time management and we were booked into our first session within the week. The customer service team really goes above and beyond!

Kathrin L April 6, 2022

My partner and I just moved to Sydney and needed a new relationship counsellor to cope with all the changes moving brought. A friend recommended we try using Counselling Sydney to speed up the process. One phone call and a form was all they needed from us and it saved us hours of doing our own research. They found us plenty of great recommendations and supported us through the entire process, we felt very supported.

Elanora W April 6, 2022

Marriage counselling may have helped save my marriage if we'd gotten it, but we didn't. We rang them for "post-marriage counselling" in hopes it will make co-parenting easier and that we might actually be able to be friends again. Associated Counsellors put us in touch with a counsellor who has a great track record with this sort of counselling. Only giving four stars because we haven't had our first session yet.

Mike H. December 9, 2021

Lockdown has been tough and my husband and I decided to get ahead of some problems. Things that we used to just let through to the keeper were blocking us. Spoke to someone at Associated Counselling Sydney who made me feel really good about reaching out before things got worse. They put us in touch with someone wo I really think can help us. Fingers crossed we get a good result.

Jasmine H. December 9, 2021

We didn't want a divorce, but didn't want to stay together fighting all the time. When I explained this to ACS they quickly gave me confidence that they would be able to provide a counsellor who could help. I was really relieved to hear that our kind of bickering is actually pretty common for couples. We opted to see a counsellor a few suburbs over so as to not bump into anyone from our children's school in the waiting room.

Hermione K. December 9, 2021

I rang ACS to speak to someone about anger management counselling and after talking with them, I realised marriage counselling would be a logical part of the process too. I am going to do 6 sessions of anger counselling, with the view to starting marriage counselling after that.

Frank O. December 9, 2021

We found our marriage counsellor through this site. We had some specific things we needed help working through and the rep from the site put us in touch with therapists who really were specialists in their area.

Nellie F. December 9, 2021

For reasons of our own, my husband and I decided to get marriage counselling. We both rang ACS and were happy with the process and started with our new counseller next week.

Jane C. December 9, 2021

Marriage Counselling – Your Questions Answered

  • What is the success rate of marriage counselling?

    On average marriage counselling helps around 80% of couples achieve a satisfying and connected relationship (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy). The degree of unhappiness you feel in your marriage doesn't influence the likelihood of success of counselling ( ).

    Most important to the outcome is the ability of both partners to connect with the marriage counsellor, both partners willingness to come to therapy and an openness to learning about themselves. All of these factors greatly improve your chances of success.

    An openness to working on the techniques recommended by the counsellor outside the therapy room will also impact the overall success you experience as an individual and as a couple.

  • Can marriage counselling help after there has been an affair?

    An affair can leave both partners feeling like their entire world has collapsed but it is important to know that it is definitely possible for a relationship to recover. Counsellors are trained to help couples navigate these situations.

    The process requires the affair partner to truly understand the impact it has had and to develop patience to continue offering support and repair to the injured party. Understanding why the affair has happened is also essential to moving forward and a counsellor can help you to explore this. Most importantly, your counsellor will be able to help you learn how to rebuild broken trust and in doing so, strengthen your relationship.

  • Can counselling help my marriage?

    It can! According to studies cited by the American Psychological Society, it is shown to be effective for approximately 75% of couples. It helps to improve their communication, increase intimacy, better their support network between one another and reduce conflict (

    Your counsellor will provide a safe and neutral space where you can both express your concerns and expectations within the relationship and will facilitate your learning to build on this understanding through teaching you techniques that can be implemented outside the therapy room to promote more positive behaviours and outcomes.

  • Is couples counselling covered by Medicare?

    Unfortunately, no. Medicare does not offer a rebate for couples/marriage counselling. Some private health funds do offer rebates and so it is best to check with your fund.

  • How much does marriage counselling cost?

    The fee can vary dependent on the counsellor you see, but generally couples/marriage counselling ranges between $180 - $250 per 50-60 minute session. This depends on the location, experience and demand for the practitioner you choose to work with.

  • Can therapy make my relationship worse?

    This is extremely rare, but the counselling experience is different for everyone and therefore the impact of counselling on relationships will be varied from one couple to the next. To answer simply, there is no way to pinpoint whether therapy is the cause of your relationship worsening, however, we have provided some important considerations to bear in mind when you are attending counselling:

    1. There is no quick fix and dependent on the issues you are bringing to counselling it can take time with some sessions being more progressive or ‘successful’ than others.

    2. Couples counselling requires an open mind from both parties, remember, you are there to discuss concerns and/or issues within the relationship which can often be sensitive or upsetting.

    3. Your counsellor is there to facilitate difficult conversations while remaining neutral and objective, however, in some instances, they may offer new or different perspectives. It is important to remember, they are not trying to be judgemental or point blame, this is simply them offering a new way of thinking about the situation.

    4. Not every counsellor will be right for you. It is important you feel comfortable with your therapist and have a general likeability toward them as this may impact your perception of any questions they ask or guidance that they offer.

    5. In some cases couples decide to separate after counselling, however, this is not considered a failure if both parties have come to a joint understanding about their decision and if they are able to separate amicably.

  • Is there any free marriage counselling available?

    You can contact your local church or university as they may have free services available. Alternatively, Relationships Australia offers lower-fee counselling which is scaled depending on your joint level of income.

  • Is it too late for marriage counselling?

    On average people wait for six years whilst dissatisfied in their relationship before seeking counselling according to relationship and marriage expert Dr. John Gottman.

    Counselling can support you through any stage of your relationship including separation, providing both people are willing to attend. The only time we suggest that marriage counselling may no longer be an option is when someone has said that they no longer wish to continue the relationship and will not consider therapy.

    While this can be frustrating or upsetting for the partner, unfortunately, this is usually an indication that therapy will not be effective as one party has no intention of rekindling the relationship. The other indication that counselling is not suited is if there is significant violence or control from a partner who refuses to seek help.

  • Can I go to marriage counselling on my own?

    Absolutely. It is common for people to attend counselling on their own to discuss any concerns or issues within their marriage. This can also be a great alternative for people if their partner has expressed they do not want to attend counselling.

  • How many sessions will we need to see a difference?

    It will vary from couple to couple and depend on the depth of the issues bringing you to counselling but the average number of sessions couples find the most benefit from is usually between 6 - 12 sessions and more for some couples.

  • How do I Stop Fighting with my Partner

    Firstly, understand that arguments are a normal part of a relationship, there is even evidence to suggest that conflicts within a relationship can be beneficial. However, there is a big difference between healthy arguments and unhealthy or unproductive arguments. 

    If you’re constantly fighting with your partner, it’s important to learn how to have more of the former and less of the latter. Communication is key, and you may need to unlearn past communication strategies and learn newer, healthier ways to communicate with your partner. 

    Once communication issues are addressed, most couples find that they fight less, or stop fighting over the same unresolved issues repeatedly. Relationship counselling can help you discover better ways to communicate with one another and move past the constant fights.

  • How often do couples fight?

    It varies, some couples may fight often while others rarely fight. What’s right or normal in one partnership may be considered abnormal in another. As such, there’s no universal answer to this question.

    What is known, though, is that healthy relationships involve healthy conflict and a certain level of resolution. That is, some couples argue ‘well’ while others struggle, ending up in the same old arguments time and time again. Or constantly bickering and hurting each other. 

    If fighting is taking a toll on your relationship, it’s time to consider some professional help. A counsellor can teach you and your partner the communication strategies you need to have healthy arguments and break the cycle of negativity.