top of page

Relationship 
Counselling Lismore

In relationships, we can get a feeling we are growing apart, fighting, disliking each other, or not communicating. At the beginning of a relationship, we can’t wait to talk to our partner or see them. This can change over time if we do not learn the skills required to keep evolving our communication in a relationship. Relationship counselling offers a space first to discuss any issues or resentments that may have built up in a non-confrontational and non-blaming way.

 

Relationship counselling also explores ways to reignite the relationship, bringing back the fun and joy of being together and seeing each other. For couples counselling to work, there need to be a commitment from both people, to the counselling process.

AL2_7547-edit.jpg

Couples Counselling Northern Rivers

Lismore Relationship Counsellor Toni Steenson, offers a relationship counselling service (also known as relationship therapy, couples counselling, couples therapy or marriage counselling) for all couples, married, defacto, (residing or not residing together), same-sex couples and gay couples in the Northern Rivers areas (this includes Counselling in Lismore / Goonellabah, Wollongbar, Alstonville, Byron Bay, Evans Head, and Counselling near Ballina.)

Mobile

How to book

To get a sense of whether counselling is for you, you can call Toni to receive a complimentary 15-minute consult. If Toni can’t answer the phone, be sure to leave a message so she can call you back.

 

Phone 0466 629 424

Or contact Toni via email and she will organise a time to call you.

What is the process?

Relationship counselling aims to re-establish a meaningful connection between couples. Toni works with the Gottman Methods Couples Therapy approach (a science-based approach based on 30-plus years of research).

 

  • The first session is generally an information-building session and is done as a couple. It is a double session lasting for 90-100 minutes.

  • On the next visit, each partner will attend an individual counselling session to gather oral information on your personal history. Individual sessions are 50-minutes duration.

  • Next, the couple comes to therapy together, and the counselling process begins. This is also a 90 - 100-minute session to explore the strengths and weaknesses that were revealed through the earlier information gathering sessions so we can construct a clear way forward and your couples therapy is tailored to your specific needs.

  • All following couples therapy sessions are 50 minutes long and explore issues, problems, resentments, and fights while utilising your strengths as a couple; during this exploration, couples learn how to listen to each other and how to express themselves without blame and take responsibility for what is occurring for them.

  • During this process, we look at re-igniting the love, fun, joy and appreciation in the relationship. Depending on where each couple is at when they start relationship counselling, this process can vary in the time required, depending on the level of deterioration in the relationship and the level of commitment by both partners.

What to expect in a relationship counselling session

A general relationship counselling session starts with checking in on how everything is going and what has come up since our last session. Depending on what is brought to the session, Toni can guide you through different exercises. These exercises can involve talking and listening to each other with no holding back for fear of hurting another’s feelings, as well as learning how to de-escalate a situation, build shared goals and dreams, drop defensiveness, and the list goes on.

 

Couples counselling requires commitment, honesty and openness from both parties. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all explored because these things are what stand in the way of forming intimacy with each other in daily life.

 

At the end of a relationship therapy session, a debrief occurs to check in with both parties to see where they are at, and activities are given to complete/work on before your next couples therapy session. Sessions either occur online or in person and last for 50 minutes.

Wedding Rings

Frequently Asked Questions

Does relationship/marriage counselling work?

If both partners want to mend their relationship and both partners are willing to do their part of the heavy lifting in the repair of the relationship, couples therapy works. It takes the honesty, openness and the willingness of both partners.

Couples counselling, while not a guaranteed solution for all relationship issues, has been shown to be effective for many couples who are experiencing difficulties. Based on the information provided, here are several reasons why couples counselling can work:

  1. Skilled Guidance: Counsellors like Toni Steenson are trained in evidence-based methods such as the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which is a well-researched approach to improving relationships.

  2. Safe Environment: Counselling offers a neutral and safe space for both partners to express their feelings and concerns without judgment or confrontation.

  3. Communication Skills: Therapy helps couples learn how to listen to each other effectively and express themselves in a way that minimises blame and defensiveness.

  4. Conflict Resolution: Couples learn techniques to de-escalate arguments, address issues constructively, and work through unresolved conflicts.

  5. Renewed Connection: Counselling often focuses on reigniting the feelings of love, fun, joy, and appreciation that may have diminished over time.

  6. Personal Growth: Individual sessions within the couples therapy process allow each partner to understand their own history and how it affects the relationship, fostering personal growth and self-awareness.

  7. Commitment: For therapy to work, there needs to be a genuine commitment from both partners to engage in the process and do the necessary work to repair and improve their relationship.

  8. Comprehensive Approach: The Gottman Method, for instance, includes various techniques and theories that address emotional connections, behavioral patterns, cognitive assessments, systemic interactions, and psychodynamic factors.

However, it is important to note that couples counselling does not work for everyone. Success depends on factors such as:

  • The willingness of both partners to participate and change.

  • The level of commitment to the counselling process.

  • The ability to put into practice the techniques learned during therapy.

  • The capacity to forgive and let go of the past.

When both partners are not on the same page, or if one or both are not willing to put in the effort, counselling may not be successful. Additionally, if the relationship has served its purpose and both partners are ready to move on, counselling may instead assist in ending the relationship amicably.

In summary, couples counselling has the potential to work and can be highly beneficial for many couples, especially when both partners are committed to the process and willing to work on their relationship. However, the outcome will vary depending on individual circumstances and the dynamics of the relationship.

What if  couples counselling doesn't work?

Couples Therapy does not always work. This can be for several reasons:

  1. One partner is comfortable and does not want to change, while the other does

  2. One or both partners may not want to put much effort into relationship counselling.

  3. One or both partners don’t want to let go of the past or blame.

  4. Secretly, one partner may not want to be in the relationship any more.

  5. The relationship no longer serves any purpose and is complete.

All relationships serve a purpose and when the relationship no longer serves any purpose it is possible that the relationship has completed. Society generally views relationships that break up as a failing on the part of the individuals eg “a failed relationship”. It is possible that relationships do not need to be seen as failures but rather the completion of the relationship, i.e. Everything you could achieve together has been fulfilled, and it may be time for a new phase of life for both partners.

Do you do marriage/relationship counselling online?

Relationship counselling can occur online, although if the couple is in the local area, it would be great to meet in person if the couple is comfortable with this. Online counselling occurs in the exact same way as it does in person, eg we have a set session time, the couple’s counselling goes for 50mins etc. Online couples therapy needs to occur in a private and confidential setting on both ends; it also needs to be free of distractions, just as it would be in the counselling room. It can incur different costs as resources may need to be sent out to you. The couples therapy sessions are occur on the online platform called Zoom.

How long do we need for relationship counselling?

The duration of the counselling process varies based on the initial state of the relationship and the commitment level of both partners, with the ultimate goal of rebuilding and strengthening the relationship.

Every couple is different when considering how long they will require couples counselling. The very minimum for a couple would be six months but is likely to be much longer. Couples Therapy is an investment and needs to be taken seriously if you both want to reconnect and rebuild your relationship.

For couples counselling to be effective, both partners must commit to the process. Toni Steenson, the founder of Spherical Counselling, offers relationship counselling services for all types of couples in the Northern Rivers areas (this includes Lismore, Goonellabah, Wollongbar, Alstonville, Byron Bay, Evans Head, Ballina)and online. Employing the Gottman Methods Couples Therapy approach, which is rooted in extensive research, Toni guides couples through a structured process aimed at rebuilding their connection and addressing underlying issues.

How long will we need couples/marriage counselling?

Can only one person from the couple attend relationship counselling?

The duration of the counselling process varies based on the initial state of the relationship and the commitment level of both partners, with the ultimate goal of rebuilding and strengthening the relationship.

Every couple is different when considering how long they will require couples counselling. The very minimum for a couple would be six months but is likely to be much longer. Couples Therapy is an investment and needs to be taken seriously if you both want to reconnect and rebuild your relationship.

For couples counselling to be effective, both partners must commit to the process. Toni Steenson, the founder of Spherical Counselling, offers relationship counselling services for all types of couples in the Northern Rivers areas (this includes Lismore, Goonellabah, Wollongbar, Alstonville, Byron Bay, Evans Head, Ballina)and online. Employing the Gottman Methods Couples Therapy approach, which is rooted in extensive research, Toni guides couples through a structured process aimed at rebuilding their connection and addressing underlying issues.

How long will we need couples/marriage counselling?

Do you work with same-sex couples?

The simple answer is Yes; Toni Steenson does work with same-sex couples. Just as the statement “Love is Love”, you could say “A Relationship is a Relationship.” This means it does not matter if it is two males, two females, or a female and male in a couple; the simillar dynamics play out. The relationship counselling Model Toni employs The Relationship Sound House Theory research shows, is just as effective in gay couples as it is in heterosexual couples. As in any couple (gay or straight), each couple presents with their own configuration of strengths and weaknesses. Through the first three sessions and questionnaires completed, the strengths and weaknesses of each couple become known, and in the fourth session, a treatment plan is formed to support the couple in utilising their strengths to work through their weaknesses. To essentially re-form their connection with one and another in a meaningful way.

The Gottman Method Couples Therapy, particularly The Sound Relationship House Theory, has been demonstrated to be effective for same-sex couples and is widely applicable to couples of all sexual orientations. Research conducted by Gottman over a 12 year period has shown that, while gay and lesbian couples may exhibit unique dynamics, there are many dynamic similarities between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. Gay couples equally benefit from the application of the Gottman Method. This therapeutic approach focuses on establishing a strong relational foundation, fostering positive interactions, addressing and managing conflicts, and nurturing mutual trust and understanding. It places significance on nurturing fondness and admiration within the relationship, as well as on the act of turning towards each other to meet each other's needs. Overall, this approach is inclusive and has been found to be highly beneficial for couples of all ages and at any stage of their relationship.

Garanzini, S., Yee, A., Gottman, J., Gottman, J., Cole, C., Preciado, M., & Jasculca, C. (2017). Results of Gottman Method Couples Therapy with Gay and Lesbian Couples. Journal of marital and family therapy, 43(4), 674–684. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12276

Toni Steenson

How to book

Ready to get started? Call Toni Steenson to receive a complimentary 15-minute consult. If Toni can’t answer the phone, be sure to leave a message so she can call you back.

 

Phone 0466 629 424

Or contact Toni via email and she will organise a time to call you.

bottom of page