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Relationships, like people, are ever evolving. Sometimes relationships can feel a little unstable or uncertain and being open and honest about your feelings can feel risky. Counselling is a way to help you overcome these challenges and strengthen relationships.

Counsellors give advice and assistance to couples who are considering separation or who are finding it difficult to cope with separation. Counsellors can also help to resolve differences about parenting and contact with children. Counselling may help resolve a problem without going to court and people are strongly encouraged to resolve their differences through counselling before starting any court action.

A counsellor can help you to explore concerns you may have about your relationship and assist you to deal with separation issues and your children's needs. They can also help separated or separating parents negotiate arrangements for their children. You may see a counsellor separately or with your spouse, whichever you prefer. If counselling is voluntary then all discussions are private and confidential. When the welfare of children is in question, the court can order the parties to attend a conciliation conference with a counsellor, or request a counsellor to write a report for the court. This may happen if the matter was going to trial. A counsellor who has interviewed a person on a confidential basis cannot then write a report for the court.

Counselling can help a couple to:

  • Genuinely ‘hear’ each other
  • To better understand each other’s perspective
  • understand the relationship they currently share
  • rediscover why they were attracted in the first place
  • find out what they now want from their relationship and from each other
  • understand how they contributed to whatever their relationship has become
  • discuss what they feel about each other now
  • discuss what they are prepared to do to make this relationship work.
As well as the Family Relationship Centres, Counselling and specialised family mediation services are offered by a number of church and community organisations.

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