Relationship Counselling and Marriage Therapy
Relate’s mission is to provide you with expert relationship counselling or couples therapy help. We specialise in working with marriage and relationship issues for couples and singles. Our team are experts in relationship counselling and are committed to help you improve or even rescue your relationship. Our therapists can see you ONLINE or in person and are located throughout New Zealand. Appointments are offered weekdays, after hours and weekends. Relationship Therapy Assessments and Intensives are also available.
The Relate Difference
It is a little known fact that virtually no therapy training programme in the world offers specific training in working with couples.
There are 3 reasons:
- Working with couples is more complex
- Couples tend to fight more which is harder for young therapists
- Specialist training has not been widely available in much of the world
However relationship issues are what brings about 40% of clients to therapy.
What this means is that counsellors tend to have develop skills on the job – like asking your plumber to build an extension to your house. The results are not typically good. Christiansen’s research indicated a 50-55% success rate with untrained therapists which is similar to couples trying to solve issues on their own.
The last 40 years has seen the emergence of multiple credible approaches to relationship and marriage therapy with trained clinicians having success rates over 75%. Yet the vast majority of couples therapy is still delivered by undertrained therapists.
At Relate we require our clinicians to be trained in not just 1 but 2 models of couples therapy and to have over 200 hours of couple’s therapy experience before acceptance on the team. Many of our team are trained in more approaches (Our Director Steven is currently trained in 6 approaches and working through his 7th).
This has 3 benefits for you as a client.
Faster: We don’t spend a lot of time figuring it out as we go – we know what to focus on and what is relevant.
Effective: You are not paying for therapy that doesn’t work – this doesn’t mean that every couple stays together – it does mean we give you access to the tools to succeed.
Cheaper: Although sometimes our rates might be slightly higher we are often cheaper by virtue of being faster and more effective. Also given the often catastrophic costs of relationship failure not getting the right help can cost far more than money.
Why train in 2 or more models?
Most models fit particular styles and it’s common for about 20% of couples to not really resonate with a particular style – by training in 2 or more approaches we increase our ability to succeed with more couples.
Assessments are a newer Relate innovation and emerged during Covid when we simply had a flood of requests for emergency appointments and it was often unclear in an email or intake phone call just what help the couple might need.
Our Senior Team began offering Assessment sessions available at shorter notice so we could do an initial meet with couple to find out what they needed and what we could recommend to help them stabilise more rapidly.
Using a combination of online resources, targeted interventions, referrals and follow ups we found we were able to increase our capacity to respond to couples in relationship distress.
The research on couples in distress is relatively clear that couples often wait a long times(an average of 5-6 years or until there is a crisis e.g. violence or an affair before reaching out for help.
The research is also clear that without speedy intervention many relationships fail before they can get help.
Relate was originally set up because of Director Steven’s concern about his lengthening waitlist. Because of the size of our team and the fact that online therapy means we can do relationship counselling and marriage therapy with people around New Zealand and the world we are often able to book emergency and short notice appointments.
We also know from the research that some couples cannot wait so many of our team keep an emergency slot available each week.
If you need urgent help in most cases we can get you into see someone within a week and often within 2-3 days.
Research with couples therapy has found that massing therapy at the start of treatment can be really helpful in:
- Reducing distress
- Increasing hope
- Shortening both the length of therapy and the number of sessions required overall.
Relate offers a number of bespoke intensive options primarily with the senior team members and these would normally be offered as an option with after an assessment to ensure there is a good fit.
Intensives are not always required, necessary or helpful but can be useful when the following 3 situations apply
- There is an imminent crisis e.g. an affair
- There is strong commitment by both partners in the relationship
- There are the financial means to make it happen
Relate also offers an increasing variety of targeted online resources which also help amplify the massing of therapy effect.
At the start of Covid we started seeing worrying reports out of Wuhan about the huge increase in relationship distress during the lockdowns. Steven developed a series of online resources for couples which have proved incredibly popular to the extent that Relate was approached by the NZDF to create a series of online resources for their deployed troops.
The result 5 Secrets of Relationship Champions was the distillation of over 20 years of clinical experience, training in 6 different models into a series of TED style talks covering:
- The 5 Stages of Relationships and How to escape the Power Struggle
- How to Stop driving your partner crazy and help them feel safe and loved
- How to Stop a fight Immediately (and 3 slower Strategies)
- 5 Easy ways to build lasting love in just 20 minutes a day
- How to Rebuild Trust
Each talk is paired with a practical exercise and demo.
We have found that when clients use the 5 Secrets resource it has tended to massively reduce the length of the therapy and clients have commented that it was useful to go back later to refresh.
When booking 1st Sessions there is an option to purchase 5 secrets at a heavily discounted price.
We are also developing other resources and in fact the development of these resources for clients and training other couples therapists is 50% of Steven’s job which has the added advantage of leaving him more available where required for emergency assessments.
Our Current offerings include
- Surviving the 1st week after a Betrayal
- 5 Secrets of Relationship Champions
- 3 Things Divorcers wish they Knew
Surviving the 1st Week after a Betrayal – Free Resource
If you are struggling with a significant betrayal or an affair the 1st couple of weeks post disclosure are critical in that couples and individuals often unintentionally inflict additional harm on each other during this time.
At Relate we try to offer rapid access to assessments and therapy but we also want to avoid you being overwhelmed with conflicting information.
So we developed a 1st week survival guide for people who have experienced betrayal and it is available free of charge here.
Need some good advice right now
During Covid Relate was approached by the NZDF to develop a short informative course for the military to help troops whose relationships were struggling under Covid. 5 Secrets of Relationship Champions distills 2 decades of training and the research of the world’s experts on what makes relationships work. 5 TED talk style videos covering different aspects of relationships and a Bonus talk on Repairing Trust are combined with practical exercises with demo’s to help you start building trust and connection from today.
Note the 5 Secret’s course is included with the 1st Session packages at a heavily discounted rate or can be purchased by itself here.
PreCovid online therapy especially with couples was fraught with stress and difficulty. Technophobic clients and therapists and unreliable software made the sessions additionally stressful.
Covid suddenly improved 3 things
- Clients and Therapists familiarity and comfort with the tech
- The software itself vastly improved
- In most cases internet speed and latency was significantly better
As a result online therapy emerge with a number of key advantages:
Reducing Geographically limitations – during the last year 6 of our clinicians were working in countries from Australia, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain etc/ We had clients from all around New Zealand and Australia including remote rural communities and international clients from Hungary to Alaska. At a more practical level couples could log in from opposite sides of Auckland and saved an hour long commute each side of the session.
Opening up home based interventions – In-Person therapy can be wonderfully soothing as we can create a focussed intentional space – however there is an advantage to learning to connect in the space where you live and as therapists we can gain insight from seeing your home space. Additionally there are some interventions like the coming home exercise that work very powerfully in situ.
After Hours Availability – having clinicians in a vareity of locations also tends to facilitate some more outside of office hours options.
Our team is multi-lingual offering sessions in Polish, Korean, Mandarin, German and Hindi.
When problems are real tangible and urgent you need more than a ‘talkfest’. When problems are linked to powerful emotions you need more than a ‘fixit’.
Couples therapy is about supporting you to rapidly change challenging situations in ways that produce good outcomes rather than fighting and staying stuck.
It involves pairing emotion and logic with cooperation and action.
When this is done well relationship and marriage counselling produces rapid results that are relatively easy to maintain (definitely easier than going back into the stuck pattern) and they leave you feeling good even if it’s hard or uncomfortable at the start.
Even very difficult challenges like resolving afffairs should ultimately leave a couple more connected, more loving, more hopeful.
For this reason good couples therapy is:
- Fast – so much faster than individual therapy
- Powerful – Couples often walk out of a first relationship therapy session feeling 100% better and knowing that they can improve even more
- Lasting – Good marriage counselling ensures that you learn not only how to change but how to maintain that change
- Infectious – Improving your connection tends to spill over into other areas of your life and your children, and your families and your friends. Parents stop fighting and kids stop have stomach and do better in schools, couples learn to problem solve faster and suddenly feel sexier and more playful, friends start asking, “What’s your secret?”. Work becomes easier and less stressful.
All of the Relate team has at least basic training in Gottman method therapy. This is because although some of the other specialist relationship approaches our team use e.g. EFT, Imago, PACT and HEART have done some research.
Gottman’s work is not only massive – it’s also predictive i.e. Gottman was able to predict divorce over the following 5 years in couples with over 90% accuracy after watching a 15 minute recording of them discussing a difficult issue (and he did this with over 500 couples).
For this reason it seemed critical to ensure that our team was equipped with this knowledge and experience. We have also found that being research based is useful for more skeptical and logical clients who might otherwise think of therapy as a wishy washy exercise in feelings and tree hugging.
If you need to book a session there is no need to sit around playing phone tag – simply check out the team and their profile by clicking on their photo or going to the team page here.
At the bottom of their profile is their online calendar so you can book a session right away.
IF you can’t find a space or you want to be one standby for a session within 48 hours book a session with your preffered therapist and email your confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for an earlier session if possible.
Additionally you can text us at 020 4 RELATE (735283)