All our relationship therapists are experienced counsellors with specialist training in at least two models of couples relationship therapy. If you are struggling with a communication or connection issue, you can book with any of our couples counsellors – they can all help with that. If on the other hand, it is something more catastrophic, like an affair or violence, please book with one of our senior relationship therapists. If you are not sure who to book with and would like to talk to someone, please contact us here.
Marriage and Relationship Counsellors
Senior relationship counsellors
Steven Dromgool – Affair and Trust Recovery, Assessments and Rescue Sessions
- Threatening to Leave?
- Discovered an Affair or Infidelity
- Unsure whether to stay or go
- Needing more than an hour a fortnight to repair the relationship?
Steven specialises in working intensively with couples to assist them in rapidly moving out of crisis. He offers a Rapid and Indepth Assessment Service and the Personalised Relationship Intensives. These will help you begin to heal quickly and provides a series of online and in-person resources to kickstart the healing journey.
In person, in home and online sessions currently available
Book Steven on Zoom
Sue – (Zoom, Victoria Park Market)
Safe Communication, Cross-cultural Issues, Attachment, Anxiety, Depression
Sue is a fully qualified counsellor who is interning at Relate to extend her experience working with couples and become a specialist relationship counsellor.
Available Tuesday – Thursday online and alternate Saturdays at Victoria Park
Book Sue on Zoom
Intern Relationship counsellors
Relate offers affordable counselling with Interns who are qualified and experienced counsellors, training to become specialist couples therapists. As the Interns progress through their training, their rate increases, from $40 to $100 for Individual appointments and from $60 to $150 for couples appointments. The internship usually takes 12 -18 months, so these increases are likely to happen across several months, but within the first year of therapy.
Please note some of our interns are based in Australia and charge in AUD
Sujoy – Level 4 Intern (Zoom, Blockhouse Bay)
Relationships, Communication, Stress and Anxiety,
Cross-Cultural Issues, Emotional Isolation
You can book Sujoy for online Zoom counselling. You can also meet him in
person at Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. He is available after hours on weekdays.
Sujoy can offer counselling in English and Hindi.
All sessions with Sujoy are recorded and reviewed by one of the senior team members.
Book Sujoy on Zoom and in Blockhouse Bay
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLOR FOR YOU
So you have decided to see a marriage therapist or couples counsellor and now you are wondering how do you know who to choose?
Here are 3 handy research-based tips on how to choose the best counsellor for you.
Tip 1 – Choose a Relationship Counsellor You Feel Comfortable With
Research indicates that about a third of effectiveness in therapy is directly related to how comfortable you feel with your couples therapist.
Now obviously you haven’t met any of our relationship therapists yet and you are just looking online. It is useful to remember that your comfort levels with others, including a counsellor, are determined by your younger brain, which is both visual and intuitive. For this reason a picture is often handy as it can give you a feel for a person.
If you are coming as a couple it is important to find a relationship therapist you are both comfortable with (or at least not aversive too). If one person in the relationship is pretty skeptical about therapy I normally recommend choosing a counsellor of the same gender unless they have a strong alternative preference.
Tip 2 – A Relationship Counsellor Needs to Know What They Are Doing
The same research into couples therapy indicated the another third of effectiveness is related to the therapist’s actual competence. With couples therapy this is really important as Christensen’s research indicates that untrained couples therapists have only 50% success rate – which is the same as couples trying to figure things out by themselves, and also about the same as the divorce rate.
Expert or specialist marriage counsellors have success rates above 80%. Why such a difference? It’s fairly simple, most training institutes include no training on how to work with couples or if they do, it’s theoretical training on outdated Systems Theory which was developed in the 1950’s.
Gottman’s research done in the 1980’s and 1990’s allows therapists to watch couples’ interactions and look for behaviours that we know predict divorce with over 90% accuracy.
So you are best looking for someone trained in Gottman Method Therapy, Emotionally Focussed Therapy, Imago Relationship Therapy, Psychophysiological Approach to Couple’s Therapy (PACT), Humanistic Existential Approach to Relationship Therapy (HEART), Presence Oriented Relationship Therapy (PORT) or the Developmental Approach to Couples Therapy. The first 3 are most well known the last 4 have strong integrative elements from the first 3.
Choosing someone without this training is simply a gamble, like getting a plumber to build your house – sure they are a tradie and they know houses, but… what they don’t know are the specific strategies shortcuts and pitfalls a builder does. The more fragile your relationship the more a specialist relationship counsellor is indicated. Also at a practical level, specialist relationship counsellors are normally passionate about the work which leads to the third tip.
Tip 3 – A Relationship Counsellor Needs to Care
The final third of effectiveness of couples therapy, according to Eugene Gendlin, is related to the belief that your relationship counsellor or psychotherapist truly cares about you. Effective couples therapy requires you to be vulnerable with your partner and therapist and we simply don’t do this if we don’t feel cared for. So once you have someone that you feel comfortable with, and you know has specialist training, your job in the first session is to get a sense of if they care. As the Director of Relate this is literally my highest priority and endorsement of the team – skills can learnt – desire is innate.
Best wishes on your journey.