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.
We also have a pre-therapy consult vailable with one of the team who will meet with you for 30 minutes to find out more precisely the help you need, introduce you to our online resources so you can start preparing and refer you to a therapist who will be a good fit for you.
Steven Dromgool – (Online, Victoria Park, In Home Sessions)
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
Jennifer has worked in the fields of Addiction and Counselling for the past 23 years and uses a range of counselling approaches which include client-centered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Transactional Analysis (TA) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Jennifer also uses couple therapy approaches like Emotionally Focussed Therapy (EFT) and Gottman Method that support couples in their journey to a healthy and loving relationship.
n Hwa is an experienced individuals’ and couples’ counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor, with training in social work, psychosynthesis counselling, psychotherapy and addiction treatment. He has many years of experience working successfully with clients with mental health and relationship issues. In Hwa has demonstrated a strong commitment to working with clients with cross-cultural and sexual identity issues. He is competent to assist people to find purpose, meaning and value in their life journey, to help them improve relationships and become freer.
Relationship Issues, Blended Families and Communication Issues
Stefanie enjoys working with a wide variety of couples of diverse cultural, ethnic and sexual backgrounds. She offers communication training, assertive attendance, art therapy and mindfulness in her therapy practice and she always enjoys a good laugh with her couples!
Counselling sessions can be offered in English or in German.
Brett embraces cultural and individual differences and enjoys working with people from all walks of life. The main modality he uses is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), however he incorporates Person Centred, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy (EMDR) and Narrative therapy.
Dr Luke has been a consultant to Relate for the last couple of years providing individual mindfulness and somatic awareness training for our clients and clinicians. Luke completed his PhD focusing on Mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention. Upon completion of his PhD Luke completed a graduate internship at Relate to gain further training in working with couples.
Luke has a particular interest in supporting individuals and couples struggling with issues of compulsivity, addiction and anxiety.
In his work with couples, Garey provides a safe environment where both people can explore the issues that have caused them to build walls rather than bridges between them. Using a combination of therapeutic approaches, he helps clients deal with the issues that cause them to feel trapped in their lives – the hurts, frustrations and expectations that lead to depression and anxiety.Available Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Aren is a qualified member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia and has experience across several mental health and counselling areas. Her mission is to help clients improve their well-being and their relationships with others, by teaching new life skills and improving their emotional intelligence. She also has a special interest in helping couples work through the challenges of their relationships using a person-centered and emotionally focused approach.
Communication Problems, Anxiety, Depression, Relationships
Joy is an experienced therapist with a background in nursing and teaching. She became a counsellor after she successfully survived breast cancer, and decided to make, what she felt was a more significant contribution, to society. Joy has a large family and is therefore acquainted with the stresses and strains of family life. She has worked extensively in private practice, with couples and individuals, helping them with a range of issues.
For the last 5 years Relate has trained a number of interns and is now phasing this programme out to make way for the Presence Oriented Relationship Therapy Online training and Mentoring programme. Sujoy is the last of our interns and is in the process of completing the requirements for entering the team.
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.
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.