Marriage and Relationship Counsellors

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.

Pre-Therapy Consult

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.

Book a Pre-Therapy Consultation

Senior relationship counsellors

Steven relationship counselling expert

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

Book Steven on Zoom

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Jennifer (Howick)

Communication, Addiction, Mental Health, LGBTI 

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.

Available In-Person & Weekends

Book Book Jennifer in Howick

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Jennifer Addiction Specialist
In Hwa relationship counselling expert

In Hwa (Glen Eden, Online)

Relationship, Addiction, Communication, Mental Health, Cross-Cultural Issues

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.

Sessions can be offered in English or Korean

Online and In-Person

Book In Hwa in Online and in Glen Eden

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Stefanie (Online)

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.

Available Monday-Friday Online

Book Stefanie on Zoom                                            

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Stefanie relationship counsellor

Brett (South Auckland)

Anxiety, PTSD, Communication, Affairs, Depression, Neuro-Linguistic Programming

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.

Available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Book Brett on Zoom and South Auckland

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Brett relationship expert
Luke expert mindfulness anxiety depression stress

Dr Luke (Zoom, Parnell)

Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Addiction, Mindfulness, Well-being Coach, Somatic 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. 

Available Monday-Friday

Book Luke on Zoom

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Sue –  (Zoom, Victoria Park Market)

Safe Communication, Cross-cultural Issues, Attachment, Anxiety, Depression

Sue is an experienced counsellor, working with both individuals and families through roles in student counselling, post-natal depression, migrant support, lifeline and private practice. 

Relationships are complex, so sustaining safe, meaningful connections with loved ones is a valuable relationship skill that Sue likes to support clients to develop. 

Available Tuesday – Thursday online and alternate Saturdays at Victoria Park

Book Sue on Zoom or at Victoria Park

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Sue Intern Counsellor affordable counselling
Judy - Trauma Couples Therapist

Judy (Online)

Communication, PTSD, Trauma, Anxiety and Depression

Judy is an experienced trauma and  couples’ therapist. Her particular skill is helping couples restore a sense of safety and trust particularly where there have been historical trauma or abuse.

She helps couples learn how to reconnect and communicate in a way that creates a sense of safety.

She also works with individuals to help them explore and resolve their personal difficulties and challenges.

Available Midweek online

Book Judy on Zoom

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David – Addiction Specialist and 12 Step Consultant

Addiction, Porn and Sex Compulsivity, Gambling, Problem Drinking

David has a long standing involvement in recovering from addiction and childhood neglect and trauma.  He is deeply involved in a variety of 12 step support communities around the world.

David has been a consultant for Relate because of this experience with the addiction and 12 step community and now has some limited availability to see Relate clients online.

Available midweek evenings for individuals.

Book David on Zoom

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David Addiction Therapist
Garey relationship counsellor expert

Garey (South Auckland)

Communication, Intimacy Issues, Affair Recovery

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

Book Garey on Zoom and Papatoetoe, South Auckland

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Aren – (Sydney, Zoom) (Mandarin Speaker)

Migration, Relationships, Communication, Anxiety, Cross-Cultural Issues

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.

Counselling offered in English and Mandarin

(Note sessions are charged in AUD)

Book Aren on Zoom

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Joy (Rotorua and Online)

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.


Book Joy in Rotorua and Online 

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Intern Relationship counsellors

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.

Book Sujoy on Zoom and in Blockhouse Bay 

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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.