Home Contact Resources About

Common Issues for Couples

... then maybe relationship counselling is what you need.

Couples can quite easily get into vicious cycles. If you are like most people, you easily slip into well-worn patterns of reacting when someone pushes your buttons. Those buttons release pain, driven by fear and you'll do anything to calm the fear, soothe the pain, avoid the hurt. For one person, that may mean totally losing it; for another, it may involve withdrawing, shutting down, getting the hell out of there.

More often than not, your automatic responses to the emotions you are feeling, and/or avoiding, result in behavior that damages your relationships. Furthermore, these cycles of behaviour involve both partners and become self-reinforcing.

You may fear losing connection, so you try to seize connection and overwhelm your partner in the process. You may fear being ouf of control, so you try to take control of the situation, desperately wanting to overcome your feelings of helplessness. In the process, you push your partner away. You may fear conflict, desparately trying to flee it, leaving your partner feeling abandoned.

Dr Cologon's Approach to Relationship Counselling

It is assumed that neither party is "the problem", which actually lies in patterns that have developed in the relationship over time. A primary aim in counselling is to clearly identify those patterns, together with the feelings that drive them, and work together to develop alternative patterns that are more functional for the couple.

Common Individual Issues

... then maybe individual counselling/therapy is what you need.

Dr Cologon's Approach to Individual Counselling

This is a journey in which you are the expert on yourself, but in which you will uncover aspects of yourself that you may not have noticed. Over time, you will come to a great appreciation of your strengths and gifts and will find ways of retiring habits and patterns that may have outlived their usefulness and replacing them with new ones.

The journey is individual, but from a therapeutic viewpoint, it may draw on elements of several traditions, including emotion-focussed therapy (EFT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), client-centred counselling and psychodynamic therapy.


How long is a therapy session?

A standard therapy session is 55 minutes long. This may vary slightly, depending on circumstances, but not by much.

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?

A psychologist is a person who has had a minimum of 6 years training in psychology, which involves doing therapy by listening, talking and helping people to work through their issues so that they come to a solution. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has usually done an additional 2 years of training in Mental Health issues, on top of their medical degree. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication whereas a psychologist cannot, and is usually specialised in understanding medications, whereas a psychologist is specialised in understanding people.

Can the therapist prescribe medication?

No. If you need medication, please either see your GP and ask for medication, or get a referral to a psychiatrist rather than a psychologist

What is the difference between telehealth and telephone counselling?

Telephone counselling is counselling done over the telephone. Telehealth, while it includes telephone counselling, also includes counselling done over a video link or video chat application, such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime or Messenger.

Useful Links to External Resources

Sue Johnson - information on couples therapy

Raising Children

MindHealthConnect - Mental Health Information

Mood Gym - CBT online training

Alcohol Help Centre

Gambling Help Online

Sleep Information

ReachOut Australia

ReachOut Parents

Medicare Offices in the ACT