Couples Counselling and Sex Therapy

Darwin, Northern Territory based Relationship Counsellor and Sex Therapist    

Relationship Counselling and Sex Therapy for Couples

Relationships, Couples Counselling, Marriage Therapy, Does it really work?

There have been many approaches, much research and an abundance of opinions about the efficacy of therapy for couples. As a therapist I have always wanted to ensure that I am clued up with the latest trends. 


I have often compared psychological approaches to religions. As students fractured from their teachers and created their own perspective, they created new religions to follow. Generally, we take what we like from CBT, Mindfulness, Family therapy, Schema therapy, Emotion Focussed Therapy and apply what we feel will best suit the client.

With couples you are dealing with two people and can't be applying a multitude of approaches. What I have found with the Gottman approach is a strong framework, a clear process, and interventions that clients learn to incorporate into their relationships. It is also backed by some impressive scientific research.


Having seen infidelity as being one of the largest causes of couples seeking therapy.  I agree that if you can nourish your relationship and be motivated to protect the negotiated boundaries of  that relationship, then you can hopefully keep the wandering eye focused. 

People far to often expect things to just work or will work themselves out. According to research, couples have been enduring conflict and difficulty for on average 6 years before they seek help. I encourage couples to invest in their relationship sooner and often. There are many myths that dominate couples ideas of why things aren't working or why a partner cheated like "monogamy is for woman" and "Qudi Pro Quo" think and behaviour. Challenging these thoughts and ideas is important.

As always there are no guarantees in life, and yes there are couples who wont make it. However, there is definitely hope.I would rather grab that hope with  skilled therapist backed by indisputable research.

For couples who have experienced Cancer in their lives, this easy to ready e-pub can be downloaded as a PDF as well and well worth a read. It is a practical guide to helping people with cancer and their partners to better understand what effects cancer and its treatments have on an individual as well as what you can do to maintain and nurture your relationship. Below is the link to the PDF doc. http://www.cancer.org.au/content/about_cancer/ebooks/aftercancer/Sexuality_intimacy_and_cancer_booklet_May_2016.pdf#_ga=1.55644331.1677973695.1475934567

Rekindling Desire - Whose problem is it – his, hers or ours? 

By Barry MacCarthy

couples counselling in canberra

Sexual Desire /Libido

The difference between desire and arousal is often confused and is an important starting point for people to understand where their issues lie.
Sexual Desire Disorder: A distinct presence of negative sexual thoughts and no sexual thoughts or fantasies.
Sexual arousal Disorder:  Female -Inability to attain, or to maintain until completion of sexual activity an adequate lubrication-swelling response of sexual excitement.
There are misconceptions surrounding desire for men and woman. It is assumed by society that in partnerships it is always the woman who pretend to have headaches, or avoid intimacy. On the flip side it seems to be a societal fact that men are always "up for it". 
This is indeed a myth.
An aspect that couples don't foresee during their honeymoon phase is the possibility that one day they may have a mismatched libido issue.

Libido or sexual desire is influenced by possible organic (physical), Individual (life situation) and cultural factors.
Organic factors:
  • Medications such as antideprssants
  • Low testosterone in men and woman                                                  
Individual factors:
  • Relationship issues
  • Past trauma
  • Life changes
  • Stress
Cultural factors:
  •  Family history of attitudes to sex
  •  Religious factors
These are very basic examples to an issue which is quite complex, but also workable and has had much success through therapy.
Desire disorders include sexual aversion disorder: Extreme and irrational fear of sexual activity. This is often related to a history of sexual trauma.

Loss of Trust

Infidelity, secrets are possible terminal events for relationships. If a relationship has a good foundation to work with then navigating the bumpy road back to one another is possible. This TED talk by Esther Perel is a fabulous resource for anyone who is experiencing infidelity in their relationship.



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