Couples Therapy Newcastle: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing a Therapist

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A Google search for "Couples Therapy Newcastle" generates loads of options, so how do you decide? 

This piece is equal parts cynical piece for search engine optimisation, and genuine guide to choosing a therapist. Like, within capitalism my website needs to rank well, AND folks actually want help making this decision.

I think if I can bring enough transparency & honesty to what I'm writing, we can both get what we need here.

    PART 1: WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF COUPLES THERAPY IN NEWCASTLE?

    Wait, WTF Does Anti-Capitalism Have to Do With Choosing a Therapist?

    I am working to run an anti-capitalist business, within the framework of a capitalist world. I don't use manipulative or extractive techniques, and my business is a vehicle for social change (not for growth of profit).

    AND I feel cynical about it because the digital space is the main pathway for folks to find me.

    You'll notice that in this piece I say "Couples Therapy Newcastle" a whole bunch of times. That's because Google algorithms reward pages & blogs that use keywords relevant to a topic. This means that the top results of your search are not necessarily the best products or services, they're just the ones who play the game with SEO and/or paid advertising.

    So I'm playing the SEO game, and keeping that transparent AF.

    I've opted not to do paid advertising, instead I focus on organic growth over time & well written content. So the meta-outcomes for this post are that it BOTH optimises my website for Couples Therapy Newcastle, AND it helps you to pick the right couples therapist for you.

    Introduction to Couples Therapy Newcastle

    A couple snug together under a blanket. She has green hair and he has tattoos on his hand and neck.
    Image from Canva

    There's an incredible amount of talent, compassion, and support in this region- this isn't about making unflattering comparisons to manipulate you into working with me.

    I'm definitely not everyone's cup of tea!

    You'll find a huge range of practitioners when you search for "couples therapy newcastle". Within those search results, there's varied skill levels, experience, approaches, and personalities. Consider broadening your search terms to capture some other couples therapists-

    Some other terms you might try as well as couples therapy newcastle include;

    • Relationship Coaching Near Me
    • Marriage Counselling Newcastle
    • Relationship Counsellor Newcastle
    • Couples Counselling Hunter Valley
    • Relationship Psychotherapy Near Me
    • Relationship Therapy Newcastle

    You also need to know that folks who come back on page 1 of your search are not necessarily the best or most popular. Some are paying more money for advertising. The others are doing better with their website SEO. Neither of those things reflect couples therapy skills, okay? You might find a terrible copules therapist on page 1, and a fantastic couples therapist on page 15.

    Each of those therapists draw tools & skills from their personal backgrounds which might include the following couples therapy modalities;

    There is no "better" or "more effective" approach. It is important to consider the best approach FOR YOU. Descriptions of 'evidence based' and 'proven' modalities can be misleading - of course that's a factor of good outcomes, but it is only one factor amongst many.

    What's the Difference? Spilling the Tea on Relationship Coaches, Marriage Counsellors, Psychologists, and Psychotherapists

    These are all different education backgrounds for practitioners of couples therapy, and can share many of the same tools & techniques.

    The key difference is the training of each practitioner, the school of therapy that informs their approach, and the requirements of professional bodies for registration and supervision.

    In my (opinionated) opinion, qualifications are important data to inform your decision, BUT given the variation of skill even within a qualification you want to take that with a grain of salt!

    Regulation:

    In Australia, relationship coaches do not have a regulating body, nor requirements for registration or supervision.

    Certification:

    Relationship coaches may be certified coaches, though this is a difficult certification to assess because it could mean anything from "did an online course one time" to "studied for years in an educational institution". Anyone could call themselves a relationship coach and begin a practice tomorrow.

    Some coaches are certified with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) which has measures that are primarily time-based vs/ skills based. For example, has completed x hours of education, x hours of coaching clients, and x hours with a mentor.

    I have personally chosen not to pursue that credential for a few reasons;

    • Firstly, The Coaching Institute where I did my initial studies, had a falling out with the ACF over their training accreditations. Their response was to make up their own "guild" and the study I had already done no longer qualified for accreditation with the ICF.
    • Secondly, I have known some truly terrible coaches who are ICF credentialed, and some incredibly talented coaches who were not. I don't see that pathway as being indicative of the level of someones skills.
    • Thirdly, time based assessment seems to be a pretty arbitrary measure of quality to me. There are some components required of assessment & feedback, but as I mentioned above, I've seen some shockers apparently get through.

    Specialisation:

    As an unregulated industry, it's difficult to measure a practitioners level of specialisation. Relationship Coaches may have engaged in specific education on relationships, sex, and couples therapy, or they may have only done more generic coaching studies (like life coaching, or business coaching).

    This is something you should specifically ask any potential couples therapist about (see the Questions to Ask below)

    PART 2: COUPLES THERAPY NEWCASTLE: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR THERAPIST

    Personality Matters for Couples Therapy Newcastle

    three people in colourful cubicles that are side-by-side.
    Image from Canva

    Research has shown that the quality of your relationship with your therapist is more important than the type of therapy you choose. It's a key marker of your likelihood for successful outcomes; no therapeutic alliance, no results.

    It's even more important for couples therapy because there are 3 therapeutic relationships in the room;

    • you & your couples therapist
    • your partner & your couples therapist
    • the couple & your couples therapist

    As I said earlier - there's an incredible amount of talent, compassion, and support in this region. It's worth taking some time to find a couples therapist you BOTH like, trust, and who 'gets' you.

    You Like Your Couples Therapist

    You're not looking for a new friend, but you ARE looking for someone who seems like a good fit for you personality wise.

    What You Should Look For Initially:

    • You get along with your therapist.
    • You're comfortable with the way they speak & behave
    • You feel like you can be yourself; speaking & behaving how you usually do
    • They feel like a good match for you
    • Your therapist supports your goals.

    It's also worth saying that in the year 2022 there are so many choices available to you, not just locally but internationally, so let's make "finding good humans" a criteria for all our business interactions!

    You can learn more about me personally here.

    You Trust Your Couples Therapist

    Building trust with your couples therapist happens over time, but it's worth noting that if you feel weird vibes from the start that's a good reason to find someone else.

    What You Should Look For;

    When you are sorting through the options for couples therapy newcastle, notice how each therapist interacts with you;

    • You don't feel pressured
    • They don't promise results
    • You feel heard.

    Relational work can stir up feelings, experiences, and memories. Sometimes it challenges the way you think, how you engage with the world, and who you want to become. That can be hard, you know? It's crucial that you can trust your couples therapist.

    Your Couples Therapist & Your Background, Identity, Lifestyle, and Beliefs

    Couples therapy isn't just about working with your issues, it is also about acknowledging and understanding the broader context of your life, and the impact that has on your relationship.

    Finding a therapist who shares the same background, identity, lifestyle, or belief systems can be powerful for the work you will do with them. 

    You will need to decide for yourself how important that is, and whether it's enough that they have educated themselves about your background, identity, lifestyle, or belief systems, or whether you want them to share it.

    What You Should Look For;

    • Do they share some elements of your background, identity, lifestyle or belief systems?
    • Are there specific elements that are a priority for you to share?
    • Do they have personal, religious, political, or other affiliations that contradict or oppress yours?
    • Have they worked with clients who share your background, identity, lifestyle, or beliefs?
    • Even if they could work with you, would you feel more comfortable with someone more like you?

    There are couples therapists who work with specific social identities and intersections, consider whether that's important to you.

    You can read more about my positionality here, my orientation toward couples therapy here, and my worldview here.

    PART 2: COUPLES THERAPY NEWCASTLE: QUESTIONS TO ASK A POTENTIAL COUPLES THERAPIST

    Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

    Couples Therapy Newcastle Questions
    Image from Canva

    Here are some questions you could ask a potential therapist to get a feel for whether they will be right for you. Don't just ask them all, take some time to consider what is important to you, and which of these questions helps you establish that information when you're exploring couples therapy Newcastle.

    It might feel a bit awks to ask these questions, but it's shit loads worse when you discover there's a crucial mismatch right in a session!

    Questions for Couples Therapy Newcastle: Therapists Background

    • Do you specialise in couples work?
    • What is your approach to couples therapy?
    • What training & education do you have?
    • What therepeutic modalities do you use?
    • Have you had couples therapy yourself?
    • Do you have ongoing supervision and mentoring? With whom?
    • How much experience do you have working with couples?
    • What kinds of clients/ issues do you work with?
    • What kinds of clients/ issues do you not work with?

    You can find my answers to these questions and more here.

    Couples Therapy Newcastle: Positionality Questions

    • Do you have personal religious, political, or other affiliations that inform your work?
    • What is your personal positionality?
    • Have you served clients of [insert your background, identity, lifestyle, and/or belief system] in the past?
    • What training have you completed to effectively serve people of my background, identity, lifestyle, and/or belief system?
    • What work have you done to challenge your own personal biases and beliefs and increase cultural sensitivity?
    • What are your commitments to business as a vehicle for social justice?

    And some further questions quoted from an Instagram post by @unapologeticallysurviving

    • Do you understand how current events and other social influences are impacting my community?
    • How do you support your clients with diverse sexuality and gender identities?
    • Do you have mentors or consult with other professionals who look like me or have a similiar culture?
    • What training have you completed or work have you done to learn about my specific culture?
    • What are your views on social justice and it's impact on mental health?

    Program & Approach Questions for Couples Therapy Newcastle

    • How do we address tension or conflict if it arises between us?
    • How do you determine the goals for couples therapy?
    • How will we know that couples therapy is effective?
    • Do you collaborate with other couples therapy newcastle providers?
    • Do you have a set program?
    • What if we don't get along?
    • How will I know our sessions are working for me?
    • How do you approach each session, and what does a typical session look like?

    Logistics Questions for Couples Therapy Newcastle

    • Do you have a set program?
    • How long do you think we will need to work with you?
    • Do you have a waiting list?
    • What is your availability like for booking ongoing sessions?
    • Can I reach you between sessions?
    • How much do you charge for sessions?
    • Do you offer payment plans?
    • Do you work face-to-face?
    • Do you offer online couples therapy?

    You can find my answers to these questions and more here.

    Where Do We Go From Here?

    image of sign saying the next steps
    Image from Canva.

    Hopefully you have found this to be a helpful guide to choosing a therapist from your online search for couples therapy newcastle.

    If you are not sure how to find a good fit, you are very welcome to book a Meet & Greet with me where we can explore your options. It is 100% not a sales call, I am committed to finding the best couples therapist for you.

    Did you enjoy this blog? I'd very much appreciate you sharing it with others!

    A moment of your time has deep & long lasting effects on my capacity to keep creating this kind of content.

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    For full transparency you should know: This piece has been written to optimise the SEO on my website. That means that I have used words or phrases so that the article is more likely to appear in a google search. In this article "couples therapy newcastle" has been optimised. 

    This is a decision which I've made because SEO is one of the key factors in determining whether people do, or do not, read my blogs & articles, visit my website, and work with me.