How Can Family Counselling Help?

Our family influences our very being and moulds us into who we are today. Everything we learn from them affects how we communicate and interact with others, our habits and how we view the world. The thing is, our upbringing affects us for better or for worse. But just because your family experiences difficulties communicating and resolving conflict doesn’t mean it can’t change for the better. This is where family counselling comes in. Coupled with persistent efforts from each member, your family can develop a stronger bond and maintain a healthy relationship. Let’s explore this further below.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy or family counselling refers to a type of psychotherapy involving all family members. It’s designed to help family members understand and improve their relationships with one another and aid in resolving any current issues or conflicts within the family. A licensed therapist will moderate sessions for all participants, helping them communicate better and identify what needs to be changed to achieve a healthy relationship. 

Why Would Families Need Family Therapy?

There are many reasons why family therapy may be beneficial for your family. It’s important to know that it isn’t only applicable when there is a problem, as it can be used as a preventative measure too – to ensure that the family members understand what’s expected from each other, what boundaries are there and what behaviour is acceptable.  

What Issues Can Family Counselling Address?

Family therapy can be used to address a wide range of issues, including the following:

Communication Problems

Family counselling can be beneficial if your family is having difficulty communicating correctly. A professional family counsellor will help the family members learn better ways to express themselves and what they need from each other. 


sad young girl with parents arguing in the blurred background

Dealing with a divorce can be difficult, not just for the parents involved but most especially for the children. Family therapy can help all family members learn how to cope with and adjust to the changes in the family structure, which can benefit everyone. 


Suppose one or more family members are struggling with some form of addiction. In that case, family therapy can be beneficial to help all family members understand what’s going on, what needs to be done and what kind of support they all need. 

Changes in Family Dynamics

Are you expecting a new addition to the family? Or are you having trouble adjusting to a stepfamily? Family counselling can help address changes in family dynamics, such as the addition of a new baby or learning how to get along with a new family.

Conflict between Siblings

It’s normal for siblings to disagree from time to time. But if the disagreements get past the point of simple misunderstandings and arguments and move towards more profound resentment and even ugly altercations that cause stress to the family, intervention is needed. With family counselling, siblings can learn effective ways to resolve their conflicts healthily.

Offensive Behaviour

If one family member’s behaviour is causing issues, then family counselling can help them address what needs to be changed to improve the situation. 

Depression in Children

Children experience a myriad of strong emotions as they develop. But just because your child feels sad does not necessarily mean they are depressed. However, if it becomes persistent or starts interfering with normal daily activities, your child may suffer from depression. As a parent, you may not be equipped to handle this type of situation, but family counselling can help you understand what’s going on and how you can support your child.

Inconsistent Parenting

annoyed young girl with nagging mother in the blurred background

Suppose one or both parents have difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries with their children. In that case, family counselling can help them understand what is necessary for healthy family life.

Dealing with Death and Chronic Illness in the Family

Family counselling can help family members cope with the death of a loved one and find healthy ways to continue their lives. It can also help them manage and adjust to the changes that come along when a family member is dealing with a chronic illness. 

Types of Family Counselling 

Functional Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on developing healthy family functioning by addressing communication, problem-solving skills and relationships. 

Systemic Family Therapy: This type of therapy looks at the family as a whole unit rather than focusing on individual members. The aim is to identify patterns of behaviour within the family and understand what needs to be changed to achieve healthy family relationships.  

Narrative Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on identifying how stories and meaning are created within a family and what needs to be changed for these stories to be more helpful.

Transgenerational Therapy: This therapy looks at family relationships across different generations to identify behaviour patterns and what needs to be changed. 

Structural Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on changing family relationships with the goal of creating healthier boundaries and ways of functioning. 

Brief Strategic Family Therapy: This therapy adopts a structural framework of family systems to help improve a child or adolescent’s behavioural problems. It is done by enhancing family interactions that are presumed to affect the person’s symptoms directly.

Multisystemic Therapy: This type of therapy is a family-focused and community-based treatment that looks at the family’s environment and what needs to be changed for the family unit to function more effectively. It is mostly aimed at families with juveniles who have committed serious offences and are possibly abusing substances. 

Benefits of Family Counselling

young happy family visiting female family counsellor

Family counselling can offer so many benefits to all family members involved, including: 

Improve Communication Skills – Counselling can help family members learn better ways to communicate their needs and feelings with each other.

Strengthen Bonds – Through family counselling, family members can regain trust and strengthen the bonds between them. 

Resolving Conflict – Family counselling can help family members find healthy ways to resolve conflicts and disagreements. 

Problem-Solving – By working together, family members can learn to work through problems as a team, which is beneficial for everyone involved. 

Defining Family Roles – Counselling can help family members define what roles each person should play in the family so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.  

Developing Healthy Boundaries – Through counselling, family members learn what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what boundaries are necessary for a healthy family life.

Strengthen Your Family with Family Counselling from Professionals at DIPAC

No family is perfect, as we may all struggle with maintaining healthy relationships at times. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do better or improve our family ties. Through effective and compassionate family counselling, you and your family can learn how to better understand and develop stronger relationships with each other. Start by taking the first step and contact us to learn more about our family counselling services.

12 Signs You May Need Relationship Counselling

It can be challenging to tell when relationship counselling is necessary. In fact, many people struggle with admitting that they need help, and it’s perfectly understandable. After all, most people believe that they should be able to handle their relationships without any outside assistance. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Relationships go through ups and downs, and sometimes couples need a little help getting through the difficult parts. If you’re wondering whether or not you need to seek counselling, take a look at the signs listed below. If more than one of these signs applies to your relationship, it may be time to seek professional help.

Why is Relationship Counselling Important?

Counselling is necessary because it can help couples get through difficult times in their relationship. It can also help couples prevent future problems by teaching them how to communicate effectively and resolve conflict constructively. In short, counselling can help improve the overall quality of your relationship.

Signs You May Need Relationship Counselling

If you’re thinking, “Do I need counselling?” it might be a good idea to consider it. But if you are looking for more signs that you should start looking for a couples counsellor, read the ones listed below. 

1. Lack of Communication

One of the most common signs that couples counselling is necessary is a lack of communication. And if you leave that problem alone, many other issues can arise from it. When that happens, your relationship can quickly spiral downwards. So if you’ve noticed that you and your partner are no longer communicating that well, it may be time to seek professional help so you can learn to communicate effectively.

With a qualified and experienced counsellor, you can learn how to communicate effectively and work together to resolve conflicts that ultimately improve your relationship. 

2. You Cease to Coexist

man and woman holding smartphones ignoring each other

If you no longer do things together or share common interests, you start spending less time together. When that happens, you begin to lead separate lives and ultimately lose interest in each other. But through counselling, you can reconnect and reignite the spark in your relationship.

3. Considering Infidelity

Being unhappy in a relationship can tempt you to look elsewhere for physical intimacy and affection. But when you reach the point of considering infidelity, this is a serious alarm bell, clearly signalling that something is wrong in your relationship.

Instead of ignoring or stamping down this negative feeling, it’s important to consider where they are coming from. Through relationship counselling, you and your partner can explore the underlying issues that urge you to cheat and work together to find a solution.

4. The Bad Times Outnumber the Good

It’s never a good sign when you have more bad times than good in your relationship. You may think about toughing it out, hoping that something will change, but nothing ever will unless you do something about it. If you find yourself feeling unhappy more often than not, counselling can help you turn things around. A counsellor can help you and your partner identify the problems in your relationship and find ways to solve them.

5. You Keep Fighting over the Same Things

Fighting is a normal part of relationships. But if you keep fighting over the same thing without reaching a compromise, you might need professional help to settle those issues. Find a better solution and reach a compromise with the assistance of a qualified professional so you can finally put those recurring conflicts to rest.

6. Changes in Intimacy

Although it’s normal for changes in intimacy to occur in a relationship, feeling frustrated or unsatisfied with the changes is a bad sign. And if you don’t resolve this problem soon enough, it can damage your connection. With therapy, you and your partner can explore the reasons behind the changes in intimacy and find ways to improve your relationship.

7. A Definite Feeling That Something is Wrong

anxious woman sitting on couch

Do you have a nagging feeling that something is wrong, but you just can’t explain it? Seek help from a counsellor so you can identify problems in your relationship and work towards resolving them. Trust your instincts because it’s highly likely that something is definitely wrong.

8. A Betrayal Has Occurred

Infidelity occurs for several reasons, but it doesn’t change the fact that trust has been broken in your relationship. And getting through this problem without counselling is next to impossible as it’s one of the most difficult challenges a relationship can go through. So, seek professional support to help you and your partner work through the pain and betrayal to rebuild trust and improve your relationship.

9. You Pretend Everything is Fine

If you’re pretending everything is fine when it’s not, it’s a sign that something is wrong in your relationship. If you’re putting on a brave face for your friends and family, but you’re really not happy, couples counselling can help. A counsellor can help you and your partner explore the underlying issues in your relationship and find ways to improve things.

10. You Want Different Things out of Your Relationship

If you and your partner want different things out of your relationship, it’s a sign that you’re not on the same page. A counsellor can help you and your partner communicate about your needs and wants so that you can find a compromise that works for both of you.

11. You Don’t Feel Supported by Your Partner

If you don’t feel supported by your partner, it’s a sign that your relationship is unbalanced. But by seeking help from a counsellor, you and your partner can better communicate about your needs so that you can find a way to feel more supported in your relationship.

12. You Want to Have a Healthy Relationship

Relationship counselling isn’t always about overcoming severe difficulties. If you’re simply looking for ways to have a healthier relationship, counselling can also help. A counsellor can help you and your partner identify the areas in your relationship that need improvement and find healthy ways to communicate and resolve conflict. You don’t have to wait until things get bad to seek couples counselling.

Seek Help from Relationship Counsellors at DIPAC

relationship counsellor talking to a couple

If you’re experiencing any of these signs in your relationship, then consider relationship counselling in Australia. At DIPAC, we offer in-office and online relationship counselling to help you and your partner improve communication, resolve conflict and build a stronger relationship. 

We are a team of highly skilled professionals who are passionate about helping our clients overcome challenges and enjoy the best parts of their relationships. So if you feel the need for professional intervention, don’t hesitate to contact us and begin the journey to a more fulfilling relationship.

How to deal with infidelity

How do you define cheating?
Have you set the expectations in your relationship? OR have you assumed your partner knows the boundaries?

Here are a few areas I encounter as hot topics for discussion in my office:

  • Flirting via text with someone outside of your relationship
  • Watching porn (other men and women have sex) on your own or with someone other than your partner
  • Zoom sex with someone other than your partner
  • Sending sex pic’s with someone other than your partner
  • Engaging in sex with a paid sexual worker
  • Goggling someone shopping sexually who is not your partner
  • Holding a close hug longer than socially acceptable “a romantic cuddle”
  • A mouth kiss with someone other than your partner
  • Having a sneaky romantic lunch/drink with someone other than your partner
  • Changing your personality and body language when you are around someone other than your partner to be romantically noticed
  • And of course, you have had sex, foreplay or any other sexual interaction with someone who is not your partner

If you’ve been cheated on, you might be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You may feel devastated one moment and angry the next. A broken heart can lead to feelings of shame, doubt, confusion, and anxiety. Understanding and processing your emotions is a healthy way to heal from past hurt. There is not one direct path to follow when recovering from a breakup, some longer than others. Remember that it’s okay to take your time to heal and trust your own process because your feelings are unique to you and your life.

Feel the emotions, grow, and move on. It’s a personal journey of your own. In other words, stop judging yourself. Take the time you need to heal while also allowing yourself to grow and learn from the pain.

As Dr. Rob Weiss explains, “Damaged relationships don’t heal overnight. Moreover, damaged relationships don’t heal simply because one party wants them to.” As hard as it may seem, know that you are in charge of your own process and any closure you may need is entirely your own to give.

Meet the experts

Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW, is a clinical sexologist and the Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity LLC. He is the author of Out of the Doghouse and Prodependence, and host of the Sex, Love, and Addiction Podcast.

When dealing with the aftermath of infidelity, these six steps can help you cope with what transpired and deal with the emotional roller coaster of betrayal.
1. Work Through Your Feelings
You’ll likely experience different emotions as you process what happened. For instance, it’s common to feel disappointed or betrayed after infidelity, so take a moment to recognize these feelings are normal. “In general, getting over infidelity follows the usual stages of grief: shock/denial; anger/defiance; bargaining; depression, remorse; and acceptance,” explains Weiss. Rather than suppressing your emotions, work through them. Coming to terms with what happened is integral to the healing process.

Maintaining a daily gratitude practice, like keeping a journal, allows one to self-heal over time.

2. Don’t Blame Yourself
It’s all too easy to blame yourself for what happened, but you’re not responsible for your partner’s actions. While some self-reflection can be beneficial to your own personal growth, spiralling into harsh self-criticism and excessive self-blame actually delays the healing process. Rather than finding fault with yourself or obsessing over what might have been, place the blame squarely on the cheater.

3. Don’t Live in the Past
Are you questioning everything about your relationship, replaying conversations in an attempt to discover what went wrong? “There is an initial stage when the betrayed partner wonders what else she or he doesn’t know about,” says Weiss. “It is very difficult to trust anything the cheating partner says or does in this stage.” But obsessing over the past isn’t healthy or productive. Instead of dwelling on hypotheticals, focus on the future rather than negativity, working through all the stages of the healing process and eventually coming to forgive both them and yourself.

4. Think About What You Want
Moving on after infidelity means taking the lead on how you want to live your life. Do you want to break up with your partner or do you want to work on your relationship? Weiss suggests weighing all of the factors: “First of all, has the cheating stopped? Have the lies and secrets stopped? Generally speaking, are there more positive than negatives to the relationship? Is the cheating partner ever going to be able to restore relationship trust? There is no set formula for deciding to stay or go, but these questions can provide clarity.” These are important questions without right or wrong answers.

Regardless of what others say, your greatest concern should be yourself. For instance, if your partner’s actions are a deal-breaker for you, break up with your partner. On the flip side, you may feel hurt and betrayed by your partner but still want them in your life. “Betrayed partners should understand that it is normal to continue to love and care for someone, even after a betrayal,” says Weiss. “Both parties have to want to rebuild trust and intimate connection. The good news is that after an infidelity, if both parties do their work in the process of healing, relationships can end up being stronger than ever—deeper vulnerability, deeper intimacy, and more rather than less support of one another.”

Or, then again, you may also not be sure what you want. That’s okay. The decision is yours alone to make. Regardless of your decision, try to ensure that it’s being made from a place of healthy authenticity or “prodependence” rather than codependence.

5. Take Care of Yourself
When you’re dealing with something as life-changing as infidelity, this type of news can take a toll on you emotionally as well as physically. For instance, you may want to shut out the outside world and not see or talk to anyone. You may notice that you have difficulty concentrating at work or even find it hard to get the energy or desire to take care of yourself. But it’s imperative when faced with hardship and disappointment that you practice self-love and self-care during these difficult moments in your life.

“I am a big fan of gratitude lists, exercise, journaling, and of course therapy and support groups for people in the same or similar situations,” says Weiss.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you want to get over being cheated on, don’t be afraid to lean on those around you for support. Being cheated on by your partner can make you feel isolated and alone. However, it would be best if you weren’t afraid to reach out to friends and family after this has happened and surround yourself with people who care about you and your well-being. “Betrayed partners need support for the trauma they’ve experienced, and that support should not (and really cannot) come from their cheating partner,” explains Weiss. “There is nothing worse than sitting alone after a betrayal with absolutely no one to tur If you need to talk about your relationship and gain positive relationship strategies, please have no hesitation to book an appointment with DIPAC and Associates.