We Understand Relationships

At Side by Side we understand relationships; what goes wrong and what goes right. We assist couples to co-create healthy, loving relationships. We are committed to helping relationships thrive. We start by ensuring that your relationship with your own inner self is intact, because only then will you be able to have a happy relationship with some one else.

Relationship counselling requires specialised focus and expertise, and that is exactly what we have formulated at Side by Side. Our expert psychologists, counsellors and methodologies are specially crafted to help you with all your relationship needs, irrespective of how complex and varied they are.

What We Do

Professional & Confidential Relationship Counselling

At Side by Side we understand relationships; what goes wrong and what goes right. We assist couples to co-create healthy, loving relationships. Our relationship experts offer a full range of unique relationship support services to people with relational problems or difficulties.

Relationship Therapy deepens our understanding and acceptance of each other as well as giving us the tools to communicate more fruitfully with each other. It is a rich experience, and, potentially, one with the greatest opportunity for personal growth.

Most couples report a sense of relief and clarity within a few weeks of undertaking couples therapy. Using practical and effective strategies and exercises, Side by Side counsellors can help couples get to the heart of emotional communication issues that often generate negative patterns of arguing, fighting and disconnecting.

We work with people of all sexual orientations, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds at our four convenient practices in Outer-Eastern Melbourne. Whether you are married, living together or in a relationship, deciding to engage in relationship counselling is a positive step towards achieving and maintaining a healthy balanced relationship.

Using practical and effective strategies and exercises, Side-by-Side counsellors can help you get to the heart of emotional communication issues that often generate negative patterns of arguing, fighting and disconnecting.

Common Concerns

There could be several concerns in relationships. Any time that your relationship doesn’t feel nurturing, supportive or satisfying is a great time to seek counselling. Some of the common reasons for attending couples counselling include:

  • Improving Communication
  • Parenting
  • Blended Families and Step-Parenting
  • Affairs
  • Sexuality and Intimacy
  • Impact of Addiction
  • Management of Separation

Fees for Relationship Counselling

Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide a rebate for relationship counselling so the cost of each session must be covered by the couple involved.

  • 50 minute session – $180
  • Extended therapy session (3+ hours per day) – $180 per hour
  • Two-day program – $1500
  • Three-day program – $2300

Intensive Therapy Programs (2 or 3 days)

The Couples in Crisis Program is an intensive and focused therapeutic program for couples in high distress.

The aim of this program is to assist the couple breakthrough their gridlocked issues in the quickest possible manner. When a relationship is in intensive care it may not be helpful to have counselling only for one hour a week.

Intensive therapy programs run over two or three days, with five hours per-day of counselling.

There are a number of breaks built into the day. You will have a 30-minute break when your partner is meeting individually, and you will also have 15-minute breaks after every 90-minute session, plus a lunch break.

A specific treatment plan will be structured in consultation with each partner. In addition to the specific issues of each couple there are general aims in this form of therapy to immediately improve emotional communication, foster respect, affection, and a cooperative attitude. This groundwork will keep conflict discussions calm, and assist in breaking through and resolving conflict gridlock as well as strengthen and maintain gains in your relationship.

While at times couples may not have the same aspirations, hopes, or goals, they still succeed in reaching resolutions. We do our best to honour both individuals’ hopes and dreams.

Cost = $1500

*Session availability is limited – must be planned in advance.


  • All of the assessments and interventions tools
  • Two individual 30 minute face to face sessions
  • 5 hours of intensive therapy/coaching per day
  • Take home package of tools and supplementary support material.
  • 3 study and reference books

Cost = $2300

*Session availability is limited – must be planned in advance.

Recommended for couples recovering from an affair or couples where one or both members are victims of past trauma. Includes all the features of the two-day program, with an added day of 5-hour therapy.

The Couples in Crisis Programs are not suitable for all couples at all times.

This program is not suitable if :

  • Either partner has already decided to leave the relationship and is not committed to working on it
  • When there is an ongoing affair
  • When there has been a recent disclosure of an affair unless both partners have a firm commitment to do the work required to recover from the infidelity
  • When there are current issues of domestic violence
  • If there is serious drug or alcohol addiction
  • If there is unmanaged serious mental health illness

In these cases, less intensive couples work may need to be coordinated with individual therapy, or put on hold until the situation is stabilised.

Pre-marriage Counselling

Getting married is a big change; even for couples who currently live together or have known each other for a long time. Pre-marriage counseling aims to ensure that you and your partner maintain a strong, healthy relationship through life’s challenges.

Side by Side’s specially designed, thought-provoking marriage preparation counselling program will equip you and your partner with insights and know-how, and clarity and confidence to avoid the pitfalls and build the best possible future together.

A wide variety of topics can be covered in premarital counselling.

Some of the aims and issues covered:

  • To communicate about challenging issues proactively and effectively
  • To resolve conflict successfully and respectfully
  • To create and stick to a financial plan
  • To agree on role responsibilities and expectations
  • To maintain appropriate boundaries with extended family and friends
  • To envision and accomplish your individual and shared dreams
  • To find a healthy and happy balance between marriage/family, work, and self
  • To define your specific goals and the vision of your dream future in detail
  • To assess and enhance your communication skills. Couples that communicate effectively can resolve conflicts more effectively. This will allow you to spend less time arguing and more time understanding.
  • To explore what sustains and strengthens ‘loving attachment’
  • To explore role expectations. Discussing roles early on will clarify expectations for the future.
  • To discover if there are past problems that could affect the relationship in the future. These could be problems from childhood, past relationships, traumatic events, medical conditions.
  • To explore cross cultural issues and different family dynamics. Much of what we learn about relationships comes from our parents and other family members. Identifying our early influences and discussing our learned behaviours will help us understand how this might play out in marriage.
  • To discover potential external factors that could negatively influence the relationship such as concerns about career, parents or religion.

Preventative Therapy – don’t wait until there’s a problem

Couples often wait until they are in despair to seek help and address their issues. Preventative Therapy is such a healthy option for all couples to proactively approach their relationship and not wait for something to go wrong.

Don’t let the stigma of counselling get in the way of you nurturing your relationship. It is a sign of maturity and commitment to seek help in addressing important topics that all couples should talk about and explore together.

Preventative Therapy is a great option for you if you feel you have a strong, solid relationship, a strong sense of “we” and see yourselves as a unit who is able to communicate effectively. Your strong communication will allow you to address topics effectively and set yourselves up for a healthier future together.