Couples Therapy

Couples Therapy / Marriage Counselling

According to information gathered so far, people in Australia were staying married for approximately 12 years in the 21st century. This shows a poor picture of how long, or more accurately, how short couples tend to last together. Since the pandemic surveys show that more marriages and couples are breaking and divorce rates are predicted to rise.

Nowadays there are more unhappy couples than happy ones. In addition, many of those who went through a breakup are likely to have their following relationship fail. This indicates that most of us might not really know how to do it these days, we don’t know how to make a relationship work. Modern humanity has inhabited the whole planet Earth, has reached the moon and space, but lost the way in that one most important thing – relationship.

Your relationship with your partner is probably the most important one you will ever have in your life. We spend about 18 years with our parents or caregivers, 18 more years we spend raising our own children, and so potentially the longest and closest relationship you’ll ever have to another human being is your relationship with you partner. Your relationship impacts your health and well being and has impact on every possible area of life, as well as your lifespan expectancy. Working on it and putting some energy into making it a great relationship is a good idea.

Fortunately, although rare, there are still some very happy couples around from which we can learn, and some gifted therapists that help us pave a path to successful relationships. Drawing on successful relationships and successful therapeutic approaches makes it possible for couples to heal and to learn how to succeed in this most important task of achieving life long satisfying relationships.

By working on their relationship, people are helping not only themselves, but also the generations to come. As most relational problems are “learnt” in childhood, couples with children do a great service for their children later on in life, as well as for their grandchildren.

Approaches and sources of Yael’s couples work

Yael Reiss is a mental health professional, with over 20 years of professional experience in counselling and using different psychotherapy modalities. Yael has a Masters degree in Social Work and a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy. Yael is a certified therapist of RLT – Relational Life Therapy. She is also an NLP therapist, Family Constellations Facilitator , public speaker, clinical supervisor and trainer.

In her work with couples Yael draws from observations of how things tend to go wrong in relationships versus how things tend to work well in relationships.

Yael draws these observations both from Systemic Family Constellations and from her university research about successful couples (Yael Tsvieli Reiss, Masters thesis, 2006).

Yael’s university thesis research for her Master’s degree is exploring the successful relationships in second time around. Yael studied the success of couples that each of their partners was divorced before finding the way to succeed in the following marriage or relationship. Learning what they do well now after failing in the past, now Yael is working with couples from a knowledge base of how couples achieve success after failing in the past.

Yael is a certified RLT therapist, and draws from Terry Real’s RLT = Relational Life Therapy, an approach to couples therapy and marriage counselling with a high success rate from the first session.

Yael draws on her extensive knowledge and experience in trauma work, that is so essential in helping partners stop being triggered by each other and heal the relationship. Grown-ups are unconsciously triggered in relationships by childhood trauma, and so without addressing trauma long term success will be hard to achieve.

Yael has extensive experience in NLP and hypnotherapy where the foundation is making fine distinctions, finding unconscious patterns, working with the unconscious mind and modelling what works for success.

Yael’s approach: Very direct and straightforward yet gentle, caring, digestible and safe

In her work with couples Yael has her direct yet compassionate style, willing to look into what was unseen in a couple’s life and dynamics.
Yael has the ability to assist a couple to accurately point out what has been going on under the surface.
Discovering the unconscious patterns and hidden dynamics that have been failing you for so long can feel challenging to face. Yet Yael does it in a compassionate way, sticking to the truth, in a way that is not only very digestible but also creating a positively-irreversible shift from the first session. This continues to have a deeper effect with each session.

Couples report from the first session being deeply moved and healthily-shocked-and-shaken. At the same time they report they also felt they were being held firmly in a way they could feel safe to look into the dynamics of what’s been going on.
Couples repot reduction in destructive behaviours from the first session. Although it does definitely take some work and practice to heal from years of unhealthy relationship patterns, couples report from the first session that after seeing what they saw, now they can no longer do some of these painful things to each other even if they tried to revert to the old patterns.

Who did what”: Addressing each partner’s contribution to the failing relationship

The work addresses each partner’s own relational issues. These individual relational issues stem from the earliest relationships an individual experiences in life which are with our parents or caregivers. These play a key role in a couple’s life in adulthood.

Together we work on each partner’s relational issues and trauma while the other partner is present.
Seeing your partner and being seen by your partner in these vulnerable healing moments has a tremendous healing effect on the couple as a whole. From then on it makes it impossible to not understand and empathize with your partner when they are behaving from a triggered place. Now you understand where it’s all coming from, you understand a lot of it is not even about you at all. You see how your partner is acting from a ”wounded child” place, and you are given tools to be there for them. And they now can do exactly that for you when you “flip your lid”.

Educational and Directive

In addition to healing past relational trauma, in her work with couples Yael has an educational, directive style. Once people address childhood relational issues and traumas they are free to take in and learn new skills more easily. Often couples have already been to therapy before and were given tools that didn’t work for them. Many great tools wouldn’t work when a person was living in past trauma. Now these great tools can easily be learnt and applied. Yael gives you great tools for great relationship, only after dealing with the part of you that wouldn’t use these tools in the past 🙂

From here the work continues less and less intensively as your relationship works better and better.
Within each session tools are being practiced and we’ll be going back for more healing when you come up with incidents in which dynamics reverted and tools didn’t work.
Eventually, you’ll be all good to go! And you’ll know it 🙂

Individuals working on relationship issues

In modern culture there is a focus on the individual. This focus comes from an underlying presupposition that there is a separate self. Individuals often come to therapy because as an individual they are unhappy, anxious, suffering from a certain symptom. Yet, in sessions with individuals it’s often observed that the issue an individual sufferers from is a relational issue. In these cases bringing the partner to therapy can be a key to success. Moving from “me versus you” into an “us” approach is most effective.

Yet, if you are not sure how and if you can bring your partner to therapy, or if you are not in a relationship at the moment yet needing to work on your relational traumas and skills you can greatly benefit from this work when coming on your own.


Marriage counselling / couples therapy sessions are LONG SESSIONS, an hour and a half long
The cost for the first session is AUD$260 (+$10 when paying from overseas)
The cost for each following session is AUD$210 (+$10 when paying from overseas)
(*The cost is the same whether one or two partners are present)

How often and how long: It is recommended to have weekly sessions initially, and once things settle down sessions can be spaced out. Some couples need only a few sessions to make it work well, some couples could use a few more sessions to turn their relationship into a great relationship, but really, how long is a piece of string? 🙂 Because your relationship with your partner is probably the most important thing you’ll ever have in life.

Feedback from Couples Therapy

Yael, our intimacy guru!
My partner and I contacted Yael after trying other psychologists for four years. We learnt a lot in that time but nothing close to what Yael taught us. She is a highly skilled professional who is incredibly knowledgeable. Yael helped us to unpack some really important parts of ourselves that we weren’t aware of, so that we could approach our relationship in a more loving way. Her magic has worked many times and we are so happy to be communicating really well and enjoying intimacy together, for the first time in a long time. I’m sure we will need her assistance again one day, but until then she has given us great tools to work on our relationship together. Yael saved our relationship and we are so grateful for her.

Resources for Couples Relationships and Success in Marriage:

I encourage you to start some self work as soon as possible:
Here I choose to recommend Terry Real‘s books / audios / videos for couples. They are all great at helping you thoroughly understand what you’ve been doing that isn’t effective AND at the same time very hands on in helping you figure out how to make it better.
Choose one of the below, as these are just different modes that cover the same topics: 
The New Rules of Marriage – Book
Fierce Intimacy  – Audiobook
Staying in Love – Online course