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North Shore Relationship Counsellors Guide


Are you looking for a Relationship Counsellor to help you get through a challenging time in your marriage or relationship? The North Shore Relationship Counsellors Guide features lots of wonderful therapists to help you and your partner work through your issues and develop the skills needed to build a stronger, more satisfying relationship.

Over the last few years, there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of posts in the North Shore Mums Facebook group from women experiencing issues in their marriage or relationship. Whilst some women need professional help to guide them out of a destructive or abusive situation, other couples are seeking guidance from a relationship counsellor to help them work through their issues.

It can be hard to know where to turn for professional help.

To make it easy, our Relationship Counsellor Guide showcases many local relationship counsellors, psychologists and therapists to help couples through turbulent times in their relationship.

What is a Relationship Counsellor?

A Relationship Counsellor is a trained professional who helps individuals, couples, or families address issues related to their relationships. The counsellor works with clients to identify and understand the root causes of their relationship problems, and then helps them develop strategies to resolve those issues.

Relationship Counsellors typically have a background in psychology or a related field, and may be licensed therapists or social workers. They may work in private practice or as part of a larger organisation, such as a counselling centre clinic.

Common issues that relationship counsellors address include communication problems, conflict resolution, infidelity, trust issues, sexual difficulties, and parenting disagreements. The goal of relationship counselling is to help clients build healthier, more satisfying relationships with their partners or family members.

When should I see a Relationship Counsellor?

There are many situations where it may be helpful to see a relationship counsellor. Here are some common reasons why people seek out relationship counselling:

  • Communication issues: If you find it difficult to communicate effectively with your partner or if you are having trouble expressing your needs and feelings in a productive way, a relationship counsellor can help you learn new communication skills and improve your ability to connect with your partner.
  • Trust issues: If trust has been broken in your relationship, such as infidelity or dishonesty, a relationship counsellor can help you work through the underlying issues and rebuild trust.
  • Conflict resolution: If you find that you and your partner are constantly arguing or unable to resolve conflicts, a relationship counsellor can help you identify the underlying issues and develop strategies for resolving conflicts in a more productive way.
  • Intimacy issues: If you and your partner are having trouble connecting emotionally or physically, a relationship counsellor can help you explore the underlying issues and develop strategies for improving intimacy.
  • Life transitions: If you are going through a major life transition, such as getting married, having a child, or dealing with a loss, a relationship counsellor can help you navigate these changes and support your relationship through these transitions.

Do you need a referral to see a Relationship Counsellor?

No. A doctor’s referral is not required to book an appointment with a Relationship Counsellor.

Are any rebates available for Relationship Counselling Sessions?

Couples therapy is not claimable under Medicare.

Some private health insurers may offer a rebate for sessions. Check with your provider for your individual circumstances.

Relationship Counsellors on Sydney’s North Shore

Relationship Counsellors on Sydney’s Lower North Shore

Let Love Happen

Max and Tatiana Schneider are a husband and wife co-therapist team who provide premium counselling and coaching solutions. Their support programs offer a re-imagined and innovative approach to relationship help: counselling sessions are important and necessary, but these work best when led by a male and female team for a balanced perspective, and when they are complemented by outside-the-sessions customised work that is engaging, creative and informed by results. Mentoring and accountability is an important ingredient in their support process.

Working exclusively with couples who are willing to commit to a comprehensive process of transformation, they guarantee you will love each other more than you do now by the end of their helping process.

Qualifications & Experience

Max and Tatiana have over 20 years combined experience in counselling and family therapy, mental health education and resource development. They are trained in the Gottman Method, Couples and Addictions Recovery, Emotional Focused Couple Therapy, and Neurodiverse Couples Therapy.

  • Graduate Certificate in Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Graduate Certificate in Mental Health
  • Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Family Therapy
  • BA Communication
  • Cert MHFA

Session costs

Let Love Happen don’t work by single sessions. Instead, the offer premium packages with lifetime access to tools, resources and materials. Their program packages range from $1500 to $4700 per package.

Offer: Book a complimentary 45-minute relationship assessment session. Both partners need to attend together.

Essential Details: Let Love Happen

The Good Relationship Practice

The Good Relationship Practice is a team of specially-trained therapists who can help you to navigate difficult patches in your relationships. Cherie Marriott, Shweta Israni, Margie Mitchell and Filomena Leone offer targeted couples, family and individual counselling with a coaching edge, meaning they focus on your specific needs and you will notice results in only a few sessions.

In couples counselling you will be supported to resolve niggling road-blocks or bigger crises in your relationship, from improving communication and negotiating household responsibilities to reducing conflict, re-building intimacy and recovering from an affair.

Family counselling offers a non-judgemental space to work through troubles at home from parents struggling with discipline problems and differences over rule setting, to teens living with anxiety & ADHD/ASD. They also help separated or blended families who want to find harmony after divorce. Adult family therapy supports family members to repair estrangements & cut-offs, process past hurts and establish boundaries.

Individual counselling provides clients with a supportive environment to work through life transitions, grief & loss, expatriate struggles, childhood trauma, substance recovery & eating disorders, and anxiety & depression.

The approach taken by the therapists at The Good Relationship Practice is warm and compassionate, unbiased and practical. You can expect to leave each session with a clear idea of how to improve relationship dynamics and the confidence to move forward.

Qualifications & Experience

The therapists at The Good Relationship Practice are experts in couple and family therapy and undertake ongoing professional development to ensure their clinical edge. They hold Masters-level degrees in Counselling and Psychotherapy and use a combination of top-rated Gottman Method Therapy, Family-Systems Theory, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Solution-Focused approaches to achieve positive and lasting results.

Session costs

  • One-hour sessions $220-$245
  • Appointments are held in rooms at McMahons Point near North Sydney or clients can choose online sessions via Zoom. Appointments are available Monday to Saturday – including after-hours – and sessions are usually held fortnightly, on a regular basis, so that once you have an allocated time-spot it will be held exclusively for you.

Rebates: Medibank, AHM, Bupa, HCF, ARHG (including Teacher’s Health, St Luke’s, Phoenix Health, GMHBA, Westfund, Police Health, Emergency Services Health), Doctors Health Fund.

Offer: Call the practice on 0421 33 99 11 or email us at [email protected] for a free 15-minute consultation.

Essential Details: The Good Relationship Practice

John Harradine

John Harradine

John Harradine

John Harradine’s 40 years of experience working with people, apart from his broad formal qualifications, brings a life experience that enables him to work with an exceptionally wide range of challenges that face people in today’s world. He holds the view that our ever fast-moving world dictates that counselling is no longer confined to the provinces of temporary personal challenges or chronic mental illness. Rather it is a vital tool for personal growth in an unpredictable world. He has been engaged by a number of organisations to speak publicly about such matters and has taught at postgraduate levels.

John’s approach to working with you is client focused – so your needs are at the forefront of sessions with him. He thinks of himself as a tour guide. You decide the journey, he points out the scenery and you make choices about the scenery you wish to view. His training in such a wide range of therapeutic approaches, including as a relationship and family counsellor, enables him to match these to how you can best make progress and change the scenery to what you want more of in your life.

Working with John enables you to make wiser and more empowering choices in your life. As you grow in this way, relationships around you, very often a central focus of client dilemmas can be healed and enlivened.

One of his many testimonials speaks to the impact his work can have on his clients: “John is an incredibly insightful and powerful counsellor/coach. He can get ‘right to the core’ of an issue and has an exceptional ability to understand both situations and real motives. These combine to make him truly able to change lives.” You can find many more testimonials on his website.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Psychotherapist – Social Ecologist – Author
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA Reg. Clinical 24853)
  • Member of the Australian Counselling Association (MACA # 4725)
  • Member of the Australian College of Supervisors (MACA # 4725)
  • Master’s in Applied Science – Social Ecology
  • Graduate Diploma – Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Graduate Diploma – Psychology
  • Bachelor Of Business – Human Resource Management
  • Accredited Vocational Courses: Gottman Relationship approach, Schema Therapy, Conflict Resolution, Voice Dialogue, Eye Movement De-sensitisation Re-processing (EMDR), Trauma Counselling, Application of Neuroscience to Counselling and Psychotherapy, Polyvagal theory, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Neuro Emotive Technique (NET), Various psychometric instruments.
  • Presenter at Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), Mental Health Professionals Network (MHPN) and Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
  • Sessional Educator: Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), Griffiths University & University of Technology (UTS) (Undergraduate, Graduate and Masters programs) – Family & Relationship Counselling, Trauma Counselling, Counselling Skills, Narrative Therapy, Group Work, Leadership, Interpersonal Skills
  • Fellow of the Australian Institute of Executive Coaches (# F250105)
  • Author, Breaking Patterns: Run the life you want to have or life runs you!

Session costs

  • Individuals $220 per hour
  • Couples $240 per hour
  • Families (3 or more) $260 per hour
  • Group Sessions (6 or more) $90 per person

Rebates: Medibank, AHM, Bupa

Offer: Call John on 0419 953 389 for a free 10 minute consultation.

Essential Details: John Harradine

Relationship Counsellors on Sydney’s Upper North Shore

SLK Counselling and SLK Hypnotherapy

As a Mental Health Social Worker since 2003 (Medicare provider) Sheryl-Lee offers couple counselling, individual counselling and clinical hypnotherapy. She used to work as a Family Mediator so she has expertise in couples separating and the impact on their children. She has worked for an employee assistance program since 2018 and has helped thousands of couples repair their relationships.

Sheryl-Lee has a unique approach. Her skill involves getting to the heart of the issue quickly. She uses her subconscious knowledge to help couples identify their patterns. New strategies are offered which helps couples move forward quickly. She has been described as having a no fluff approach but she is driven by warmth and compassion.

For hypnotherapy she has had great success with helping emotional eaters develop a new mindset and relationship with food. She provides an online service and has rooms in Pymble.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Bachelor Social Work (2003) Sydney University
  • Diploma Clinical Hypnotherapy and NLP (Government accredited)
  • The Couples Institute Dr Ellen Bader
  • Resource Therapy Phillipa Thornton
  • How to remove limiting beliefs Lion Goodman
  • Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Institute of Mediators)
  • Mental Health Social Worker (Medicare provider)
  • How to remove trauma Allun Parry
  • Juvenille Justice Convenor

Session costs

  • Couples first session 1.5 hours $250
  • Couples online session $220 1.5 hours
  • Hourly sessions in Pymble $230
  • Online hourly for individual $200

Rebates: Medicare for Mental Health Plan. Some private health funds provide rebates for hypnotherapy.

Offer: 6 sessions for $1080 for individual sessions.

Essential Details: SLK Counselling

The Barefoot Therapist

Sharlene Townes, The Barefoot Therapist

Couples Therapy

Profound relationship change occurs in couples therapy when both individuals feel understood, supported and challenged to grow.

Sharlene facilitates powerful conversations to help you uncover your triggers for conflict and communication that keep you stuck, disconnected or in crisis. Learn to ask for what you need, set healthy boundaries and support your partner’s ability to do the same.

A great relationship is one in which both individuals can be honest, feel seen and heard, and are empowered in their lives together.

Sharlene will guide you to:

  • Create emotional safety to foster honesty
  • Befriend your nervous system and communicate calmly and clearly even when triggered
  • Negotiate healthy time-outs and share responsibility for repair to ensure conflict enhances and deepens your connection
  • Repair after infidelity or a deep relationship trauma
  • Openly ask for what you need without expectation or blame
  • Find your way out of relationship ‘flat-line’ or an overwhelming crisis and rebuild a shared vision for a relationship that supports the wellbeing of the two of you.

There is often a well-worn communication dance in relationships that over time, can erode its health, vitality and your ability to remain open and curious with your partner. Unlock your unique dance and create the relationship you both truly want.

Individual Therapy

Sharlene also works with individuals to help you make sense of the past and your current relationships, including – and most importantly – your relationship with your self. She helps you understand your nervous system, understand the legacy of childhood and traumas to reclaim your curiosity and resilience. Sharlene also facilitates deep inner child healing. ​

Qualifications & Experience

  • Qualified & Registered Licensed Counsellor
  • Bachelors Degree in Counselling
  • Couples training with Esther Perel
  • Couples training with Terry Real
  • Somatic Psychotherapist
  • Trauma & addiction with Gabor Mate
  • ADHD & ASD neurodiversity specialisation in adult relationships
  • Specialist in Empaths & HSP’s and sensitivity differences in relationships
  • Attachment and romantic love
  • Internal family systems
  • Polyvagal theory.

Session costs

  • 1 hour session: $200
  • 2 hour extended session: $400
  • Individual Session: $165

Offer: Free 15-minute consult – book online.

Essential Details: The Barefoot Therapist

Artful Life Therapies

Jan Holland from Artful Life Therapies

Jan Holland from Artful Life Therapies

Jan Holland is a qualified counsellor and coach. Jan’s passion is to help you cope better with your breakup. Having experienced her own marriage breakdown, she knows how important it is to take back control of your own life.

She uses her expertise, learnings and experience to guide and support you during one of the most difficult times of your life. During coaching with Jan you will learn techniques, strategies and practical tips:

  • to feel confident in your life AFTER separating and to have a plan in place that richly supports you.
  • to communicate clearly and calmly with your ex partner while laying the foundations for a new version of your family so that your children’s needs are met on all levels.
  • to minimise the costs of divorce – emotionally, financially, energetically.
  • and to rediscover yourself in this new chapter of your life.

Jan believes that you have all the answers within you. By connecting more deeply with yourself, you will gain more awareness and clarity. You will learn how to reframe your experiences and to extract the deep learnings.

Your life can begin afresh. It can be an adventure filled with hope and excitement.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Diploma of Teaching
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Counselling
  • Trained in NLP

Session costs

  • Face-to-face sessions: Individual session – 60 minutes/$150 | 8 week package – $997
  • Online sessions: Individual session – 60 minutes/ $125 | 8 week package – $847

Offer: The first session is free so that you can determine if coaching with Jan is a good fit for you.

Essential Details: Artful Life Therapies


Thought Tree Counselling

Allison Garing from Thought Tree Counselling

Allison Garing from Thought Tree Counselling

Allison Garing provides thoughtful relationship therapy in a space that is non-judgmental, compassionate and respectful. She is a Sydney-based clinically registered Counsellor/Psychotherapist with a background working with couples, families, adults and young people.

Allison’s clients benefit from a collaborative, person-centred approach, and her aim is to empower you with evidence based tools to improve communication, reduce conflict and improve emotional wellbeing within couples and families. She is passionate about Family Systems therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory and Gottman Method.

Allison also has experience working with adults and young people in the areas of anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, emotion regulation and workplace stress. She has a particular interest in parenting and family functioning and also life transition issues; including grief and loss, career change, separation and divorce, and creating a new meaningful life after change.

Allison offers counselling in her specialist rooms in Hornsby and Thornleigh or via Tele-health via Zoom or Phone. Confidentiality is assured.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Clinically Registered with PACFA
  • Master of Counselling
  • Gottman Level 1 and 2
  • Emotion Focused Therapy
  • Couples and Addiction Recovery
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Family Systems
  • Attachment Theory

Session costs

  • Couples 1 hour: $180 + GST
  • Couples 90 Minute intake session: $270 + GST
  • Individual Session: $150 + GST

Rebates: Offered by Bupa, AHM, Medibank, ARHG (including Teacher’s Health, St Luke’s, Phoenix Health, GMHBA, Westfund, Police Health, Emergency Services Health), HCF and Doctors Health.

Offer: It is common to feel nervous about speaking to a therapist and the relationship between the counsellor and client is very important. If you would like to have a quick chat before making an appointment, Allison is happy to talk to you about your needs, the counselling process and what she offers.

Essential Details: Thought Tree Counselling

Relationship Counsellors on Sydney’s Inner West

Elizabeth Neal Psychology & The Relationship Therapy Centre

Elizabeth Neal Psychology & The Relationship Therapy Centre

Elizabeth Neal Psychology & The Relationship Therapy Centre

Marathon Couples Therapy is an intensive and extremely effective approach to resolving specific crises or issues. It is a structured program resulting in a reduction of distress, resolution of specific problems and a stronger relationship.

The whole of the couples therapy is completed over two full days (usually over a weekend) with some pre-therapy and post-therapy consultations. Included is a comprehensive relationship assessment, an interpretation of the findings, an analysis of the relationship, and a huge package of resources and interventions.

The intensive process allows couples to successfully work through areas of gridlocked conflict that are keeping them stuck. With evidence-based communication strategies, couples learn how to convert hurtful and destructive communication patterns into more considered dialogue. This results in meaningful understanding, uncovering realistic roadmaps for moving forward.

Couples with “stuck points” can really benefit from marathon therapy as it is a great way of addressing these core issues. By intensively working at specific issues, the full intensive format provides couples with a very clear idea about how they plan to move forward.

‘I love doing Marathon Therapy with couples and I find it is extremely effective in resolving deeply stuck issues. Couples have unforeseeable revelations about themselves and each other’. – Elizabeth Neal

Qualifications & Experience

Liz is a registered Psychologist, a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist, Advanced Clinical Trainer and Consultant for The Gottman Institute, and the Director of The Relationship Therapy Centre. She is one of the first Australians to become a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist and one of the nation’s few official trainers for the Gottman Institute of Couples Therapy.

Liz is regularly called on by media to provide expert opinion relating to relationship topics and has a strong relationship with the Australian Broadcasting Association (ABC) in both digital and radio form.

Session costs

The Marathon Couples Therapy Package includes:

  • Initial 50-minute Zoom/F2F consultation
  • A comprehensive Gottman Relationship Assessment and Analysis
  • Two individual consultations with each partner so Liz can get to understand where you are each coming from and your individual perspectives
  • Two full days of therapy
  • A huge pack of resources from the Gottman Institute
  • Two follow up sessions 4 and 6 weeks later
  • Total package cost: $5900

Rebates: Some private health insurers will rebate partial fees.

Essential Details: Elizabeth Neal

Online Relationship Courses

The Relationspace

The Relationspace is a specialist mental health practice that provides effective, evidence-based interventions and services to help build stronger relationships and negotiate healthy ways to cope with relationship change.

Their particular expertise is focussed on assisting families and children who are negotiating a separation or divorce within the Family Court, through legal proceedings or families outside the court system who are seeking better ways to separate well.

Mostly, some specific psychological education around separation in high-conflict circumstances is all that is needed to come to a better arrangement regarding contentious parenting matters and children.

RelationSpace Online is an early intervention e-health course that provides effective psycho-education to individuals as they transition through a high-conflict divorce situation and relief to the children in these families, who are caught in the middle of the parental dispute. The course is challenging and interactive, and includes detailed video coaching, dramatisations, sound bites, text, quizzes, infographics and printable PDF’s. It helps parents manage their emotions, improve their communication and reduce their conflict. After completing the course, parents have the requisite skills and behaviours to think and behave more rationally and are more likely to make child-focused decisions.

Experts at The Relationspace work with families and other professionals to develop and implement child-focused parenting arrangements. They provide a comprehensive range of services related to families involved in Court proceedings, Australia-wide.

Qualifications & Experience

The Experts at The Relationspace are Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists and Registered Psychologists; each offer decades of experience in this niche area of Psychology and Family Law. Meet the team.

Session costs

RelationSpace Online delivers the first 6 sessions of content that would be generally provided as education in therapy. The easily digestible content is presented as video stories in an online format – with a built in diary that can help clarify feelings and manage complex emotions around separation.

This highly respected ‘Parenting After Separation’ course is written and delivered by specialist practitioners who have helped thousands of families in high conflict separation and divorce. E-learning specialists have developed the course functionality to ensure that participants are active, engaged and challenged. At the conclusion of the course, participants may elect to have a comprehensive report of their progress, with referrals and recommendations included.

The program has a duration of around 8 hours and is designed to allow access for 6 weeks, so you can return to your log in to review lessons and practice the content.

Special Offers

For RelationSpace Online, enrolment is easy, with access 24/7 .The program is delivered in two parts.

  • Part 1: Use code NSM50$OFF at checkout to get it for $19 (usually $69)
  • Part 2: Part 1 leads into Part 2 of the program which is $129 and when completed, will provide a Certificate of completion which can be used in proceedings or as evidence of a Parenting After Separation program.

Essential Details: The Relationspace Online

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