Frequently Asked Questions
1. Online Counselling Frequently Asked Questions
What is online counselling?
We provide online couples counselling in Australia. Online counselling is a way for you to engage in counselling using videoconferencing. Through our booking system you can select a time that works for you. Through videoconferencing software (Zoom) we will be able to see each other face-to-face on screen. The benefit of this approach is that you can access counselling from the comfort of your own home - it is convenient, private and confidential. System requirements: You will need a computer, laptop or mobile phone with video capability (webcam and microphone) and good internet access (500 kbps recommended - you can test your internet speed here). Dr Karin uses a dedicated room so that what is talked about cannot be overheard. You might want to think about where you can set yourself up in your home so that you cannot be overheard, interrupted or distracted during our sessions. Some clients prefer talking from their cars when they cannot find a quiet spot (please don't call her when you are driving), others prefer using headphones.
Here are some more tips to prepare for online counselling and set yourself up at home.
How does videoconferencing for online sessions work?
At the time of your scheduled appointment time, please go to the virtual waiting room. Please wait in the virtual waiting room until you are brought in. We use Zoom - you do not need a Zoom account, but can sign up if you want to. For couples this system does allow dialling in from two separate locations, although it is the preference that you are both together for most of the sessions.
In terms of set-up, the following works well: If you are using a laptop set it up on a low table (e.g., 45cm high coffee table) and sit back about 1.2m on the couch. For a desk height set-up, it's the same distance back from the laptop/PC: 1.2 m.
Make sure your laptop/phone is charged/plugged in.
Back-up plan - In the rare event we experience a glitch (e.g., if the internet drops out) Dr Karin will give you a call on your mobile phone.
2. Couples Counselling Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know there is any hope for us?
If you are reaching out there is hope! There's always room for improvement and working on yourself.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual or couples counselling?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with Dr Karin she could work with both of you together. After this work, if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions, she might be able to work with only one of you. It can become problematic to move from individual into couple’s work because it feels unbalanced between partners.
Can this work with just one of us?
To some extent, but it would work better if you both want change.
How long will counselling take?
The length of counselling will vary according to your needs, and how much energy you can invest in the process as it unfolds. In the first weeks, Dr Karin may recommend one session per week/fortnight so we can effect change and build momentum. As time goes by, sessions will be needed less frequently. Some partners feel satisfied with their changes after just a few months, and some continue to feel that important changes are happening for an entire year. In general, it is recommended that you consider committing yourself to a minimum of three to six months of regular counselling sessions. Of course, you can change your mind any time along the way. After 10 sessions, we can re-evaluate our progress towards treatment goals.
I’m used to handling things myself. Aren’t people who go to counselling weak?
Not at all. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason isn’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, Dr Karin will help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
Do you offer services for same-sex couples?
Absolutely, Relationships Squared is for all couples and individuals with all types of sexual orientations. I’m sensitive to the unique challenges that gay and lesbian couples face, and the Gottman Method is particularly successful with same-sex couples.
When is couples counselling not the best choice?
If there is ongoing physical aggression in your relationship, couples counselling is not helpful until internal changes take place in a person that enable the aggressive acts to be controlled. Couples counselling may also be of limited or no value if there are major secrets such as ongoing infidelity.
Do you work with children or do family counselling?
Dr Karin works with adults aged 18 years and over and specialise in working with couples.
Can we bring our baby, or can our child wait in waiting room?
No, minors cannot be left unattended. Our counselling work can be significantly less productive if a baby is present.
Do you accept private health insurance/ Medicare/Mental Health Care Plans/NDIS?
No. All our payments are private pay only. Some couples have been able to claim with their insurance provider - but that is between you and your insurer.
The Medicare-rebate and Mental Health Care Plans in Australia also do not apply to couples counselling.