What does couples therapy involve?

I base my therapy on the work of John and Julie Gottman whose research with many couples over time has identified the factors that make for satisfying and lasting relationships.  I see couples together in the first instance; separately on one occasion each; and then I see the couple together for the remaining sessions. I request a couple to do a confidential online assessment which assists in the counselling process. We look at the areas that may need to change in the relationship and how a couple can do that, for example, ways of resolving conflict and improving communication. The couple will learn ways to plan for their own individual and shared goals and positivity in the relationship. We develop a plan for going forward.

I am not a referee, as a couples counsellor is an educator and coach.  I give couples tools to go away with so that they apply that knowledge in future situations.

I have a relatively high profile in this city.  How can I trust you to help me yet still maintain my privacy?  Will I encounter other clients coming and going? I work from a home office and have minimal clerical assistance. More often than not I schedule a gap between clients so you are unlikely to see anyone coming or going.

Would you like to book a therapy session

The first appointment extends for 90 minutes at standard fees (no extra charge)

I love my alcohol and need it to wind down after a stressful work day and I like to drink with my friends. I find it difficult to drink in moderation now.  I find I have no “off button”.  Are you able to help me?  My partner is not happy with my drinking and I am starting to feel I go over the top on occasions too.

Most people commence using alcohol for reasons of enjoyment and socialising. My background is as an educator, individual and family therapist and I use the evidence-based therapies for alcohol use, in other words what the research shows works. This counselling will be respectful and compassionate and provide you with the information, strategies and resources that you may need to make good decisions around your alcohol use.  My style is not naturally “tough love” but I take my responsibility as a health professional who you have chosen to consult seriously, and give you feedback in a caring fashion.

How can someone understand and help us sort out our sex life when we can’t even bear looking at each other now?

It is sometimes important to understand how other aspects of your life together may be affecting aspects of intimacy in your life. With your permission I will discuss your sexual history with you to determine what each of you finds useful, and examine what each partner’s expectations are of the other person to create mood and pleasure.

Grief is overwhelming me.  Can you offer me anything at all to help me cope?

When you have lost someone near to you it feels as though life may never be the same again. It is however the case that there are techniques that we can teach you to give you some relief from the emotional pain caused by loss and grief.

People have suggested that I try hypnosis to give up smoking? I have always worried about losing control if I am put under hypnosis. What will happen if you hypnotise me?

There has been a lot of misinformation and sensation about hypnosis. It is not at all magical or mystical.  A person who requests hypnosis is aware and in control during the whole process. The process of hypnosis involves tapping into people’s abilities and strengths to change their behaviour when they are in an extremely relaxed and focussed state. Most people say they find the process calming, and that they feel quite powerful and optimistic about their ability to change whatever they want to change.

Briony Barton

Briony Barton

B A (major Psych)
B Soc Admin (Social Work)
Grad Dip Mental Health

Hi, nice to meet you. A little about me:

I am a member of:

  • Australian Association of Social Workers (Accredited Mental Health)
  • Australian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists
  • Society of Australian Sexology (General Member)
  • Australian Society of Hypnosis (Associate)

Get in Touch With Briony Barton

For more information on couples counselling provided by Briony Barton Therapy, please call 0433 011 558 or click on the Get In Touch Button