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Weekly Couples Therapy

My name is Kylie and I am the Practice Manager at Burleigh Heads Psychology and Relationship Institute Australasia.I am very pleased to meet you.

If you are part of a couple in distress, you may feel that there is no way out of your troubled relationship.  


Evidence-based approaches are key to understanding effective therapy, whether for individuals or for couples.  This means that the therapy you are receiving was tested against alternative methods, preferably in randomized controlled trials.  

At Burleigh Heads Psychology & Relationship Clinic - our Couples Therapists are highly trained in Gottman Method Couples therapy and, in some cases, Emotion Focussed Therapy for Couples as well.

Backed by over 40 years of research Gottman Method Couples therapy is a world renowned, successful approach to helping you better manage conflict, deepen your friendship, intimacy and emotional connection and create a rich sense of shared meaning together.

 We understand that making the first step can take much courage - and we are pleased you are taking this time to reach out.

Burleigh Heads Psychology & Relationship Clinic is proud to be a leading organisation that offers Gottman Relationship Therapy - and is led by one of only two Gottman Advanced Clinical Trainers in Australia - John Flanagan.

Please note - if you are experiencing any form of physical, psychological or emotional abuse - call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)  or go to your GP immediately for further assistance.

Gottman Marital Therapy is the gold standard when it comes to successful couple recovery.  It is a process oriented, cognitive, emotionally based approach to assisting you as a couple gain a better understanding of each other and to develop a range of new skills and behaviours that foster closer, more intimate relationship where arguing and conflict are managed in a much more harmonious manner. 

We deliver Gottman Couples Therapy in 2 ways - the 2-day Marathon approach and also a more traditional weekly session approach which I will explain both ways below.

1.  Face to Face Marathon Therapy by John Flanagan and Brhea Ind - please see here 


2.  Weekly / 2 hourly sessions  -  available with John Flanagan, Brhea Ind, Karen Holmes and Tracy Wall

See below

Part of the success of this type of therapy is that your therapist always begins with a thorough assessment of your relationship, as this provides them with an in-depth understanding of both of you as individuals and of your relationship. 

We work together to schedule the an initial 10 sessions to begin with:  The assessment phase of 4 sessions and then your first 6 therapy appts. We then add more sessions as you and your therapist decide from there.

The assessment phase is always completed within 7 - 10 days -  and  we also book 6 x 2 hour appts for the following 6 weeks to ensure we have continuity of your therapy.  Research demonstrates that intensity in treatment generally results in more rapid and more sustainable change particularly early in treatment.  We recommend this to fast track your relationship recovery.  

Assessment Phase - always completed within 7 - 10 days
Appt 1 - 1 hour for the 2 of you together to meet with your therapist
Appt 2 - 1 hour for just one of you by yourself
We usually do these first 2 sessions within your first 2 hour appt 

Appt 3 - 1 hour for the other partner by themselves
Appt 4 - 1 hour for the 2 of you together (this is your feedback session)
We usually do these second 2 sessions within next  2 hour appt 

Therapy Phase - always needs to be a minimum of 2 hours for first 6 sessions
Appt 5 - 2 hours
Appt 6 - 2 hours
Appt 7 - 2 hours
Appt 8 - 2 hours
Appt 9 - 2 hours
Appt 10 - 2 hours

Appts 11 onwards - between 1 and 2 hours as discussed with your therapist 

More sessions will be added from here as necessary and depending on your situation and current challenges.  

Please note the general time frame for couples therapy is anywhere from 12 - 16 sessions onwards.
Can you use a mental health care plan to claim a Medicare rebate for couples therapy?  

Good question - unfortunately the answer is no.

While mental health plans do exist under Medicare to assist people with mental health issues in seeking professional assistance, these are restricted to individuals.  Couples therapy, while inarguably a very difficult and mentally taxing process to go through, doesn't fall under this definition and won't be covered by a mental health plan.

Your private insurance may cover couples therapy - once you have made a decision on who you would like to go with, please call your insurance provider and ask them if they cover Item 300 - Family and Couples Therapy with a minimum of 2 hours in one day.  Please also ask if they cover services from a registered PACFA member or a Registered Psychologist.  We willl then supply you with a paid receipt that you can forward to your provider for rebate / refund.

Once you have made a decision to engage in either of the processes outlined above, it is very important that you try to 'call a truce' on any on-going issues in your relationship for the time being.  Couples therapy is a commitment to re-build your relationship and the process begins right now.  Whatever issues you are currently struggling with will be addressed in a way that allows both of you to feel heard, understood and validated.  Effectively, what this means is that until we get started - you can ‘shelve’ your problems knowing that they will be addressed then, and now is an opportunity for you to have a break from working on those concerns and instead focus on what you would like to build once we have effectively dealt with them together. 
The therapists that can assist you with weekly style Gottman Therapy are:

John is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and registered PACFA member with 35 years experience.  He holds a Masters in Gestalt Therapy and was the first Accredited Mental Health Social Worker in Australia to become Gottman Advanced Clinical Trainer.   One of only 28 worldwide.

 John specialises in Marathon Therapy - click here

Brhea Ind is a Registered Psychologist who is also a Certified Gottman Therapist.  She has a passion for strong and productive relationships.  She is available Mondays to Thursdays - clinic  hours.  

Brhea can also offer therapy via ZOOM after assessment of suitability.  For info on Brhea - click here

Karen Holmes.  Karen is a proficient Psychotherapist who has completed the 3rd level of Gottman training.  She has a longstanding focus on supporting relationships and she is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (Friday till 3pm only)  9am - 5pm.  She can also offer therapy via ZOOM after assessment of suitability.  For info on Karen - click here


Tracy Wall is a well respected Psychotherapist and Counsellor who has also completed the final level of Gottman training.  Her focus is supporting relationships repair and she is in clinic on Wednesdays and Fridays.  She can also offer therapy via ZOOM after assessment of suitability.  For info on Tracy - click here

I know this may seem like a lot of information - but you have now taken the first step by clicking here.  

If you are not sure where to go from here, you are more than welcome to call me on 0420 434 628 and chat to me privately and confidentially about what might suit you best.  We are here to assist you in any way that we can.  

Kylie-Jo Elliott
Practice Manager

Relationship Institute Australasia
Burleigh Heads Psychology & Relationship Clinic

2 / 18 Park Avenue
Burleigh Heads   QLD   4220

Ph.  07 5576 2633


Our Couples Therapists

Trish and John 4EB.jpeg

Trish Purnell-Webb

John Flanagan

Brhea Ind

Karen Holmes

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