Taking Responsibility -

even for a small part of the communication - presents the opportunity for great repair
John Gottman

Couples Therapy

Couples Therapy aims to bring about understanding of how each person is impacting on the other. Janelle Wright offers couples therapy and counselling in Leichhardt in Sydney's Inner West.


Couples come to Couple Therapy for a variety of reasons. There is often an adjustment to a new stage of the relationship such as newly together, new parents, parenting adolescents or facing retirement. There may be grief, loss or recovery from a betrayal or disruption.

In all situations it is important for both people to speak from their perspective and be heard by the other person. As a systems therapist I can assist by providing support to both people, and facilitate effective communication while avoiding taking sides. The intention is to bring about understanding of how each person is impacting on the other and for each person to make choices around future ways of relating.

Couples can develop habitual ineffective communication styles when relating to each other. John Gottman, a Canadian Family therapist described 4 ways of relating that are predictive of relationship breakdown. These styles are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stone-walling. These habits may have been learned in childhood or it may be that they develop in this particular relationship for the first time. I often refer to Gottman’s work when working with couples to assist in the development of more positive ways of relating that can enhance and deepen relationships rather than damage them.

I also encourage couples to seek help early rather than later as it is easier to make changes when problems are beginning to emerge than when habits are deeply entrenched with both people feeling disenchanted and potentially withdrawing from each other. Encountering problems or differences within the relationship can be an opportunity for growth and a strengthening of the relationship if the couple is willing to keep talking together to understand the other’s position.

Contact Janelle

0413 594 472



PACFA Accredited Member
Number 26571

AHPRA member
Number NMW0001271160

Years of private practice: 10 years
Community practice: 20 years