MarAthon Counselling

A marathon is an approach to couples therapy that is an alternative to regular weekly sessions. It’s an opportunity to put to bed long standing issues and get your relationship back on track. Marathons are an opportunity for couples to process past hurts, perpetual issues in their relationship, and to learn and practice effective communication. A marathon is especially beneficial for couples who don’t live near a trained Gottman Couple’s Therapist, have hectic work schedules and couples who require immediate help.

Couples will engage in 2-3 days of couples counselling that will involve 6 hours of therapy on each of these days, resulting in 4x1.5hour blocks of therapy and a lunch break each day.

All couples are required to complete a comprehensive online relationship assessment a week prior to their retreat, as the results of this assessment are required to ensure the retreat will address the most pressing issues of each couple. This significantly reduces the amount of time you would otherwise spend helping your therapist understand your relationship. All results are presented as joint strengths or weaknesses and individual results are confidential.

Therapy will take place at the clinic in a private counselling room. For interstate couples therapy will take place in a private meeting room at the Mercure Townsville, a resort style hotel close to the city. Corporate discounts are available on accommodation (details provided at the time of booking). Couples are welcome to stay in alternative accommodation if they prefer.

A marathon will often address conflict, lack of friendship, negative relationship sentiment, lack of appreciation and respect, poor communication and trust and commitment issues.

Inclusions for a Marathon;

  • A highly experienced psychologist who has extensive training in the Gottman method of couples counselling
  • 6 hours of focussed couples counselling per day
  • A Gottman relationship check up assessment
  • Lunch plus tea and coffee provided
  • A personalised booklet containing the strategies relevant to your relationship to ensure you can continue to implement these strategies once therapy has finished (e.g. strategies to manage conflict, solve ongoing issues, how to communicate your needs, improve connection, improve intimacy
  • Corporate discounts on accommodation

“Marathon sessions get so much momentum, couples are so focussed on their relationship that they really move through interventions and process attachment injuries much quicker"

Julie Gottman

Couples therapy

The Gottman Method for Couples Counselling is entirely research based and has been proven to be a highly effective therapy for couples. We recommend marathon counselling, however some couples will prefer regular weekly sessions. Using the Gottman model for regular sessions the first 4 sessions of therapy will be assessment sessions. The following structure is recommended for therapy;

  • Session 1 is 80 minutes and includes a Gottman Relationship Check-Up, which is an online assessment that you and your partner complete, that usually takes between 60-90 minutes.
  • Session 2 and 3 are individual sessions and are 50 minutes each. These are an opportunity to speak about your own emotional and mental state, background and perspective on your relationship. 
  • Session 4 is 120 minutes and will provide you and your partner with the results of the assessments so that you both have a thorougher understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship, and can also agree on a plan for which areas to address first in counselling.
  • All remaining sessions are 120 minutes as this allows sufficient time to process issues within a session.
  • The Gottman Institute recommends at least 17 hours of therapy, in addition to the assessment sessions, for the basics of therapy to be covered.
“Maintaining a relationship can be one of the hardest things you will do in your life, why not get some guidance from the experts in relationships to make this part of your life a little easier"
Elizabeth Pincott


Individual counselling is provided via 50-60 minute sessions, either in person or via Skype, to enable access for those who don’t live close to a schema therapist, or who prefer to have therapy in the comfort of their own home. 

Create a life that is satisfying by breaking free from repeated problems in sustaining intimate relationships, difficulty in letting go of disturbing memories from childhood, and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Schema Therapy has been developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young, and has been found to be an effective therapy for helping people who haven’t found traditional forms of therapy helpful.

Schema Therapy addresses early maladaptive schemas (core beliefs), unmet emotional needs, schema modes (our thoughts, emotions and behaviour), and maladaptive copying styles. There have been 18 maladaptive schemas identified, which are considered unhelpful beliefs about the self, that result in repeated maladaptive behaviours. Each schema relates to the unmet emotional needs of the child, while the coping mode was developed in childhood to counteract the painful childhood experience and unmet need.

Schema therapy is helpful for;

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Interpersonal Conflict
  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Eating Disorders
  • Chronic Depression & Anxiety Disorders
  • Other issues that you have struggled to overcome through traditional therapy

Breakfree from negative beliefs and live the life you were born to live!


Bringing Baby home workshop

Professionals helping new parents with the transition to parenthood.

The Bringing Baby Home (BBH) workshop is a research based and research-tested psychoeducational workshop that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for babies and children by strengthening their families. Developed by renowned relationship and parenting experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, the BBH program is perfect for those who are;

  • Interested in having a baby
  • Expecting a baby
  • Already parenting an infant or toddler  (age 0-3)

The goal of BBH is to equip you with the knowledge and skill sets needed to constructively cope with the various changes that typically occur during the first three years that your baby is born.

In the BBH workshop, you and your partner will learn how to do the following;

  • Strengthen your relationship
  • Increase intimacy and affection
  • Work through conflict with greater ease
  • Maintain relationship satisfaction
  • Reduce hostility
  • Create positive baby-child interactions
  • Ensure quality involvement for both parents
  • Reduce the incidence or severity of postpartum mood disorders

Not only will this program teach you what to expect during the transition to parenthood, it will also help you do things like;

  • Better understand child development
  • Create co-parenting strategies with your partner
  • Improve the way you and your partner communicate, connect and compromise
  • Recognise signs of postpartum mood disorders and gain awareness of treatment options

Learn more at, or register your interest for the next workshop at


“70% of couples experience relationship dissatisfaction once Baby is born and most don’t recover from this”
Julie Gottman


Learn what the relationship masters do to ensure they have a rewarding and happy relationship via a 4 day small group retreat, in far North Queensland, in a luxury resort in paradise. You will have the opportunity to take time out from the group to practice the strategies you have learnt in a private setting with your partner.

Inclusions for a Group Retreat;

  • 18 hours of focussed learning and practice over 3 days plus full catering provided
  • 1 day enjoying fun activities of your choice, pre arranged with our activities coordinator
  • Learn how to build and maintain a strong friendship and understanding of each other
  • How to improve passion, romance and intimacy
  • Work through ongoing issues and learn how to reduce arguments
  • Explore each others views on different aspects of life; i.e. life goals and missions, the importance of family, finances, travel, time spent together
  • Understand your relationship issues from a Schema Therapy perspective, know how your own childhood wounds link to your current conflict within your relationship and gain an in-depth understanding of your own schema’s

Gottman Couples Therapy with Schema Therapy for Couples-A Powerful Combination for Couples!

Register your interest in the next group retreat via