Family Therapy

Improve communication and understanding in your family with Family Therapy

Family therapy is considered an effective approach in the treatment of various emotional and behavioural problems in adulthood, childhood and adolescents. Family relationships play a pivotal role in your psychological health, and is why family therapy is proved to influence change and development in the interactions between family members.

How does family therapy work?

The goal of family therapy is to help family members solve family problems and conflicts through improved communication. We focus on a greater awareness of childhood and adolescence issues, as well as a range of family issues/situations including separation, remarriage, illness, race, religion. Family therapy is designed to take a deeper look at the family dynamic including generational influences and how this affects communication and behaviour in different family members.

What is involved in a family therapy session?

Depending on the situation, a family may require anywhere from 5-20 sessions. In a family therapy session, several members of the family will come together at the same time. Individual sessions and meeting parents separately to children is also available as part of the family therapy process. Therapists will then identify how someone may act alone verses in the family dynamic through this process. It is also common for family patterns to arise in these situations which will become apparent to both you and the therapist.

Family therapy can help identify patterns of behaviour and what causes them, while also identifying what can be done to better the situation.

What issues can family therapy help me with?

  • Emotional expression
  • Relationship triangles
  • Communication
  • Family roles
  • Marital problems including separation and divorce issues
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • School-related problems
  • Adult mental health
  • Work-related problems
  • Health problems, particularly chronic physical illnesses
  • Psychosomatic problems
  • Disruption of family life due to social, political and religious conflicts
  • Issues involving the Family’s life cycle and transitional stages of life
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse
  • Foster care, adoption and related issues
  • Promoting parenting skills and family functioning
  • Traumatic experiences, loss and bereavement
  • Psychosexual difficulties

References: MacFarlane, M. (Ed.) (2001). Family Therapy and Mental Health: Innovations in Theory and Practice. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Our Family Therapy Team

Megan Moosa
Senior Psychologist

Megan is a valued member of our team and a Senior Registered Psychologist. Megan has experience working with children, teens, adults, couples and families in a dynamic way. Megan can assist with parenting, conflict, communication breakdown, managing family members with mental health concerns and more..

Find out more about Megan Moosa

Unami Magwenzi
Clinical Psychologist

Unami’s approach to family counselling is to assist with improving communication and understanding of individuals and the family unit. With over 12 years experience as a psychologist and several years at Relationships Australia, Unami can assist with parenting, teen issues, blended families and more.

Find out more about Unami Magwenzi

Katherine Shanhun
Senior Psychologist

Katherine is passionate about working with young people, adults and their families. Katherine is highly skilled at working with parents and caregivers around a range of issues including navigating the transition to parenthood, managing their child’s behaviours and emotional concerns, family breakdown, adjusting to life as a step-family, adoption and fostering, and attachment and bonding issues.

Find out more about Katherine Shanhun


Our appointments are either 50 mins or 80 minutes of face-to-face time (i.e., time you meet with your psychologist). The remainder of the session is to make notes and prepare for your next session, this ensures that our sessions start on the hour or half hour. Initial individual appointments are 50 mins and couple or family appointments are generally 80 minutes.

Everyone’s journey is different however, it generally takes about 3 sessions to establish your concerns, discuss a bit of the history of the problem and agree on how you and your therapist will work together and what you will work on. On average family therapy involves about 12 sessions however this varies depending on the issue. For families who are learning the transition to teen years therapy may take five or six sessions; if the teenager has behavioural or emotional concerns it could take longer and individual sessions may be involved. If you are dealing with abuse it may take years of therapy. It is common for families to come in for one concern and for other issues to be raised.

In the beginning you will need see your therapist weekly to establish your therapy and build some traction. This takes a minimum of 3 sessions we recommend you book these in on your first appointment. After this, therapy needs to be paced according to your issues, the therapy style your therapist is using and even your financial considerations. Some people come weekly, fortnightly and others monthly.

Once you book an appointment its yours. We encourage you to keep your appointments to avoid delays in booking new ones and to speak with our team members about discontinuing therapy. If there is no way you can make it please call reception to reschedule.

If there is no way you can make a skype session and you need to change or cancel an appointment, please provide at least 48 hours notice otherwise there are cancellation fees.

All of our team members are registered psychologists so you are able to claim Medicare or Private Health Fund rebates (you can only claim one or the other per session). Medicare provides a rebate of either $84.80 or $124.50 back per session for up to 10 sessions per calendar year provided you have a Mental Health Plan drafted by your GP and a referral letter to any psychologist. After the initial 6 sessions you need to return to your GP for a review to access the final 4 for the calendar year. Private health rebates are available provided you have cover for psychology.

We offer appointments between the hours of 9 am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday. Individual psychologist availability varies, please contact reception for more information.

Our couch, Your private space

Our private and warmly appointed rooms in Applecross provide the perfect space for you to begin your journey of self-development and start taking control of leading a more fulfilling life. We are located near Applecross Village with a private rear entry, upstairs at the back of the building.

Get In Touch

We will get back to via phone or email the same day during business hours!

    To Make an Appointment Phone Today 08 6555 7786