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Couple, Family, Individual and Professional Services
Life is complex and can be extremely demanding. Life can blindside you and confront you with obstacles and deep hurt. But we can successfully deal with the many challenges most of us face in life. These include: mental health issues, relationship issues, work or career disappointment, being overwhelmed as a parent, feeling a general sense of unhappiness, wondering what life is all about, or if there is a deeper meaning and how to make the most of it.
Rebecca Lowe Therapy is a service based on professionalism, compassion and mindfulness. With a background as a qualified Social Worker and with extensive training and experience in Couple and Family Therapy, Rebecca works as a Relationship Therapist, to assist people in responding and relating to all aspects of life.
This list of services offer a guide to who and for what reasons you may wish to meet with Rebecca. If you feel your reasons for wanting to use this service are not covered here, please still make contact, as all people, all circumstances and all issues will be taken seriously. Upon contact, Rebecca will gladly consider whether this service is the right fit for your needs.
Please note this service can not provide formal diagnosis or reports.
Marriage counselling and couples therapy is available for all couples (LGBTIQA+, hetrosexual, cross-cultural) at all stages of life; from dating to thinking of starting a family, to traversing major life changes. Many couples attend therapy to address common relationship and life issues, some being:
Conflict which although is a normal part of getting along and interacting with others, can be tiring and wear a couple down when not managed, when conflict ‘styles’ differ vastly and when there are no resolutions.
Communication issues is one of the most common issues couples present to counselling with. Being on the same page can take quite some work and has more to do with interpretation and assumptions.
Sex and Intimacy differences can cause significant strain and deep hurt. Despite how it might seem in our society, many couples often struggle with straight forward, honest disucssions about sex.
Disconnection and feeling as if you’re flatmates is something which often happens over time and can go unnoticed but in most cases is not too late to repair.
Parenting and the sharing of responsibilities and negotiating different styles of parenting. Often we repeat the way we were parented or make an effort to be very different. These positions can cause distressing conflict between some couples.
Infidelity does cause some couples to separate, however many work on their relationship to actually build one which is closer, more honest and fulfilling.
Mental health issues, significant illness or life changing injury can challenge, stress and strain many couples and families. Often new or adjusted ways of interacting are required.
Managing Emotions and strong reactions one has to their partner, children or others is assisted by understanding ourselves and taking responsibility for what largely goes on ‘under our own skin’.
Childhood trauma or past issues perhaps from earlier relationships have effects on us which we carry into our relationships.
Grief and loss in all its forms but often the sudden or challenging death of a friend, sibling or parent can leave one or both people in a couple facing big life questions.
Re-location and isolation issues can be felt at key times by those who have moved to Darwin, Palmerston and other areas of the NT, often putting additional strain on a relationship.
If what is going on in your relationship is not covered here please still feel welcome make contact if you would like to use this service.
Marriage Preparation Course
Even though many couples already live together before marriage and may have been together for several years, some couples choose to or are required to undertake pre marriage counselling (also referred to as marriage preparation).
Pre marriage counselling is offered as a course consisting of an extensive and personally tailored online questionnaire through PREPARE/ENRICH with facilitated couple learning sessions. This is not a group course. After an initial phone conversation the couple complete the questionnaire online in their own time and then meet for three facilitated sessions, based on the outcomes of the questionnaire.
Topics covered in the online questionnaire include: potential significant issues for couples (such as communication, conflict styles, balancing time,relationship beliefs), relationship dynamics (such as assertiveness and avoidance), couple and family ‘map’ of closeness and flexibility and personality traits (such as sociableness, response to change and emotional steadiness).
Rebecca combines the PREPARE/ENRICH content with information, tips and relationship ideas from the widely used and internationally popular US Gottman Institute.
The Gottman ‘Sound Relationship House’ theory is based on decades of studying couples and couple dynamics to find key ideas and actions which can greatly assist couples to feel close, connected, trusting and loved.
The marriage preparation course includes a certificate of completion, workbook and handouts. This service can also be specifically tailored for all other couples wishing to undertake a relationship focused questionnaire with facilitated learning sessions.
Individual Relationship Preparation
Many people enter into the dating scene or long term relationships not really knowing who they we are, how they tick or what their ideas and expectations for a relationship are. This has then lead to many people in relationships experiencing significant disappointment, huge heartbreak, confusion, bewilderment and anger.
Although valuable learning can come out of these experiences, they can be reduced and learning can occur in less dramatic ways by preparing to enter into dating or a long term relationship. Through exploring your own history, experiences, personality and views an increase in self-awareness and emotional intelligence can occur. This self-reflection can then set people up on a better trajectory for entering into relationships.
Engaging in individual relationship self reflection can also be useful for those who have already been in long term relationships which have ended and wish to better prepare for any future relationships or live more contently on their own.
Exploring what went on, the dynamics, the lasting impact and your own roles in issues can leave you in a more content space from the deepened insight. People often find after such exploration and personal growth that they are better able to forgive themselves and the other person, see things in a more realistic context and ‘move on’.
Family Therapy is available for a wide range of family relationship issues and dynamics and for all types of families (LGBTIQA+, blended or step families, cross-cultural or single parent households). Individual family members may choose to attend first. People can also attend as a grown up adult family, whole family groups or particular family pairs or groups. Families might seek family therapy to address long standing conflict, to deal with a crisis or traumatic incident, to repair or build a closer relationship with one another.
What is Family Therapy?Family Therapy is a way of working with and ‘seeing’ people; connected to (even if currently disconnected) and impacted by their childhood family throughout their lives and connected to and impacted by their partner if in a couple relationship and children if they have children. This way of working with and seeing people can also be explained through ‘systems’ of interactions (think solar systems, different orbits, different positions, autonomous but all connected to and influenced by each other).
A Family Therapist will use these ways of seeing to assist people to identify ‘patterns’ of interactions, ‘positions’ and ‘roles’ people take up not only within their families but in life generally and how these positions and roles play out, what benefits to the person and others they may have and what tensions and problems they may cause. Family Therapy also draws on ‘developmental psychology’ which takes into account the stage a person is at in their life and attachment styles (how close and safe we feel with people largely based on our childhood experiences).
Family Therapy is About Relating to EverythingA Family Therapist can use these ways of working to work with various issues which bring people to therapy (not just clear ‘family’ or ‘relationship’ issues) due to family therapy focusing on how we ultimately relate; whether to friends, colleagues, our own mental health, how we feel about ourselves, our children or the direction our life is taking.
Raising children is said to be the most important job anyone will ever have. There can be so much pressure to ‘get it right’ ‘be the best parent’ raise ‘an exceptional child’ as well as to live a life other than being a parent, work and have your own passions.
Whether considering starting a family and seeking pre parent consultations, struggling to connect with your baby, raising a preschooler, ten year old or have adolescents, sessions can be provided to assist with mindful parenting and relationship strengthening.
Mindful ParentingMindful parenting helps people move to be more responsive to the needs of their children and less on auto pilot and reactive. Parents have found with this approach they are less critical of themselves, more flexible and have a warmer, deeper relationship with their child (and their child with them).
Rebecca draws on training from The Australian Childhood Foundation ‘Bringing Up Great Kids’ which looks at increasing self awareness, understanding the impact of your own childhood experiences on the here and now and mindfulness practices (for both parents and children).
What about Teenagers?Teenage years can be as frustrating as toddler years requiring almost the same level of patience but it is obviously an enormously different development time. Rebecca works with parents and carers of teens and pre-teens to better understand teenage development, the changes in the brain, needs of boundaries and responsibilities and to reduce frustrating myths about being a teenager.
Family and Domestic Violence Counselling
Rebecca provides sensitive, compassionate and non-judgemental therapy for all people impacted by all violence, from subtle coercive violence, financial control, verbal abuse to physical harm, whether the person seeking assistance is wishing to leave the relationship or to stay or the one using abuse.
Support is provided to assist people in becoming clearer of the warning signs, uncover and connect with existing strengths such as actions a person would be already taking to minimise risk to themselves and those around them (children and pets).
Rebecca works with a person and where they are at in their own journey, looking at pathways to safety, options and being able to truly know that they have a right to safety.
Counselling is also provided separately to those wishing to take responsibility and face their own use of violence. Rebecca has worked with men as perpetrators of abuse in men’s groups as well as providing sensitive and compassionate one on one support; facing shameful behaviour, often their own history of abuse, their own fears and deeply ingrained assumptions about roles and relationships.
Serparation and Divorce Consultations
A consultation service is available for parents and children amidst the difficulty of trying to build a co-operative parenting relationship during or post-separation. Child Focused (just the parents are seen) and Child Inclusive (parents and children seen separately) consultations can be provided in order to assist parents focus on their children.
Why Separation or Divorce Consultations?Separation is often an extremely stressful time for everyone in a family and each person can be impacted differently and have vastly different responses. Some couples and families are able to navigate the difficult process with considered care and calm while others find they’re caught up in strong, overwhelming emotions making decisions based on hurt, anger or resentment.
Some parents choose the input of a consultant to assist them in their decision making, actions and emotional responses so as to keep focused on their children and what is in their children’s best interest.
Experiences and BenefitsRebecca has worked in the role of Child Consultant with many Darwin families for almost a decade, meeting with parents and with children, assisting with the voices of children to be heard in a respectful and safe space. Through this service, parents have found that they are better able to see things from the other parent’s perspective, give their children the developmentally appropriate emotional space and support needed (often quite different to what each parent needs), find respectful and workable ways to communicate and healthily move on with rebuilding their lives.
Children have expressed to Rebecca feeling relief at being able to speak and express themselves about their experience of the separation to an independent person. Children have also found that they have been able to ask questions they have longed to ask and have age appropriate answers which has helped to put things into perspective and make more sense.
How do the Consultations Work?Each parent is met with individually for a one hour consultation and if agreed to as appropriate by all involved (including consent by both parents and dependant on age of children and family circumstances) each child is met with on their own and or as a sibling group.
As each family differs greatly in number of children, ages and other various ways if, when and how the children are seen will be part of the parent consultations. After everyone needing to be met with has been, Rebecca will then prepare a consultation feedback and meet with the parents together (if appropriate). The aim of meeting with the parents after having met with the children is to help being focused on making decisions as parents.
Important things to NoteNo written report is provided. Although children are ‘assessed’ in terms of the impact of the separation on them in a developmental context and ‘feedback’ is provided to the parents in a joint session this is provided verbally.
Everyone seen as the right to confidentiality, including children.When meeting with parents after any children have been seen, the aim is not to repeat back what the children have said word for word. The aim is to provide an overall sense of what is happening for the children with additional input with regards to developmental needs of different children when going through family separation.
All people are welcome to attend on their own for individual therapy. Being in a relationship or seeking assistance regarding ‘relationship issues’ is not necessary. Being a couple and family therapist enables Rebecca to work with individuals in a way which takes the whole person into account.
Many individual clients have given feedback that Rebecca has helped them to have a clearer understanding of their life, their history and the direction their life has been taking, of their patterns and habits and make useful connections, useful big life decisions and change and grow into the people they prefer to be.
Short term counselling or long term in-depth psychotherapy (including with weekly appointments) is available.
Relationship preparation can also be provided for individuals wishing to best prepare themselves for being in a relationship and what they are looking for in a partner. This can include exploring one's own family background and bringing subconscious beliefs and driving forces to a more conscious level.
Individuals often attend to address concerns such as;
- depression and anxiety
- mindful parenting
- relationship issues without their partner
- family and domestic violence
- questioning whether to leave a relationship
- wishing to work on themselves to stay in their relationship
- rebuilding their lives after separation
- address work conflict and issues
- questioning themselves, their identity and meaning in life
- wanting to heal from childhood trauma
Trauma and Crisis Counselling
Rebecca can provide short and long-term psychotherapy to address any ongoing impact of past trauma (such as in childhood), recent trauma or current crisis in a supportive, non-judgemental and caring manner.
Sessions are undertaken in a relaxed and friendly space from a trauma informed perspective. A multitude of incidents or experiences can bring about trauma in a person.
Trauma is understood as not the event itself, but the response a person is left with to the incident or experience/s. Trauma can be from a single incident like the sudden death of someone to ongoing such as domestic violence (whether as a child or an adult).
Trauma Informed PracticeWhen a therapist works with trauma informed practice or from a ‘trauma informed perspective’ it often means that they have undergone special training in the impact of trauma such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or the emotional, social, spiritual and cognitive impact on a child’s development.
The Therapist would then put that training into practice in all the ways they interact with a person such as; providing a space to meet in which is welcoming, calm and ‘safe’ feeling, providing as much choice as possible, assisting the person to connect with their strengths and rebuild a sense of control.
Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
Counselling and support can be provided to address mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.
Emotional wellbeing support is also provided in terms of stress and understanding and managing challenging emotions such as anger, fear, resentment and difficult states such as being in high distress.
Mental health and wellbeing through this service is seen from a relational perspective, taking the whole person, their whole life and context into consideration.
This means, after a period of sessions working on reducing particularly problematic symptoms, if you’re ready, we might explore more of the history of the mental health issue, how long it has been with you, when is the impact more severe, when is it not, why might this be and much more delving into the picture, feel and own entity of the mental health issue.
Similarly with challenging emotions we might look at the history of them, your exposure to them from other people, how they might ‘serve’ you in unhelpful and helpful ways. We would look at how you could have an improved relationship with that emotion or state of being.
Walk and Talk Therapy
This is exactly as it sounds; sessions can be provided while walking together outdoors. Some people find this a more suitable way to get started with therapy, particularly if it is something new for them and they feel apprehensive about the idea.
Others who find it quite uncomfortable sitting in a room talking or the intimacy of an office overwhelming find they prefer talking while walking side by side.
The aim of these sessions is not to have a physical workout but to combine the psychological benefits of movement, being outdoors and talking in a more relaxed environment, side by side.
Many therapists across Australia and internationally are offering walk and talk therapy for these reasons. Walk and Talk Therapy comes under the umbrella of ‘Ecotherapy’.
Not all issues nor or people’s situations will be suitable for Walk and Talk Therapy. Before arranging to begin these sessions Rebecca will have a chat with you about your situation. It is important to note that being out in a public space is less private and that the confidentiality of the sessions are limited by this.
Well adjusted animals are welcome to be brought along.
Animal Inclusive Therapy
Animals are often significant family members and can be amongst our closest companions. In addition to registered assistance animals, family pets can be included at Rebecca Lowe Therapy services in the following ways:
Animals Can Attend Therapy SessionsPolite pets who would feel comfortable in the therapy space are welcome to be brought along, particularly if the animal often accompanies you while out and about. Bringing an animal friend can assist people to feel comfortable, especially if attending therapy is new and the idea of it feels quite daunting. Animal companions can provide comfort at these times as well as during challenging therapy.
If you would like to bring an animal along to sessions please talk with Rebecca about this when booking an appointment or making on enquiry.
Pet Bereavement TherapyPeople are sometimes surprised at the extent of their own or other family members’ grief with the loss of an animal family member having passed away, be put down or lost. Children often first experience grief and loss with the loss of a loved pet and being assisted to remember and celebrate the life and love of that animal works towards healthy healing, compassion and empathy. Rebecca provides a welcoming, animal loving space for adults or children for when the grief and sense of loss feels overwhelming or like it won’t end.
Attending Walk and Talk TherapySessions are held while walking together outdoors, in a mutually agreed location. (see Walk and Talk Therapy service).
Online Therapy and Phone Counselling
Short term counselling or long term psychotherapy for individuals and couples can be provided via secure online video using either Zoom or Skype as well as via phone. This is an option for a wide variety of people and living situations. Online sessions are becoming more popular for even those living in urban areas, making ‘attending’ sessions much easier from home, from a private office or even while sitting enjoying the outdoors.
Virtual, online or e-therapy and phone counselling are also referred to as ‘Distance Therapy’ and are methods of making therapy and counselling (and a whole range of support services) more accessible.
Whether you live in live in a remote area such as Alyangula or have limited access to face to face sessions such as Nhulunbuy and Katherine or live in Darwin or Palmerson but can not physically attend, all that is required is a device and internet or phone access.
It should be noted that ‘distance’ methods of therapy can reduce a sense of connection with the therapist, be fraught with technology issues and glitches and come with their own privacy issues (such as children or partners entering the room or being overheard).
Group workshops or information sessions covering topics such as: couple and family relationships, emotion management and self awareness, parenting and mindfulness will be offered from time to time. Please register your interest by making contact with Rebecca.
Similarly workshops and information sessions can also be developed and delivered for Government, NGOs and private business along similar topics. Common workshop and information session themes include:
mindfulness in the workplace, anger management (covering self awareness and managing other challenging emotions), mindful parenting, understanding teenagers, connecting as a couple, becoming new parents and more.
Many people find learning and interacting in groups helps them to not feel alone with the issue, that they learn valuable ideas from other people attending and are able to place themselves in comparison to where others are at.
Supervision is available for Social Workers and other professionals. Rebecca is a qualified Social Worker with current Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) membership and has been undertaking various social work activities as a qualified social worker for over a decade.
These include working:
- with families of refugee and migrant background in settlement and parenting
- as a culturally and linguistically diverse program coordinator
- in family and domestic violence counselling and support
- with separating families in the role of a Child Consultant
- providing long term therapeutic and practical support to survivors of institutional child sex abuse
- as a senior couple and family therapist in a leading national relationships service
- acting in senior management roles
- at a national level in the areas of CALD and of relationship and marriage education
- as coordinator of a group work program (developing, facilitating and supervising)
Workshops and information sessions can be developed on request and delivered to Government, NGOs and private business. Please see ‘Group Workshops’.
EAP for staff including critical incident debriefing is available.
Please contact Rebecca to make arrangements.