Couples counselling and psychotherapy

Melissa’s approach to couples counselling is to get to the heart of the problem quickly so she can help you resolve the underlying issues of ‘here and now’. For best results, Melissa recommends the first scheduled appointment to be three hours long and for the initial sessions thereafter to be to be for two to two and a half hours and then eventually step down to one hour. In the long term, this often means couples spend less time overall in couples counselling. Melissa’s main model to help couples is the PACT approach - Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy.

PACT was developed out of exciting, cutting-edge research in three areas - neuroscience, attachment theory and biology of human arousal.

What kind of problems does PACT help? PACT is designed to help couples with any and all issues for which you might seek help from a therapist. It is especially helpful for couples considering marriage and couples seeking to preserve a relationship in danger of divorce or dissolution. 

What can I expect when we first meet with Melissa?  Your session will include: addressing your primary concerns, talking with your partner while I observe and comment, interviews to identify attachment styles, learning and practicing effective communication techniques, and exercises to help you feel safe and secure with your partner.

We'll also discuss how often we should meet based on the crisis level in your relationship, and I'll explain how I'll assist you in steering your relationships to a better place.  

Penrith Fee: Session $220.00 per 60 minutes (including GST). 

Haberfield Fee: Session $285.00 per 60 minutes (including GST).

“Melissa is incredibly generous, kind and patient, she made me feel very supported in helping our relationship. I thank you for all the work you put in to giving us the tools to be the best partners to each other that we can. ” Brett and Lauren, 2018 - Couple in therapy with Melissa.

Individual counselling or psychotherapy

Counselling focuses on enhancing people's capacity to cope with specific life challenges, such as a relationship ending, bereavement or anxiety. Melissa can help you get through a personal crisis, and help you develop goals for the future.  Psychotherapy focuses on achieving change to break destructive habits or patterns. Often people notice that the nature of their personal difficulties are repetitive; similar issues arise time and time again in different contexts and relationships.

Melissa Ferrari offers a wide range of psychotherapy and counselling services in Sydney and deals with issues such as:    

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • addictions

  • separation

  • grief and loss

  • life transitions

  • parenting

  • obsessive compulsive behaviours

  • childhood trauma in adulthood

  • problems dealing with family members

  • dating advice and coaching

  • recovery from an affair or infidelity

  • sex and sexuality issues

    Melissa can help you achieve better self-understanding and change long-standing patterns of behaviour that may be disrupting your relationships or work.

    Penrith Fee: Session (50 minutes):  $160.00 (including GST) 

    Haberfield Fee: Session (50 minutes):  $195.00 (including GST) 

“With Melissa’s help this process has taught me how to stand up for myself in my personal and professional life. It has improved my relationships with my kids. My kids have mentioned I am calmer, more approachable and its opened up our lines of communication. My parents say ‘They have their daughter back. My relationship with myself has changed heaps; I learnt it’s ok to be me. 

Counselling Client with Melissa - 49 Years Old

Zoom Online Sessions - Accredited AOTT Level 1 Online Therapist 

Professional, ethical and empathic counselling and psychotherapy in the privacy of your own home or office with Melissa. Nationally and Internationally available.

Counselling through Zoom online Sessions - Couples or Individuals   

Fee: Individual Counselling & Psychotherapy Session $160.00 (inc. GST) (50 minutes)

Fee: Couple Counselling Session $220.00 per 60 minutes (inc. GST). - These sessions are counselling only.      


Couples Retreats

A couple’s retreat is a great way to re-connect with your partner and remind yourselves of why you are together in the first place. Melissa Ferrari’s couples retreats have been especially designed for couples to take time out together to re-discover their closeness, to feel the love and respect for each other as individuals and to celebrate that special, unique bond that you share with each other. You will experience the luxury of:

  • 2 and a half day day program with couple relationship education and experiential learning in group and one-to-one check in session with Melissa

  • Private, exclusive spacious spa or balcony room in boutique 4 - star hotel hotel (2 nights)

  • All meals included:

  • New extended programme including Friday afternoon.

  • Friday night: 3-course dinner feast on Friday night with Melissa and the group in a private function room with sumptuous food.

  • Saturday night: 3-course dinner – table for two at a beautiful award winning restaurant known for its innovative cuisine.

     To view or book upcoming retreats, please click here.

“Melissa is highly knowledgeable and extremely insigtful. She makes everyone feel included, respected and safe. By the second day we could allopen up without fear or judgement even as a whole group” - Couple Retreat participant February 2018

3 Day Couple Intensives  

Melissa often sees couples from out of town or interstate for an intensive 3 day process - 5 hours per day of couple therapy at her office located in Penrith. This can be an effective way to shift long-seated resentments and serious problems within your relationship. Many couples find this experience helps kick-start their relationship again without the pain and conflict that has been holding them back from love, intimacy and closeness for some time.


It is also suitable for couples who find weekly sessions hard to schedule regularly due to work and commitments or want to work intensely focusing just on their relationship problem. The 3 Day Couple Intensive fee is for the couple therapy only. YES, you will work just you two and Melissa! Accommodation of your choice can be found in Penrith or surrounds. There is am extensive questionnaire that would need to be answered on application for this couple intensive style of therapy to assess suitability. To book click here. All available dates for Melissa’s 3-day intensives in 2018 are sold out:

The next dates available for application is: FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY - SUNDAY 24TH FEBRUARY 2019, FRIDAY 16TH MARCH - SUNDAY 18TH MARCH 2019, FRIDAY 12TH APRIL - SUNDAY 14TH APRIL 2019, WEDNESDAY 8TH MAY - FRIDAY 10TH MAY 2019. Fifteen hours of intense couple therapy plus pre-intensive online session, lunch/afternoon tea and extensive pre-questionnaire and follow up.

                                       48 Hour notice required for all cancellations