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.  

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

"Melissa is a bubbly and enthusiastic facilitator. She provides a wealth of knowledge and makes every person and situation feel at ease. Melissa makes herself approachable at all times and makes no issue seem to big. Melissa is empathetic to both partners and what they are going through."  - Brett and Lauren, 2018.


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 

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

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


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 day program with couple relationship education and experiential learning in group and one-to-one session with Melissa
  • Private, exclusive spacious spa room or valley view room in 5 - star hotel (2 nights)
  • All meals included:
  • Buffet breakfast, morning tea, delicious lunch and afternoon tea 
  • One hour meet up and introduction pre-dinner drinks and canapes on arrival 
  • Friday night: 3-course dinner - table for two at an award winning hatted restaurant.
  • Saturday night: 3-course dinner – table for two at a beautiful award winning restaurant known for its innovative cuisine. 
  • Time to work on issues specific to your relationship with Melissa's full guidance
  • $100 spa voucher for you and your partner 

 To view upcoming retreats, please click here.

"I can't believe we've had access completely and solely "attentive" time from one of the best therapists in Australia (or maybe the world)!! - Scott and Terri, 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 a questionnaire that would need to be answered on application for this couple intensive style of therapy to assess suitability. 



Dates available for 3-day intensives in 2018 are:

Friday 21st September - Sunday 23rd September

Friday 5th October - Sunday 7th October

15 hours of intense couple therapy plus pre-questionnaire and follow up after the intensive - 20 hours of Melissa just focusing on your relationship only. Weekday couple intensives available by appointment.    





Skype/Zoom Sessions  

Online Counselling through Skype Sessions - Couples or Individuals   

If you would like couple or individual counselling in the privacy of your own home Melissa offers this to those who would find it difficult to attend regular sessions at her office in Penrith, NSW Australia

Fee: Individual Relationship Coaching Session $160.00 (including GST) (50 minutes)

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

Special Conditions Apply 

Outside N.S.W. - Appointments will be available after 15th September 2018

International - Appointments will be from 1st November 2018


48 Hour notice required for all cancellations