Is Travelling The New Couple’s Counselling?

Ashleigh Austen

This relationship expert says you need to book a trip with your partner, stat.

Golden gate-times. Image: Stocksy

Travelling with your partner is one of the biggest tests you can put your relationship under – but it’s also one of those most valuable. There’s no strain like spending 24 hours a day together while navigating the unknown and tackling delayed flights and language barriers.

According to relationship expert and psychologist from The Relationship Room, Rachel Voysey, testing your compatibility through teamwork, compromise, problem solving and communication is sure fire way to work out if you’ll last the distance.

“Travelling should be a milestone for couples and considered as important as meeting the family, and moving out together. Going travelling with someone will test your teamwork and communication skills in ways nothing else can.


By booking a trip, Voysey says you will…

… Break out of the routine rut

“The time is now. Shopper Data Group recently surveyed 2,198 Australians and found that over 46% of the have no plans to take an overseas trip. Oh. Taking a holiday gives couples the opportunity to step away from everyday life and connect with one another. Travelling with your partner allows for new shared experiences and creates memories unique to the relationship. It can also be a break from talking only about work, and helps to better understand how to create a work/life balance.”

… Learn to work as a team


“Good teamwork is the basis for a successful relationship that operates on compromise and strong communication. Travelling can be revealing about your partner and will showcase their strengths and weaknesses. Having good teamwork as a couple means you are able to work in a way that complements and supports each other. Travelling gives couples the opportunity to develop their teamwork and will translate into a fair relationship with shared responsibilities.”


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Quit your job, travel the world, and get paid

… Communicate more effectively

“Being together for an extended period of time forces you to talk and could open up unresolved issues. Being on holidays provides the perfect opportunity to discuss these problems, while not surrounded by stress and work and being in a different environment, which in itself can sometimes offer new perspectives. Travelling will force you to learn patience for your partner whilst enhancing your understanding of their behaviour and how they react to situations.”

… Be cool with compromising

“Agreeing on what to eat, what to do and see, and more importantly, what you may not be able to do can be challenging. Travel offers choice and will help to sharpen a couple’s negotiation skills. Being understanding of what is important to you and your partner and what you are willing to be flexible on is important. Knowing how to compromise in a civil way is a key quality in a relationship that will bring stronger commitment to the relationship.”

… Sit down and solve problems

“Travelling means you are often out of your comfort zone and can be very telling on how a person adapts to change and new environments. If you miss a train, have no accommodation, lose a bankcard or even a passport can ignite frustration but having the ability to problem solve as a couple can reveal dynamics of the relationship. Couples who can find peaceful solutions to problems whilst travelling, will be able to translate this back into everyday life and avoid feeling stressed.”

Bottom line

Travelling with your partner could make or break a relationship, but it can also offer a time to reflect and reconnect. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Ashleigh Austen is whimn’s lifestyle editor and writes about everything from way-out wellness trends and workouts to genius beauty hacks and bang-on fashion buys. Fuelled by soy cappuccinos and carrots, she can quote nearly every episode from The Simpsons. Follow her for non-stop serious journalism (lol) on Instagram and Twitter.

May 15, 2017 2:45pm

Nadia lets rip at Anthony

Reality TV shows like Married At First Sight inspire counselling boom

SYDNEY couples are rushing to seek counselling in the wake of TV shows such as Married At First Sight.

Psychology clinics across the city have noted the trend and told The Daily Telegraph they attribute spikes in bookings to couples therapy having a “pop culture moment” on programs such as Channel 9’s reality show, the Foxtel drama Big Little Lies and the Seven Network’s Seven Year Switch.

Psychologists at four clinics told how the prime-time shows, which all feature psychologists analysing relationships, have also driven couples to seek counselling earlier, rather than waiting until relationships are breaking down.

Married At first Sight contestant Cheryl Maitland.

Rachel Voysey, principal psychologist at Balmain’s The Relationship Room, said the prevalence of counselling on TV is helping destigmatise a process once seen as “shameful”.

“In the past people have thought you have to have a problem to have therapy, that you need to arrive in a crisis, there’s been an affair or somebody has one foot out the door,” Ms Voysey said.

“What these shows are doing are saying, ‘You don’t have to go and get help just in a crisis, you can actually go early in a relationship,’ and that’s a really interesting change.”

MAFS contestant Cheryl Maitland with TV ‘husband’ Troughton.

Relationship counsellor Clinton Power said the trend was also spurred by celebrity couples talking about marriage counselling, including Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

“When big-name celebrities come out and say that couples therapy has saved their relationship, it’s very beneficial because people think if they needed help, we might need it too.”

The psychologists likened the effect to the widespread acceptance of therapy in the US, where seeing a therapist as an individual or couple is viewed as something healthy people do.

Eliza and Tony Priddle say counselling has helped them resolve their fights. Picture: Sarah Marshall

Former St George Dragons rugby league player Tony Priddle and wife Eliza have been together for 12 years and still attend sessions to work on what triggers fights.

“Now we understand how we both respond to emotional triggers, we take responsibility for our own actions and our fights are over in two or three minutes instead of three days,” Ms Priddle said. “It’s completely changed our relationship.”












Relationship Room