Better Marriage

Government Support and Funding for Marriage Counselling in Australia

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As marriage rates in Australia continue to drop, the need for accessible and affordable counselling services has become increasingly apparent. Unfortunately, with rising health costs, limited funding streams, and inadequate infrastructure, accessing quality care is becoming increasingly harder for couples needing help. 

To address this issue of accessibility, 24/7 availability of support systems have been put into place, but with limited resources available from both State and Federal governments, their effectiveness remains unknown. 

Our blog post explores the current government support networks offered to those seeking or planning to seek marital therapy within Australia and details what type of assistance can be expected when looking for a counselling service.

Overview of Government Support for Marriage Counselling in Australia

The Australian Government supports married couples seeking help through marriagecounsellingg and family therapy services, but the availability of resources often limits access to these services. 

With marriage rates in Australia on the decline, there is an increasing need for accessible and affordable marriage counselling services that are both effective and proactive in resolving relationship issues.

The government’s role in supporting marriage counselling includes direct and indirect funding. On the direct side, the Government offers grants to non-profit organisations through Medicare to help fund quality counselling services. 

There is also some Federal funding available for specific family therapy programs developed by State Governments. These programs provide additional resources and guidance for couples seeking help.

Exploring the Benefits of Marriage Counselling:

Improved communication between couples

Marriage counselling can help couples to build and sustain a strong connection through improved communication, empathy, understanding, and listening skills.

This improved communication can help couples better handle difficult situations and create a safe, secure environment where they can openly discuss their concerns without fear of judgment.

Improved relationships

Marriage counselling allows couples to build on their strengths and learn how to manage differences in opinion or behaviour. Through building trust and understanding, marriage counselling can help to improve relationships and create a stronger bond between partners.

Protection of personal interests

Marriage counselling can also help couples protect their interests in conflict or disagreements. This can involve negotiating boundaries, rights, and responsibilities within the relationship and implementing strategies for when conflicts arise.

Government support

Recent government initiatives have funded marriage counselling services in Australia. This has made it easier for couples to access quality care and support without bearing the full financial burden of treatment.

Increased access

In addition to government support, there has been an increase in online and phone counselling services available for couples across Australia. This provides much-needed access to counselling services 24/7 and helps to make treatment more accessible, especially for rural and remote areas where face-to-face counselling may not be a viable option.

Improved outcomes

Marriage counselling can help couples to identify and address underlying issues that may be causing problems in their relationship. This improved understanding of the situation increases the likelihood of successful outcomes for couples seeking marriage counselling services.

Ultimately, marriage counselling is an important service that can provide much-needed support and guidance to couples facing difficulties in their relationship. 

Through improved access to services, increased availability of support networks, and government funding, couples now have a greater chance of finding the help they need.

Different Types of Government Funding Options Available

The Australian government plays an important role in supporting couples struggling in their marriages, offering a range of funding options for those seeking professional counselling services. These include:

Medicare-rebated Services

Couples seeking marriage counselling can access mental health services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), which offers subsidised services via Medicare rebates. This includes counselling services through your GP or psychologist, allowing you to reduce out-of-pocket costs significantly.

Government-funded Services

Besides the MBS, the government provides several specialised funding options for couples needing marriage counselling. 

These include the Better Access to Mental Health Initiative, which offers free counselling for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Certain state governments also provide additional funding assistance via grants and subsidies.

Private Counselling Services

Private counselling services are available for couples seeking marriage counselling without government support. These services tend to be more expensive than other options, but they can provide couples with privacy and the assurance of a quality service provider.

Online Counselling Services

Several online counselling services offer free or discounted rates for those who qualify. These services provide a convenient way to access quality counselling without leaving the comfort of your own home.

By leveraging the various government-funded and private options available to couples needing marriage counselling, it is possible to access quality services that can help strengthen relationships and get them on the road to recovery. 

With the right funding support, more couples can feel empowered to take control of their relationships and seek professional help.

How to Qualify for Government Financial Aid?

Couples must meet certain criteria to access government funding for marriage counselling in Australia. These include being legally married or in a de facto relationship, registering with the Australian Government’s Free and Accessible Relationship Counselling (FARC) scheme, and providing evidence of financial hardship. 

The FARC scheme is open to all couples regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.

The FARC scheme enables couples to access free and quality counselling services at approved service providers. Couples eligible for the FARC scheme will receive up to 10 marriage counselling sessions under the program. 

Each session lasts for one hour and is facilitated by a qualified counsellor. Couples can access additional sessions for a fee if required.

State and Territory governments also offer financial support to couples needing marriage counselling services. These government assistance programs provide couples with free or reduced-cost counselling services, depending on their financial situation and the type of service they seek. 

For example, some States may provide free counselling services for low-income couples, while others may offer reduced rates for those on higher incomes.

Strategies for Making the Most Out of Marriage Counselling

Marriage counselling can be invaluable for couples needing guidance and support, but knowing how to make the most out of this service is important. With government support and funding for marriage counselling in Australia, a few strategies can help ensure you get the best outcomes from your sessions.

Research your options

Before selecting a marriage counsellor, it is important to research the options and find the one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as location, fees, services provided, and approach.

Have realistic expectations

Marriage counselling can take time and involve hard work from both partners. It may not always be an easy process, but it is important to remember that success depends on commitment and realistic expectations

Prepare for the session.

Before attending each counselling session, consider the issues you want to discuss. Consider goals and strategies, communication skills, and problem-solving techniques.

Manage your emotions

Feeling overwhelmed or emotional during counselling sessions is understandable, but staying focused on the task is important. If needed, take a break and come back when you feel ready.

Make use of government resources

Government funding for marriage counselling in Australia has made it more accessible and affordable; take advantage of these resources when you can.

By implementing these strategies, couples seeking marriage counselling in Australia can make the most of their sessions and ultimately work towards a healthier, happier relationship. 

Government support and funding for marriage counselling provide couples with access to quality care – however, it is up to each couple to ensure they make the most out of their time with a counsellor.

Additional Resources and Support Services Available for Couples Seeking Help with their Relationship

In addition to government funding and support services for marriage counselling, several private and charity organisations offer access to relationship specialists. These services can provide couples additional support and advice tailored to their needs.

Relationships Australia, LifeLine Australia, and the Salvation Army offer support services for couples facing relationship difficulties. These organisations provide a range of individual and

couple counselling sessions and can also provide access to financial advice, legal information, and practical assistance.

For those seeking additional online resources, websites such as the Couple Connection,, and provide a wealth of information and resources to help couples navigate relationship issues. 

They offer advice on communication, conflict resolution, financial management, parenting skills, and supporting those experiencing domestic violence or abuse.


Is Relate Marriage Counselling free?

No, Relate counselling is not free. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on individual and family income. However, your pay will depend on your circumstances, and many services can be subsidised or bulk-billed when appropriate.

What other government support is available for marriage counselling?

The Australian Government’s Department of Social Services funds marriage counselling services. This includes grants to organisations to assist couples with the cost of accessing professional help and support. Additionally, some State governments may provide additional funding for their residents seeking counselling services, depending on eligibility criteria.

Are there any online or remote counselling options?

Yes, online and remote marriage counselling is available through various private providers. However, the quality and effectiveness of these services may vary depending on the provider. It is important to research the various options to ensure they are qualified, experienced practitioners.

What other resources are available for couples experiencing difficulties?

There are a variety of free resources available for couples in need of help. These include webinars, podcasts, and online forums, which can provide information on relationship issues, communication skills, and strategies to address common challenges.


In conclusion, Australia’s government support and funding for marriage counselling is limited. Those who can access these support networks can provide an essential resource that can be utilised to seek out quality care. However, due to a lack of available resources from the State and Federal governments, more must be done to make marriage counselling services accessible and affordable for all Australians. Further research must be undertaken to effectively assess the effectiveness of government support networks for marriage counselling to ensure that couples can access the help they need.

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