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How to Apply for Government-Funded Marriage Counselling in Australia

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Are you seeking marriage counselling but feeling overwhelmed by applying for government funding? We understand that filling out all the forms and navigating the red tape can be intimidating. But don’t worry – we’ve got your back! 

This blog post outlines the step-by-step guide to accessing Australia’s free or subsidised marriage counselling services. Whether you want to attend therapy with a partner or individually, this guide will explain how to find and apply for government-funded counselling within your home state. 

Read on to learn more about how you take advantage of important mental health care services at an affordable cost.

Understand the eligibility criteria

Before applying for government-funded marriage counselling in Australia, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria. 

Generally, this includes being a permanent resident or citizen of Australia, having an income below the specified limit; and meeting other requirements as outlined by your relevant state or territory government. 

It’s also important to remember that your eligibility may depend on the type of counselling you require. Contacting a qualified professional to discuss your needs and determine your eligibility for free or subsidised services is best.

Do your research

Once you have established that you meet the eligibility criteria, it’s time to start researching marriage counselling options in your area. The Australian Government Department of Health website is a great place to start, as it outlines the types of marriage counselling services available in each state and territory. 

Contact numbers for free or subsidised mental health helplines are also listed on the website if you prefer to speak to someone directly about your needs.

Find a registered practitioner

After researching the various services and providers available in your state or territory, finding a registered and qualified practitioner is time. 

You can use the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website to search for counsellors registered with the relevant governing body in your area. 

Choosing a qualified professional with experience working with marriage counselling and the relevant qualifications is important.

Make an appointment

Once you have selected a registered practitioner, it’s time to make an appointment. Most marriage counselling services are available by appointment or online, so contact your provider and book a session. 

Depending on the type of government funding you receive, there may be limits on the number of sessions you can attend – so discuss this with your provider before booking.

Prepare for your first session

Before attending your first session, preparing yourself mentally and emotionally is important. Remember to bring any paperwork or documents you may need for your appointment, including proof of eligibility for government-funded services if applicable. 

You should also be prepared to discuss the issues you want to work on with your counsellor and how long you have been experiencing the problems. This helps your practitioner understand the issue and develop a tailored treatment plan for you.

Get the most out of your sessions

Marriage counselling can effectively improve communication, trust, and understanding between you and your partner. It’s important to keep an open mind during each session and be willing to work on the issues that arise. 

Be honest with yourself and your counsellor, as this will help you get the most out of your sessions. Finally, remember to take time for yourself, too – make sure you have a support system and practice self-care.

Research available funding options

Once you’ve checked with your healthcare provider, it’s time to research the different types of marriage counselling funding available in Australia. Different states and territories offer different forms of assistance, including direct financial support, free counselling services, or subsidised counselling through a professional service provider. 

It’s important to research what options are available in your state or territory, as it may be more cost-effective to apply for assistance from one source rather than another.

Apply for funding

Once you have selected a practitioner, you can apply for funding through the relevant government department in your area. Depending on your location, this could be Centrelink or a state-based service such as Health Services Australia (HSA). 

The application process involves completing an online form with questions about your circumstances and the type of counselling you require. Once approved, you can access free or subsidised marriage counselling services.

Check with your healthcare provider

The next step in applying for government-funded marriage counselling is checking with your healthcare provider. Sometimes, your doctor or another healthcare professional can refer you to a subsidised or free service, potentially circumventing the need to apply for government assistance.

Prepare any necessary documents

Before applying for government-funded marriage counselling, you must do some preparation work. This includes gathering any necessary documents that you will need for your application.

Depending on where you live, this could include proof of identity (such as a driver’s license or passport), proof of residence (such as a rent receipt, utility bill, or bank statement), and financial documents (such as income statements). 

Having these documents ready when you apply is important, as having them available can ensure the process is completed on time.

Look for government-funded counselling services in your state

Once you have gathered all the necessary paperwork, you can search for free or subsidised marriage counselling services in your state. The best place to look is the website of your state health department or the Australian Government’s Department of Health website. 

Here you can find information on services available in your area and any application forms and instructions for applying.

Submit your application

Once you have located an appropriate counselling service, you must complete and submit the relevant application form. Be sure to provide all the necessary information and documents, so your request can be processed quickly and efficiently.

Follow up

Once you have submitted your application, remember to follow up with the relevant department or agency. This will ensure that your request has been received and there are no delays in processing your application.

You can access free or subsidised marriage counselling services in Australia by following these steps. With the right help and guidance, you can work through any issues causing difficulties in your relationship and find a way forward that works for both of you. Good luck!

How much does marriage counselling cost in Australia?

Marriage counselling costs vary depending on the type of service you choose. Many government-funded services offer free or subsidised sessions, while private practitioners may charge between $50-$150 per session.

It’s important to research your options carefully and compare prices before deciding which service is right for you. And remember to check with your healthcare provider, who can advise you on the best option for you.

How long does marriage counselling usually last?

The length of a marriage counselling session will depend on the type of service you choose and the complexity of the issues being addressed. Generally speaking, sessions can range from one hour for a single session to multiple sessions over several weeks or months. 

Your practitioner will be able to provide more information on how long your sessions are likely to last when discussing your individual needs and circumstances.

What is the success rate of marriage counselling?

The success rate of marriage counselling can vary depending on several factors, such as the course length, the type of counselling used, and the commitment of both partners. 

However, research has shown that couples who attend marriage counselling have a greater chance of improving their relationship than those who don’t seek help. 

Marriage counselling can effectively improve communication, trust, and understanding between you and your partner.

Contact your state or territory health department for more information about accessing government-funded marriage counselling in Australia.

We hope this guide has given you the confidence to take the first step toward a healthier and more fulfilling relationship. With the right help and guidance, couples can work through their issues and find a way forward that works for both. Good luck!


Is counselling on Medicare?

Sometimes, marriage counselling may be covered by Medicare if you have a Mental Health Care Plan from your doctor. If not, other options are available to help subsidise the cost of counselling.

What is the process for applying for government funding?

The process varies depending on your state or territory. Generally speaking, you must fill out an application form with the relevant government agency and provide proof of your financial situation.

The application may also require you to provide evidence that marriage counselling is necessary or beneficial. Once the form has been submitted, a decision will be made on whether you are eligible for funding and how much subsidy will be provided.

Are there any additional costs involved?

Your subsidised marriage counselling may include other fees, such as travel costs or administration charges. Make sure to ask your counsellor about these before beginning the sessions.

What types of services are available?

The type of services provided will vary depending on the funding available in your area. Most government-funded counselling services will be focused on helping couples improve their communication, understanding, and relationships. There may also be individual therapy sessions available to either partner.

How can I get free counselling in Australia?

While the availability and cost of counselling services will vary from state to state, there are a few options for free or subsidised counselling in Australia. Many community health centres provide low-cost or no-cost counselling services, and you may also be eligible for financial assistance through government programs such as Medicare or Centrelink.


Access to free or subsidised marriage counselling services in Australia is possible through government funding. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can find and apply for all the necessary programs within your home state. As a reminder, always meet all the eligibility requirements before applying. But don’t be discouraged – with some research and patience, you can gain the help of a professional marriage counsellor and work towards a healthier relationship. Good luck!

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