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About Us

Madonna Hirning

Director

Psychologist & Certified Gottman Therapist

Certified Gottman Therapist Sunshine Coast | Sunshine Coast Couples Clinic | Couples Therapists
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Madonna has been a Psychologist in Private Practice on the Sunshine Coast since 2006, providing psychological therapy to both individuals and couples experiencing a wide range of issues. Over time she began to see more and more clients experiencing extreme relationship distress and began researching evidence based forms of couples therapy to help the couples she was seeing learn new skills and strengthen their connection to each other. This search lead Madonna to Gottman Method Couples Therapy which has been developed from decades of rigorous research by Drs John and Julie Gottman. Madonna was the first Certified Gottman Therapist here on the Sunshine Coast and is passionate about helping couples learn better ways to communicate, manage conflict and process hurts in order for them to strengthen their connection and have the kind of relationship they most long for. In 2021 Madonna formed Sunshine Coast Couples Clinic, located in beautiful purpose built rooms overlooking the river on Bradman Avenue Maroochydore. Madonna is experienced in working with couples who have lost confidence in their communication, or who are experiencing escalating conflict, lack of connection and issues around intimacy including differences in desire. Madonna has extensive experience in assisting couples who are recovering from infidelity in their relationship and need help to process and repair the hurt and distress and work towards rebuilding trust along with couples who have experienced distressing events which they need help to work through and repair. Married for 25 years and with 2 teenage children, Madonna understands the pressures life can place on a relationship and also how impactful our happiness within our relationship is on all other aspects of our life. If you are deeply unhappy in your relationship it can be incredibly difficult to function effectively in all other areas of your life. Madonna offers couples therapy in both a weekly format which is available in face to face or online sessions and her preferred approach which is an intensive 2 day format. The 2 Day Couples Therapy Intensive can be helpful for couples experiencing a high level of relationship distress who need space and time to work through things, couples who may find it difficult to attend weekly sessions or couples from other areas who may want to combine a stay on the Sunshine Coast with Couples Therapy. Madonna is also a Leader of the 2 day Gottman Art and Science of Love Workshop for couples which she enjoys facilitating here on the Sunshine Coast. ​

Dr Carly Fay

Clinical Psychologist
Dr Carly Fay | Clinical Psychologist | Sunshine Coast Psychologist | Sunshine Coast Couples Clinic | Psychologist Near Me

Carly is a compassionate and skilled clinical psychologist who can work with you and your partner to help you find your way back to a fulfilling and loving relationship. Using Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Carly can help you and your partner to better understand one another, identify your strengths and weaknesses as a couple, learn how to manage conflict in a healthy way and work towards building a stronger, more loving and fun relationship. With extensive clinical experience across wide range of settings since 2010, Carly is committed to using the best evidence-based, clinically proven therapies. Carly has completed Level 3 of Gottman Method Couples Therapy training. She also has extensive training and experience in Compassion Focused Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Schema Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and approaches couples therapy in a way that is readily understandable and leaves you with practical strategies to apply outside of sessions together. Whether you are dealing with issues related to communication, trust, intimacy, or managing the demands of a family, Carly can provide you with the guidance and support you need to overcome these challenges and build a happier and healthier relationship. In addition to couples therapy, Carly also has specialised experience providing support to individuals, couples and families facing the challenges of cancer. As a clinician with a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by couples dealing with cancer, Carly can help you to navigate the complex range of emotions and stressors and provide you and your partner with the tools and resources you need to cope and connect throughout this adversity. With a young family herself, Carly has personal experience and knowledge of the challenges and complexities involved in balancing multiple responsibilities and maintaining a healthy partner relationship. With a warm, authentic and non-judgemental approach, Carly aims to provide personalised support and guidance to help couples achieve their goals.

Ellen Wright

Psychologist

Ellen is a passionate Psychologist with a special interest in Couples Therapy. Ellen understands the challenges that striving for a healthy relationship can bring and is driven to enable and empower couples to achieve happier and more satisfactory relationships using the Gottman Method model of therapy. Helping couples develop better communication and conflict management tools underpins her work with couples. Ellen has completed Level 3 of Gottman Method Couples Therapy along with specific training on dealing with relationship issues in the context of individual therapy. Ellen also provides individual therapy and is committed to assisting individuals to improve their mental health and well-being using evidence-based treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In addition to helping individuals who are struggling with relationship issues, Ellen also has experience addressing a broad range of concerns including anxiety, depression, stress related issues, grief and loss, and interpersonal difficulties.

Ellen Wright | Psychologist Sunshine Coast | Sunshine Coast Couples Clinic | Couples Therapist

Leigh-Anne Chester

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Psychologist

Leigh-Anne is a Psychologist with expertise in attachment and relationships across all ages. Leigh-Anne has a special interest in couples and uses the Gottman evidence based approach to explore strengths and resolve areas of conflict, supporting couples to use tools that sustain happy and healthy relationships. Leigh-Anne has a special interest in working with couples where one or both partners is neurodiverse. She is also experienced in treating anxiety, stress, burnout and other emotional challenges that impact adulthood. Leigh-Anne has completed Levels 1 and 2 of Gottman Method Couples Therapy training. Married for many years and with four adult children Leigh-Anne has extensive personal experience in building and maintaining a healthy relationship and navigating different parenting stages together. Leigh-Anne also has extensive experience working with children with Autism and ADHD and has previously worked as a specialist early childhood Teacher and Guidance Officer which provides her with extensive knowledge and experience of some of the challenges and stress placed on a relationship through the parenting years.

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