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Ms Jacqueline McDiarmid

Ms Jacqueline McDiarmid

Relationship Therapist, Family Therapist

Sydney Couple and Family Specialist

Couple and Family Therapists and Counsellors work very differently to individual Therapists and Counsellors. It takes specialist training and experience to manage different personalities in the therapy room and keep the sessions fair for everybody. People tell me that they feel safe in their sessions with me. My approach is non-blaming, supportive and focussed on good outcomes.


  • 242A Oxford Street, Paddington, Sydney NSW 2021 02 8968 9397 PHONE 02 8968 9397
  • 133 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney NSW 2011 PHONE 02 8968 9397 02 8968 9397


  • Counselling, Psychotherapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Coaching / Mentoring, Workshops / Courses, Professional Training, Clinical Supervision, Phone Consultations, Online Video Consultations 
  • I provide Couple and Family sessions. As well as individual relationship work.

    Many people are anxious about coming to couple or family therapy because they are worried that the relationships may get worse or conflict will get out control. Others feel anxious and overwhelmed wondering how they can repair significant relationships. I manage sessions so that doesn’t happen. Every person in the room is helped to say what they need to say – and be heard.

    My style is direct and pragmatic. I have over 20 years experience managing many personalties in the room. I will work quickly to reduce stress and to get your relationships back on track.

    Areas of Special Interest

  • ADD / ADHD, Adolescent Issues, Adoption / Foster Care, Behavioural Issues, Chronic Fatigue, Conflict Resolution, Custody and Access, Divorce / Separation, Eating Disorders, Existential Issues, Family / Parenting, Fertility / Pregnancy, Gay and Lesbian Issues, Gender and Sexuality, Grief / Bereavement, Intimacy Issues, Life Transitions, Postnatal Depression, Pre-marital Counselling, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Self Harm, Sex Related Issues, Sexual Abuse, Social Skills, Suicidal Feelings, Trauma Recovery  
  • MODALITIES / Approach

    Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago Relationship, Marriage and Family, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Solution Oriented, Systems Theory

    I work systemically. This means I am interested in the family systems you belong to. I look at where unhelpful behaviours and patterns have come from, then help you find a way to do things differently. It’s often a chance to let go of feelings of shame, blame or failure. And it can even have a positive impact on future generations.

    You will be challenged, and I won’t let you – or your partner or children or family – get away with much. But it will all be done in a safe, productive way. And you may even have the occasional laugh.


    • Master of Couple and Family Therapy - 2008 - University of NSW
    • Bachelor of Couselling and Human Change - 1995 - Jansen Newman Institute
    • Diploma of Psychotherapy and Counselling - 1999 - Jansen Newman Institute

    Professional Associations

    • Australian Association of Family Therapy
    • Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors
    • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia

    Quality Provision

    Sydney Couple and Family Specialists is a fully supervised practice. All Therapists are insured and meet professional development guidelines.


    I am a Couple and Family Therapist with a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy, a Bachelor of Counselling and Human Change and a Diploma in Psychotherapy. I have been in my eastern suburbs practice for over 20 years. I also lecture in my field and am currently running the Masters program in Family Therapy at the Jansen Newman Institute. I guest lecture around various universities and also train both new and experienced Counsellors and Therapists through professional development programs.

    I offer an invitation only mentoring group for Counsellors and Therapists who would like to work with couples and families.


    Week days - please contact reception to book an appointment.

    Transport and Parking

    Bus or drive. There is usually street parking around


    Information upon request

    Payment Options

    Direct debit system

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    10 Questions with Jacqueline McDiarmid

    • What led you to choose psychotherapy or counselling as a profession?

    • I was a tricky teenager and I spent some time at the school counsellor's office. I quite liked going to see her and I remembered thinking that I wouldn't mind doing her job. I have always liked the idea of helping people. However, therapy is not my first career. I was a ballet dancer and was at professional level when I developed some serious health problems. I then worked for a while in the music industry before training to be a therapist in my mid 20's - ballet was my first love, therapy my second - I am passionate about both. I am one of those lucky people that love what I do for work.

      After I did my first degree and commenced in private practice, I started working with couples and families. I realised I really enjoyed this work and made a decision to undertake a Masters in this specialisation. I feel very strongly that we need many more highly trained family therapists in private practice. Most of the problems I see sit in the context within the family system.
    • Which philosophical approaches have influenced your professional/personal development?

    • Family therapy - I am so pleased that upon graduating, my first clinical supervisor suggested I would be a good Family Therapist. It's lively and fast paced work which suits my personality.
    • Which particular aspects of health or the human journey are you interested in?

    • I am interested in supporting parents with children who are struggling with mental health illnesses, or have a diagnosed condition such as AD/HD or ASD. Many parents are just not listened to by professionals when they express there is something wrong with their child. And too many children slip through the system because they either haven't seen the right professional or teachers haven't picked something up at school. Parents are the experts of their children and I like to tap into this and provide a pathway forward to help the entire family.

      I am increasingly interested in working more with separated families. I work with many clients who have been sent to me from the Family Court or have self selected to come. There is much work to be done to educate parents on how to separate well and how to re-partner putting children's needs at the centre of new relationships.

      I am an advocate for teens and young people who are often vulnerable or who may be acting out for a variety of reasons. However, I believe it is important to support parents and help them be the parents they want to be to their children.
    • What method/s do you use?

    • I am a systemic family therapist but I also draw on other approaches such as Gottman, Imago and more.
    • When do you think the client will start to feel that progress is being made?

    • When relationships feel closer and stress is reduced. I would say the majority of clients we see feel progress has been made by session three.
    • How has therapy made you a better person?

    • I think I am still trying to be a better person. In this field one never stops learning. Therapists are human and have flaws like everyone else. I am constantly reminded of my own flaws when I meet other people struggling - we are all the same.

      Having said all of that though, I am far less judgemental than perhaps others - therapy gives me good insight into why people do what they do - most people are fundamentally good - they are trying to do the best they can. And of course I have good empathy which is great for my friends and family but can be taxing for me personally at times.
    • What do you like most about being a therapist?

    • I like being a part of someone's intimate life. It's such a privilege and even after over 25 years in practice I still feel that. It's wonderful to be able to see the changes that people make and to give people hope. Especially parents who often feel isolated and alone.
    • Do you ever have 'bad hair' days?

    • Yes my hair is often bad!

      I definitely have days and weeks that are more challenging than others.
    • What do you think is the most significant problem we face, in the world today?

    • Not having enough time with our loved ones - our partners and our children. Lack of time together really affects closeness in relationships.
    • Can you share the name of a book, film, song, event or work of art that inspires you?

    • I like many books, songs and art - but I wouldn't say I have one that inspires me. It is people's stories that inspire me the most - that's when you will see me write a blog or start some research.
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    Ms Jacqueline McDiarmid

    Jacqueline McDiarmid

    Relationship Therapist, Family Therapist

    I have over 25 years experience working as a Couple and Family Therapist with a practice in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and City. I am a specialist counsellor for relationship or marriage issues, relationship issues blended families and step families and of course separated families. I also provide strategies, support and guidance to parents who have a child with challenges like AD/HD, ASD, anxiety, depression and more. I am a clinical supervisor to other Therapists and also lecture in my field....

    • Paddington, Woolloomooloo
    • Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago Relationship, Marriage and Family, Narrative Therapy, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Solution Oriented, Systems Theory