Emily McDonald
Individual, Couple and Family Therapist

Emily McDonald is a Family and Couple Therapist, (Clinical Social Worker) with over 25 years’ experience working across diverse sectors such as mental health, specialist child and family relationship services, family law settings and private practice. 


Emily’s practice combines experience and knowledge with care and compassion. Emily provides a strong client centred approach, working collaboratively with couples to identify priorities, support wellbeing and work towards positive change. Emily believes it is important that couples gain hope, relief and a way forward right from the first session. 


In her work with couples, Emily uses a flexible approach designed to attune to a couples’ unique needs. Emily offers valuable tools to reduce stress and build communication confidence and competence. Emily also offers the opportunity to connect current relationship patterns with past life experiences, assisting clients to gain new perspectives, greater insight and empathy for themselves and each other. 


Emily assists a wide variety of individuals and couples that span the life cycle, from diverse cultural backgrounds and couples from LGBTIQ+ communities.


Emily’s Experience and Training 

Emily has extensive experience working with individuals and couples who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, anger, past or current trauma and abuse, grief and loss, relationships difficulties across the life cycle, parenting struggles, separation and divorce and other life transitions. Emily also offers stepfamily formation and transition work; recovery from experiences of family violence/ trauma and assistance to take responsibility for harmful behaviours in relationships.


Emily has a commitment to gain regular feedback from her clients, in order to create a safe and effective therapeutic relationship. Emily uses this feedback to inform her work and is able to employ a combination of evidenced based relationship therapies, such as Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Gottman and interpersonal neurobiological methods. Emily is also able to employ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), systemic and narrative therapies.


Emily is an experienced senior manager, trainer and clinical supervisor and has lectured in child, parent and family therapy at Mindful, Centre for Training and Research in Developmental Health, Melbourne University and La Trobe University. 



Credentials and Memberships

  • B.A. Hons, La Trobe University
  • Bachelor of Social Work, Melbourne University.
  • Post Grad Dip Family Therapy, Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University
  • Masters of Family Therapy (couple therapy), La Trobe University.
  • A.A.S.W. Australian Association of Social Work
  • A.A.F.T. Australian Association of Family Therapy