Although promoted as controversial, experimental and “bound to shock Australia”, Jo says the eight-part study in which four real-life Aussie couples swap partners has educational benefits for a wide audience.
“I believe that this is an opportunity for viewers to learn from these brave couples,” says Jo, who is also a regular contributor to The Carousel.
“They are so normal with normal issues – money, sex, parenting, household chores etc.
“They have stopped communicating, stopped empathising, and stopped prioritising their relationships.
“As a whole, we are becoming more open with our struggles and I’m hoping that a lot can be gained for those at home watching.”
While Jo is quick to stress that there is no such thing as ‘switch therapy’ there are a several valuable lessons couples learned from taking part in Seven Year Switch, which starts on Seven on March 15.
“Seeing your own personality in another can lead to increased insight and hopefully can enable the individuals to take responsibility for their own part in any unhealthy relationship dynamic,” she says.
“It was also an opportunity to see if the grass would be greener with someone more like them.”
Jo says that in the end the experimental couples were able to help each other.
“They gave each other critical feedback, which helped them gain perspective into their real life relationships.
“As in group therapy, watching someone else grow and develop has a flow on effect – it helps you too.”
Jo admits she had reservations about taking part in the series at first, but quickly changed her tune when told all the couples were willingly signing on for the experiment and would receive ongoing counselling after the cameras stopped.
As for advice for couples at home watching who think their relationship is on the rocks, Jo encourages them to stop, take a step back and ask two things:
1. Am I taking responsibility for my role in our relationship issues?
2. Do I truly understand where my partner is coming from?
“In other words, until you have accepted your own faults, and those of your partner, and you have empathised with your partner, there is no way you can make an informed decision about whether or not you should stay together,” says Jo.