Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training

Easter Connections (8 great suggestions to grow a relationship over the break) - By Gottman Marital Therapist, Level 3 Trainer & Consultant John Flanagan

6 April 2023 / Relationship Help / For Couples

How often when someone asks “How are you?” - the response is ‘Busy’ or indeed the question is ‘Are you keeping busy’, and the answer is “You bet”.
I appreciate we are all busy; nevertheless, we need to create opportunities in our relationship, to connect, to generate fondness and friendship, to update each other on how we are traveling through time and space individually and together. Over this Easter break take time to focus on building stronger connections. Here are eight suggestions to help do this.

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The Maths and Stats of Love - By Gottman Master Trainer John Flanagan

21 March 2023 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy

In his extensive career, Dr John Gottman developed mathematical models, scales, and formulas to identify the elements of stability in relationships and the interactive patterns that cause couples to divorce. We now know what makes relationship work and not.

Here are some fun and not so fun facts.

Dr John Gottman has completed over 12 longitudinal studies with over 3000 couples, the longest period couples were followed up was 20 years.

The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling predict early divorcing. When the 4 horsemen are present without an effective repair attempt, couples divorce an average of 5.6 years after the wedding.

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ROMANCE ❤️ - By Gottman Master Trainer Trish Purnell-Webb

31 January 2023 / For therapists / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / For Couples

February has been known as the romance month since well before the 5th century. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival celebrated the coming of spring, and included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery, resulting naturally in a glut of newborns arriving during the weeks leading up to Christmas. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I, concerned about the growing size of the lower classes, forbade the celebration of Lupercalia.

The notion was revived however in the 14th century by none other than Geoffrey Chaucer. He wrote a 699 line poem called ‘Parliament of Fowls’ about a group of birds that gather together in the early spring on ‘seynt valentynes day’ to choose their mates for the year.

By the 17th century enterprising young flower sellers (think Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady) were calling to young men in the marketplace to ‘Trap your lady’s heart with flowers on Saint Valentine’s day, sir – primroses two bunches a penny!’ And by the end of that century industrious printers had begun creating commercial Valentine’s Day cards to accompany those flowers.

It only took 300 years to turn Valentines day into the $60 billion dollar business we know it as today. All for one day of the year!

But here’s the thing, Gottman demonstrated clearly in his research that in happy, satisfying, successful relationships romance is a daily occurrence.

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Managing Contempt in Couple Therapy - By Gottman Master Trainer Trish Purnell-Webb

20 January 2023 / For therapists / Gottman Marital Therapy

One of the most difficult emotions to deal with in couple therapy is contempt. Feelings of superiority, self-righteousness, and a lack of empathy can quickly escalate conflict and lead to gridlock. It can be expressed as sarcasm, put downs, sneering, eye-rolling and of course swearing, name-calling and yelling.

If you suspect that contempt is an issue in a couple's relationship, there are a few things you can do to help them manage it. First, help them to understand what contempt is and why it's so harmful to their relationship. Dr John Gottman demonstrated in seven different studies that he could predict with 93% accuracy which couples would be separated within three years just based on the amount of contempt present during a 10 minute conflict conversation.

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Happy New Year - Starting 2023 with a Plan of Connection - By Gottman Master Trainer John Flanagan

6 January 2023 /

Relationships can be a place of great discovery, a journey of building deep connection and attachment with one another over years, really knowing one another, understanding the fabric of each other personality, values, dreams and goals. Great relationships understand the individual ambitions and goals of each other and understand the importance of honouring these, viewing the relationship as a supportive platform to encourage, nurture and action individual pursuit. Knowing and honouring your partner’s dreams is critical. It may be things like camping, cooking, live theatre or travel. No one wants to be in a relationship where your passions and life dreams go unrecognised or unsupported.

The following are some useful suggestions of being able to be better understand, explore, support and honour your partner’s life dreams.

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Creating Rituals of Connection over the Holiday Season - By Gottman Master Trainer John Flanagan

13 December 2022 /

The holiday season is great time to develop meaningful ways of connecting with your partner and family. These rituals are important because they symbolize who we are as a couple and family, they honour your cultural heritage, faith or family values. They demonstrate that by time out of our busy schedules we make one another a priority, creating a strong sense of belonging, they are also just fun, people look forward to them. Rituals of connections are those activities and interactions that are consistent and predictable ways of engagement. For example, how you greet each other at the end of the day, how we give out gifts on Christmas day, what Christmas lunch looks like, what we do as a couple and family on boxing day.

So here six suggestions you may be interested in trying over this holiday season.

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Are you Connecting?  By Gottman Master Trainer John Flanagan

28 November 2022 /

Choice Points

There are many choice points in your relationship where you can decide to turn towards your partner and acknowledge and engage in their world, or you can absently ignore or dismiss the attempted connecting gestures from your partner.

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Managing Contempt in Couples Therapy - By Gottman Master Trainer and Clinical Psychologist Trish Purnell-Webb

4 November 2022 /

One of the most difficult emotions to deal with in couple therapy is contempt. Feelings of superiority, self-righteousness, and a lack of empathy can quickly escalate conflict and lead to gridlock. It can be expressed as sarcasm, put downs, sneering, eye-rolling and of course swearing, name-calling and yelling.

If you suspect that contempt is an issue in a couple's relationship, there are a few things you can do to help them manage it. First, help them to understand what contempt is and why it's so harmful to their relationship. Dr John Gottman demonstrated in seven different studies that he could predict with 93% accuracy which couples would be separated within three years just based on the amount of contempt present during a 10 minute conflict conversation.

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What you can expect when you go to Gottman Relationship Therapy? By Gottman Master Trainer John Flanagan

23 September 2022 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy

Gottman Relationship Therapy has grown in popularity over the last 40 years, internationally and now here in Australia - and there are very good reasons for this. It is one of, if not the most, research-based methodology for couple’s therapy.

Gottman Therapy involves personalising the principles from the Sound Relationship House Theory to each couple’s unique interaction patterns, issues and challenges.

Assessment-Understanding your unique couple story
Gottman Therapy has a strong focus on assessing and understanding the presenting and underlying issues that couples bring to therapy. Gottman Therapists ensure a thorough assessment is completed to gain a clear understanding of the couple’s history, strengths, weaknesses and treatment goals.

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To Zoom or Not to Zoom - That is the Question

26 July 2022 /

Ok ... so I need to put my hand up and admit at the beginning of the pandemic I was sceptical about online training and the quality of the experience for both the participants and trainers. I thought that it would be very difficult and sub optimal to teach relationship therapy when people are not actually in the room with you. I wondered what would happen to the connection, interaction and engagement that is so important and required to ensure an excellent learning environment. I had so many questions about the possible impact on the quality of our training program when converting to an online platform. Nevertheless, the pandemic required all of us to adapt, pivot and change—so we did . We moved our training from face to face to an online platform.

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