Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training

Pursuer-Distancer-Dynamic. By Trish Purnell-Webb. Clinical Psychologist, Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer & Consultant

25 February 2021 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

A variety of experts such as Gottman, Johnson, and Tatkin, say one of the most common conflict cycles in relationships is the pursuer-distancer dynamic. In other words, if one partner becomes frustrated, agitated or (in extreme cases) aggressive - the other partner's reaction may be to become increasingly defensive and/or physically distant. This includes leaving the room, house, or neighbourhood.

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Staying Connected in 2021. By Trish Purnell-Webb. Clinical Psychologist, Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer & Consultant

17 February 2021 / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

Dr John Gottman says, “More relationships die by ice than by fire.”  What does he mean? Through Gottman’s research, he found that couples who stopped talking together, who were ‘too busy’ to make time for each other, or who simply ‘got on with the everyday business of life’, ended up emotionally disconnected from each other. 

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2021 with Intentions - by John Flanagan Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer and Consultant

20 December 2020 / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

What a tremendous opportunity we are presented with as we take time to rest and gather with friends and family and to make meaning of the year just past. What we believed to be important and took for granted in the beginning of the year radically changed in March. Unquestionably, 2020 was a struggle for many people, families and relationships and, through necessity, 2020 allowed us to strip back our deeply held values and priorities in life (for some it seemed to be toilet paper)! Priorities like safety, security, health, connection, time together, appreciation and gratefulness emerged as repeated themes.

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The Transition to Parenthood - What to expect and what can you do!  By Bringing Baby Home Educator Kylie-Jo Elliott

16 October 2019 / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy / Bringing Baby Home

In the first session of the Gottman Bringing Baby Home Program, couples are asked the somewhat mandatory 'transition to parenthood' questions.

1. What words would you use to describe how you see the transition to parenthood?
2. What physical changes do you feel you will experience?
3. What psychological changes do you feel you will experience?

For many couples, this is the first time they will get to think about how they might answer these questions. New parents have a generalised notion about some of the changes that may occur, but they almost always involve the baby or personal changes. Very rarely do couples think about the impact of the transition to parenthood on THEM and their partnership.

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How to support your partner through the Baby Blues!  By contributing author Kylie-Jo Elliott

16 June 2019 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Bringing Baby Home


The ‘Baby Blues’ is the common term used to describe a new parent’s feeling of depression that can usually develop between the birth of a baby and 3 months of age. It can affect 8 in every 10 new mums and studies have shown that 1 dad in 10 can also suffer from postnatal depression.

Whilst it is generally a temporary condition, the good news is that the Baby Blues is nothing to be afraid of and is completely treatable with awareness and focus.

Being prepared for what to expect will make all the difference in getting through this time and supporting your partner to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Here is your simple list to follow with some tried and true advice for any new parent.

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4 questions all new parents should know.  By Kylie-Jo Elliott   Bringing Baby Home Educator

19 February 2019 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

Many couples ask, what changes in your life after you have a baby?

The better question to ask is … what DOESN’T change!

These transformations, modifications and reformations can be too many to list here today – but we will focus on 4 facts that are backed by research – that do affect many couples once they bring a new baby home.

1. Did you know that 67% of all couples become unhappy during the first 3 years of their baby’s life? Only 33% remain content!

The transition to parenthood can be a complex maze that many couples simply do not know that they need to prepare for. The new parenting books often fail to acknowledge the challenges that a couple will face when they bring a new baby home that often can affect the very core of their relationship.

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Why do people (including therapists) avoid couples therapy? Trish Purnell-Webb.  CGT & Trainer

14 January 2019 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

The last few decades of human research have clearly demonstrated to us how inescapably relational and interconnected people are, however, most therapists still primarily work with individuals, most of whom present with serious, persistent problems in their intimate relationships.

Part of the reason is that many clients themselves avoid couples therapy. Sometimes they resist because they aren’t sure if they want to stay in the relationship, they are ambivalent and perhaps hope to get some clarity from seeing a therapist individually.

Sometimes they fear the unpleasant things their partner might say about them or they are scared about how volatile things might get if they raise issues they are unhappy about with their partner present. Sometimes the thought of really talking about what’s not working in their relationship feels too hard and there is not enough safety or trust in their relationship for them to allow themselves to become vulnerable about their hurts in front of their partner.

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Staying connected in the Holiday season - By John Flanagan - Certified Gottman Therapist & Trainer

7 December 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

The holiday season can be a wonderful opportunity to take time out from the stressors of daily life, the pressures of work, the never-ending list of tasks and duties and to connect with your partner, children, family and friends. The holiday season is much anticipated and highly valued by many. It is the end of one year and beginning of another. A time for reflection on the past, a time for planning for the future and importantly a time to be present with the important people in your world. The holiday season can often be rich with rituals that bring people together, sharing experiences, traditions and connections.

It is also true that the holiday season can be a very difficult time where relationships can become strained and disconnected, where expectations and ideals are not discussed or shared, where miscommunication and tension can arise.

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Building Love Maps - How well do you know your partner?  By Registered Psychologist Brhea Ind

31 October 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

What is your partners favourite song? Favourite Ice Cream flavour, flower, sports team, movie, holiday destination, their favourite memory in your relationship, their birthday, anniversaries?

Do you know these answers about your partner in the present moment?

John and Julie Gottman call this Building Love Maps.

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The 10 minute conversation that could save your relationship by Kylie-Jo Elliott. BBH Educator

10 October 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops / Bringing Baby Home

Just because you have had a baby, doesn’t mean that the universe will give you a break and put a hold on all of the external stresses that happen as a part of everyday life! In fact, all of the same challenges are still there once you become parents, but once you have a baby, your conversations with one another can tend to become 100% baby focused – and all other issues take a back seat.
So, when stressful situations that happen outside the home are continually not acknowledged or discussed, they can cause a build-up of anxiety, anger and withdrawal amongst couples – even though the situations did not originally involve them AS a couple, the fallout of not talking about them certainly can BECOME a relationship issue!

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