Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training

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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When Pain Goes Unprocessed by Trish Purnell-Webb.  Certified Gottman Therapist & Master Trainer

13 September 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

Most people would agree that heartbreak is the worst kind pain to experience. There is no easy medical intervention that will help. That dull, chronic pain feels like it is with you everywhere you go, and it can hit you like a kick in the guts at seemingly random moments when you are least expecting it. It is often at the core of your thoughts, and typically haunts you right before you go to sleep and the moment you wake up.

The problem is that most people don’t process their emotional pain.

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Making Life Dreams Come True by John Flanagan.  Certified Gottman Therapist

21 August 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy

I can’t tell you how many times we get asked for advice about how to make your relationship a success. Questions like: “If you could only identify one thing that makes relationships work, what would that be?” Of course, this is a trap, as there is simply not one strategy alone to make a relationship successful. Relationships need to work on multiple levels simultaneously. Couples need to continuously work on their friendship system building a strong sense of really being known by each other, being there for each other in small and significant times. Couples need to manage conflict with a sense of curiosity, that conflict is an opportunity to learn about each other. Conflict that is done with gentleness and respect is critical to a successful relationship. Relationships need to have meaningful rituals of connection and a mission for the future where dreams and goals are understood, shared and supported. However, if I was pushed to answer the question above, I would probably say that a critical aspect of relationship success is to know, understand and honour your partners dreams. To be in sync with your partners life long journey and to support their dreams and aspirations, journeying through life, sharing and supporting each other’s dreams is a wonderful gift.

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Understanding Conflict by John Flanagan, Certified Gottman Therapist

11 July 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy

Conflict, from mild disagreements to awful battles, from conversations about different perspectives to vilifying one other, from stony silence to screaming matches. The term conflict can mean many different things; from a pathway to understanding and accepting one another more to a way to build negative affect and sentiment. Your perspective on conflict is just so important in shaping the future of your relationship. Do you view conflict and the expression of negative emotions such as hurt and frustration as a sign of an ailing relationship, as something that should be avoided, retreated from or indeed rallied against or do you view relationship conflicts as inevitable and simply part of the couple’s landscape that needs to be understood and worked with? It is the latter view that John Gottman found in his many years of research that promotes relationship satisfaction and stability.

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Understanding the Impact of Harsh Start Ups

12 June 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

A harsh startup is when one partner brings up an issue and uses criticism and contempt to get their point across. Using Harsh Startups are one of the indicators of a failing relationship, the more often you use them the more damaging they are and the higher your probability of relationship demise.

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When you feel like there is no hope.

16 April 2018 / For therapists / Relationship Help

Gottman’s research indicated strong predictors of divorce included high levels of contempt, criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, all contributing to the development of negative sentiment override and resentment. Does this mean a relationship has absolutely no hope if these things are present?

The answer is categorically NO! Gottman’s research relates to couples who did not enter therapy, did not get any help and who just continued to dig deeper and deeper holes for themselves.

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What is the difference between the Gottman-Rapoport Intervention and Active Listening?

8 February 2018 / For therapists

Active listening in couples therapy has generally been proposed as a formulaic approach to having couples talk about issues. It generally takes the form of the speaker saying an I statement that includes a description of a behavior or situation, a feeling they have about the behavior or situation and a request. For example it might be “When you don’t clean up the kitchen after you have eaten I feel angry, I want you to clean up the mess you make.”

The listener is then encouraged to repeat this back so it sounds something like “I hear you saying when I leave mess in the kitchen after I have eaten you feel angry and you want me to clean the kitchen up.”

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If there is no fondness and admiration does this mean the relationship is over?

10 November 2017 / For therapists / Gottman Marital Therapy

Very often when couples present for couples therapy they are in a heightened state of conflict and this may have been the over-riding state of their relationship for years. They have experienced a lot of hurt and pain over this time and are scared to show vulnerability in any way. In other words they have on their protective chain mail protecting and hiding their softness and gentleness from each other.

In this model of couples therapy it is not the therapists decision as to whether the couple should continue to work on their relationship or not, this is entirely the couple’s decision.

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