Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training

Begin 2022 with little Decisions - By John Flanagan   AMHSW   Certified Gottman Therapist, Master Trainer & Consultant

4 January 2022 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

The iconic Australian songwriter Paul Kelly wrote,

“Little decisions are the kind I can make,  Big resolutions are so easy to break”.

The waters are yet to calm on the COVID 19 landscape; certainty and predictability still remain fragile commodities. As we enter 2022, it is the little decisions we can make that can provide more stability and direction for our future.

As you know the John Gottman mantra of ‘small things often’ is more important than ever as we contend with looking after our relationships, families, work and ourselves.  Did you know that if the navigation calculations and trajectory were out by only .1 degree for the Apollo mission to the moon, the spacecraft would have missed the moon by 6709 km. Over time, little things become significant. Importantly this is true for both positive and negative acts.

So here are 5 practical ways to create small change across time in your relationship.

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How to guide couples to improve their relationships through Gottman Therapy Level 1 Training

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

We know what makes relationships work and what doesn’t.

Let us teach you, as therapists, how to guide couples to improve their relationships through Gottman Therapy Level 1 Training.

The Gottman Therapy has clear and specific goals:
-  increasing connection and friendship,
-  addressing conflict constructively and reducing negative interaction,
-  building a life of shared meaning together.

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Level 1 Clinical Training - Gottman Method Couples Therapy - 18th & 19th November 2021

13 September 2021 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

Level 1 Clinical Training - Gottman Method Couples Therapy provides a comprehensive, research-based, professional development pathway in relationship therapy excellence. There are four brilliant levels of training that include a deep dive into research, theory, assessment, formulation, interventions and skills development. Gottman training is world-renowned and highly valued.

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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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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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The Couples Guide to Handling the Holidays! By John Flanagan -  CGT, Master Trainer & Consultant

18 April 2019 / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

So here we are at the Easter / ANZAC public holidays, and like many people I speak to, it is ‘How did we get here so quickly’?

With over three months passing since Christmas and the first term of school is done, I look back over this period and remonstrate the amount of work, tasks, logistics, driving, sport events, school functions, time on planes, taxis and hotel rooms I have spent and wonder … how did we fit it all in?

Indeed, life is busy, so how do we continue at this pace and stay connected in our relationships. John Gottman quotes a study of professional couples where both are working full time, and it is found that during their week there is less than 30 minutes of conversation between the 2 of them and the majority of this conversation is on logistics e.g. who is dropping the kids off to their extracurricular activities, what to buy for dinner and so on.

This cannot be OK. I appreciate we are all busy. Nevertheless we need to make, indeed 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.

So how we can we do this?

The following are three suggestions on how this can be achieved. They don’t necessarily cost money, but they do include time and the both of you.

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Emotional Bank Account - Turning Towards instead of Turning Away By Brhea Ind -  Psychologist

13 March 2019 / For therapists / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Gottman Marital Therapy

Imagine Sally and Ron, they have been together for several years, they are walking through their local park when Sally says, “Wow, look at that beautiful flower!” Ron is now confronted with a sliding door moment. If he takes door 1 he will turn towards Sally by saying something like, “Yes, it’s very beautiful. You really love flowers don’t you.” Or he could make a more neutral response by saying simply acknowledging her with a “Mmmm.” This is called turning towards a bid for connection.

If he takes door 2 he will completely ignore Sally’s comment and just keep walking. This is called turning away from a bid for connection. Or if he takes door 3 he might say something like, “For goodness sake, how often do we have to admire a pretty flower. They’re flowers, they’re pretty, I got it!” This is called a turning against a bid for connection.

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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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