Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training

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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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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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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Creating Everyday Rituals that are meaningful for you and your family

20 October 2017 / Relationship Help / Relationship Institute Australasia / Art & Science of Love Couples Workshops

I recently asked my 3 grown-up children what they enjoyed most when they were growing up. Son No 1 said “I really liked how we would have those family days on the weekend. We always did fun stuff together.”

Son No 2 said, “I always liked the times we sat around the dinner table and just talked about all sorts of things. In fact I still really enjoy that.”

Baby Daughter said, “I have always loved our family vacations. It’s always so exciting to go somewhere new together. I like the excitement of knowing we are going and then talking about it for months and planning how we are going to have fun together. Those vacations felt like the lasted for months because of how much we talked about it before we went.”

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Is Finding your “Soul Mate” a real thing?

12 September 2016 / Relationship Institute Australasia

We are social animals and have a deep and underlying desire to find that one perfect person, our ‘soul mate’, to spend the rest of our days with in perfect happiness and harmony. But what do we really know about the perfect mate or the ideal partner? Psychology has shed some light on this mystery in an effort to understand what truly makes two people compatible for a lifetime.

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