Blog Posts

August Marriage Works Support: Self-Respect

Last updated on August 10th, 2020 at 04:25 pm

Welcome to August, I am a little late getting this to you. It’s been a busy time of online training for the Resource Therapy Institute – sorry!

Know that I am sending you all love, support, and appreciation for wherever you are on your relationship journey.

Married, de facto, or single, we at Marriage Works seek to assist you live your life’s dreams and highest potential. I do work with singles for coaching to help you change past patterns of relationship and assist you in repairing your self- worth. You are lovable and good enough, truly!

The theme for this month is Self- Respect.

Naturally people want respect in their relationships.

When I ask what this means in therapy sessions, I often get either a stunned look or a few descriptions rattled off.

We often haven’t really had the chance to ponder what respect and self-respect are. How they play out.

This is your mission for the month to think on what it means and how Self Respect shows up for you, or not as the case may be.

What is my definition of Self Respect ?

How do I allow this to show up in my life? What values am I connecting with when I do this?

Self Respect is both an action and an internal compass. It can be as simple as what I choose to eat – is it nourishing for my body. Where my focus goes, is it toward my goals? Am I listening to myself or am I looking for external approval for acknowledgement.

How do I validate my thoughts and feelings. Do I speak kindly, compassionately to myself.

Would I treat others better than I treat myself, ie would I not listen to my intuition and tolerate unhelpful patterns out of fear?

Is my need for approval leading me to lose my self respect? How do I regain the balance?

Please share as I am extremely curious, especially in this world COVID crisis as to how you live this or reconnect with the treasure you are. When we treat ourselves with dignity and gravitas, how do others respond?

Love to hear drop a comment in the box below your musings and definitions. Thanks ever so much,

Love Philipa xox

Marriage Works Support for you - Self Respect

It’s Official. I’m a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist!

During my relationship counseling career, I have used the Imago dialogue with couples on and off. There are other approaches we use in sessions too – from leaders in couple therapy like John Gottman and Ellen Bayden.

It wasn’t till Chris and I went through a rocky patch we discovered the power of Harville Hendrix and Helen Lakelly-Hunt’s Imago Couple Therapy. This beautiful life pair show us the way, having co-authored many books together. Including the classic ” Getting the Love You Want” self-help guide. This book has now been in print for over 40 years! Tried and true.

What anniversary is that I wonder?

Chris and I went to the Couples retreat. Here you learn the principles of Getting the Love you Want in the workshop.

This weekend sold me on Imago. We came away more connected, and loving.

In those two days, and to his credit Chris came too. We decided to train in this special relational healing method. A couple of years ago Chris and I attended the training, many days.

Yet I could not call myself and Imago Therapist.

One had to be certified.

An intensive process of supervision, presenting videos of my work, being a helper at workshops, more training, and then a final assessment once I had completed everything.

Last month my official Imago certifier Peter Macmillan, sent me an email. He had reviewed my final tape. He said I had passed with excellent marks. Phew!

So it’s official now. I am an Imago Therapist certified by Imago Therapy International.

Proud to be supporting people in all their relationships. Cheers!

.

๐ŸŒท June Monthly Challenge – Share Kindness ๐Ÿ’ž ๐Ÿฅฐ

Welcome back to the Marriage Works Monthly Challenge Series. This is really a call to action to encourage share your positive parts to the world. This is for you no matter what your relationship status.

This month as we start to unfurl from lockdown’s, COVID 19 restrictions I ask you to share your kindness.

For some of us, this will be anxiety-provoking, possibly overwhelm, for others of us it may be a relief.

Whatever your reaction is, know it is all within the normal range to an abnormal situation.

Our partners can have their unique reactions to this so please be mindful and generous to their experiences.

So please share kindness. ๐Ÿค—

I am a kiwi at home in Sydney (New Zealander for those who don’t know the euphemism). Being from a small town Thames it’s natural to say Hi and smile at folks when we are out and about. This can be such a goodwill gesture and often rewarded in kind.

Start with small.

Sometimes we have the opportunity to do more. I have had a friend who unexpectedly ended up in hospital. She called and I was able to get her clothes, supplies, feed her cat Izzy and support her. She is out now of danger and things are improving thank goodness.

Here’s the YouTube Marriage Works Channel video on Sharing kindness ๐Ÿšธ Hear how I responded when a lady got anxious and told me off at the mall.

Here is the link https://youtu.be/kc_tMcscQu8

As I believe a joy shared is doubled and you will inspire others with your positive deeds. It’s feel-good all round.๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ˜

PS. Love to hear how your kindness sharing went, please drop a comment in the box below. Please pass on to others who may benefit.๐Ÿงก ๐Ÿ’›

Fancy a Newcastle Getaway & Reconnecting your Relationship?

Last updated on May 31st, 2020 at 09:39 am

Hello Marriage workers and Relationship heroes. As we move into a new era, it’s time to freshen things up. So glad there is an easing of COVID 19 restrictions.

I am super excited to announce friends of mine Julie and Will are offering the amazing Getting the Love You Want Couples weekend workshop.

This is such a special seminar – designed for all couples who want to reset old patterns, and have a fresh start.

Interestingly, Imago couple therapy practitioners who want full certification also need to attend in their partnerships. It’s certainly helped me being on both sides of the metaphorical couch.

I am glad Chris and I had the opportunity. It totally brought new compassion, insight, and connection to our relationship. I

Even in this lock down, correct me if I am wrong but I think our most valuable asset is time.

This is exactly why investing in a weekend for your partnership is so productive to healing and hope.

Plus Newcastle is a cute place to visit.

Here is the details:

VENUE Conference Room, D.A. Centre 2 Percy Street, Hamilton

DATES:

13th/14th June 2020 Saturday and Sunday 9am to 6pm

Here is the Australian Institute of Imago Relationship Therapists link to register for this course. Early bird special still applies so don’t miss out.

http://www.imagocounselling.org.au/home/2016/9/19/couple-workshops

Marriage Works You Tube Channel – More on Getting the Love You Want Workshop

Masterminds in Therapy Online Series

Hello marriage workers, counselors, and couples therapists. We would like to invite you to join us with our special guest Professor Kobus van der Merwe.

Kobus will join us live from South Africa where he runs his group practice Imago Relationships. There he does couples intensives, group programs, and much more. He has recently moved all this online and will share his experiences.

Professor Kobus is part of the Imago Studies program at Daybreak University. He is an award-winning Imago Couples therapist and all round nice guy.

His relationship coaching style is remarkable and allows growth and safety for couples.

The masterminds in therapy series is for therapists who are interested in hearing from the great minds and hearts of experts in our field.

Given these times of isolation, a connection and effective communication are now more important than ever. In Imago theory this is a central tenet. Where we assist communication and re-pair work. As you will know it is heart warming.

Working online can be lonely. So come and join us for a friendly chat and lively exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Marriage Workers Gathering for Therapists Mastery Series

Professor Kobus van der Merwe Imago therapist

When: May 18, 2020 17:30 Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Register in advance for this meeting:https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-igrjsvG9Vof2FtaajTVngNDlXH9-Fy

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Love to see you there in community spirit.

PS. this is Not part of AIRTA, who does an amazing job organizing the Imago Therapy Community Australian, with whom I am a member. This is a separate and distinct initiative from Marriage Works with an international vision for therapists to connect globally in community and support with the same kindness and care we give our clients.

Watch this space for other world renowned therapists.

April – No Monthly Challenge

Hi lovely relationship workers. It’s way into April and I have not been in touch, so sorry!

I do hope you and your loved ones are taking these unusual times with COVID 19 in your stride.

Here in Sydney at least the weather is beautiful and we can go for walks. I really miss going out to dinner, catching up with friends, the movies, and the beach.

In some ways the pace has slowed but in others the workload has increased for me – how about you guys?

There is no monthly challenge here from me at Marriage Works, as I believe these times are tough enough already.

All I hope is you offer your kind self both to yourself and others. Please reach out if you are on your lonesome.

Be gentle with each other, limit the analysis of stuck patterns for a while.

Go easy.

It’s super easy for stress and close proximity to make us tetchy. I know when I am tired I can be cranky, ask Chris!

The good thing though if I snap, he mostly won’t go there and vice versa. But it does happen.

Only watch the Tiger King - don't become one !
Only watch the Tiger King on Netflix- don’t become one !

We are a bit like the caged Tigers in Tiger King.

My daughter sent me an Instagram add on where your picture can have the Joe Exotic features – blonde mullet, handlebar moustache and camouflage clothing. Hilarious and no I am not putting that pic of me up!

Yep, Netflix and Prime have been things that keep the pressure low.

What’s your favourite shows or movies? Love your recommendations.

Hang out with your partner and rediscover yourselves

Yesterday at the park we were watching children scooting around on their trikes. I learnt my husband Chris did not have a bicycle as a child. He did have a skate board – home made with metal wheels! How beautiful to share.

So go well, be kind and keep your immune system strong. Use this time to get to know your partner again in a slowed down world.

Please share your positive experiences in the comments box belong or Netflix recommends! With love and light xox

We are open & We will be OK

These are certainly unsettling times with this outbreak of Covid 19.

Remember it is a flu – most of us have had at some stage in our life, pretty yuk for sure but we recovered.

It’s vital as couple we turn towards each other. Your mate will have their unique point of view. It may not be yours.

This is the time to give ourselves a bit of a free pass on stress.

Be gentle, come together and the world can heal.

Help your spouse, your friends, family and community. This shifts our self focus.

As Brene Brown said we need not contract with social distancing and self isolation.

Community support in times of isolation is healing
Community support in times of isolation is healing

Connection to others is the antidote.

If we can’t visit, we can pick up the phone, download an app, reach out.

Get in touch, tell someone you care, they need you.

I an on a local connection App. So touching to see people offering a helping hand to neighbours like running errands, dropping groceries for those in need.

Just as we saw when Australia was a bushfire inferno. Support, kindness and love abound.

Please let’s keep this spirit.

At Marriage Works we are open. Being a home office, there’s no large crowds and therefore less risk.

However we are happy to offer you the option of Telehealth, phone, or Online therapy. Easy for couples we can guide you how to set this up.

The Aljazeera news headline is heartening:

In China, life returning to normal as coronavirus outbreak slows.”

Allow this to give you hope. We are likely to see a similar pattern of recovery.

We will be OK.

With love and light Philipa xox

#WewillbeOK
#WewillbeOK

Marriage Works COVID-19 Precautions

The safety and security of you, our clients is, and will always be, our highest priority.

You can be assured we are doing everything possible to ensure your safety.

We will be ok!

As we are currently being instructed to limit contact, I am offering clients the option of conducting our sessions online for those who prefer. Contact me below to arrange.

We feel this is the most respectful, responsible and sensible thing to do.

We encourage you stay home and self-isolate if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms or have traveled overseas in the last 14 days.

Marriage Works and Psych Solutions are actively following the NSW Government, Health Services and WHO guidelines and recommendations.

Go here for the latest official health guidelines for corona

Here are the latest updates from the Australia Department of Health in line with WHO : https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

It’s important to be alert but not alarmed. Health anxiety and fear can be debilitating.

There are things you can do :

  • Do what you always do to stay healthy.ย 
  • Wash your hands often and long – sing happy birthday three times to yourself
  • Keep surfaces clean
  • Stay away from crowds when you can.
  • Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to boost your immune system
  • Get fresh air and exercise regularly
  • Follow advice from official channels
  • Limit your media input – Facebook, emails, online, and television news
  • Use this as an opportunity to reset, revitalize and have quality family time
you can protect yourself by washing your hands regularly
you can protect yourself by washing your hands regularly

If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us and we can arrange your online support.

Call me Philipa 0434 559 011 or email me to set up your session Email philipathornton@gmail.com

#WewillbeOK

March Monthly Inspiration – Mirroring and a Couples Quiz.

Welcome to the March 2020 monthly relationship inspiration from Marriage works.

I’ve come straight from Yoga. Where my teacher got us to close our eyes and see what you don’t see, with your body, your mind and the people around you.

I loved this. Super hard in warrior three, standing in a t shape balancing on one leg. Wobbly!

It’s easy to miss what we see every day as we share our lives with our partners.

Familiarity cheats us. We get ever so slightly lazy in our thinking. Our mind leaps to the past, assumptions quickly jump in.

So I am asking you this month, in all your relationships to “See what you don’t see and hear what you don’t hear”.


Stay curious.

One vital tool Chris my husband and I use in our couple coaching is the Imago couple dialogue’s mirroring.

Mirroring is where we reflect back our partners sentences and tone, to ensure acknowledgement and validation.

It’s pretty much saying repeating our partners words back to them, with the same energy. It’s magical being acknowledged this way.

When your partner does this for you it’s super supportive.

Use this mirroring tool. Perhaps staying with the most important words.

When we mirror our partners responses we will feel really attuned and in stride with each other like these beautiful horses
When we mirror our partners responses we will feel really attuned and in stride with each other like these beautiful horses


Chris and also found this couples quiz. We had great fun last night.

Good news we know each other well. I still learnt something new.

You answer the questions and see how it fits.


I chose at random one of the cards to read out on : Marriage Works YouTube Channel

Listen if you want my answers. Here are the questions as promised in the video:

How well do you know each other?


Which celebrity does your partner think they most look like?


Who tells the best jokes?


Who takes longer to get ready?


What is your partners favorite band of all time?
I got this wrong it’s not Led Zeppelin! https://youtu.be/NrBNOe15_qQ


Does your partner prefer cats or d
ogs?

Love to hear how you found this cute quiz. Please share your answers to encourage us!

https://youtu.be/NrBNOe15_qQ

Please Visit us  https://MarriageWorks.com.au for Relationship Coaching, Saving Your Marriage From Divorce โ€“ The Last Resort Technique, Healing Your Heart for Partnership and loads more advice and  information.

Follow Us!

Blog: https://marriageworks.com.au/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marriageworksoz/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/philipathornton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philipathornton

Pinterest:

YouTube: https://youtu.be/BYpwSX5j0IE

My Husband, My Baseline. Here’s Why..

Last updated on March 1st, 2020 at 01:29 pm

Chris, my spouse is my standard for love and kind treatment. He is my lauchpad for care and respect.

In my rooms I see couples, lone partners and singles all striving for love.

Many times there’s a struggle to find self worth, value and a belief in ourselves as deserving of a loving happy relationship.

Things go off into the ditch.

This is when our negative patterns show up in partnerships.

We use the idea of a maximiser – the one who demands and speaks up. They are like the hailstorm and pour down harder to be heard.

Hailstorm Thunder of words can be overwhelming. This is a maximiser trait.
Hailstorm Thunder of words can be overwhelming. This is a maximiser trait.

On the flip side is the minimiser. Their pattern is withdrawal. We call these guys the Turtle. They pull back into their shells protectively.

The turtle or tortoise withdraws to protect and minimise, usually invoking more thunder and hail!
The turtle or tortoise withdraws to protect and minimise, usually invoking more thunder and hail from the maximiser!

Whey I say this to couples they nod knowingly. They usually know whether they are a turtle or a hailstorm in their partnership.

I saw John Aiken pointing out this very dynamic on Married At First Sight. Boy what a hothouse for explosivity. Makes for TV ratings. I love that we are talking about relationships.

Time outs can protect us from the danger zone of escalation.

This dynamic becomes problematic when it goes off road in the ditch.

When harsh words are said against ones character, foul language and escalation happen.

We can quickly go to the danger zone.

While time outs are a useful tool and necessary tool. It’s vital we learn newer, safer, supportive ways of connecting and communicating.

Danger zone, the frontal lobe is off line we are coming form our reptilian brain. Attack and defend come naturally as our biology kicks in.
Danger zone, the frontal lobe is off line. We come from our reptilian brain. Attack and defend naturally occurs as our biology kicks in.

That’s why I coach couples dialogue in my sessions. So your can find a part to help you get your needs met.

You get real world skills to apply in your relationship when the sparks fly.

If a partner comes alone, I always will extend an invitation to attend. Some come, some don’t. Sometimes it’s a new beginning or the next stage in their partnership.

One gentleman I saw for 10-12 sessions solo, by the end of our work they were happily engaged. Gorgeous pictures of roses, rings and romance. Ah love my work!

Ah happy days wedding bliss loving couple

Occasionally my radar goes up where I hear contempt and threats. I gently query how the person feels on the end of this – this is the marker and what if any repair happens.

When there are excuses, blame and no accountability, I get concerned.

While I totally believe people can change. The proviso is they must want the change for themselves.

Danger zone relationship abuse

It’s usually then I point to a picture of us on our wedding day and say this is Chris. He would never say $%$^ to me. I have haven’t ever heard him use foul language apart from the rare stubbed toe expletive.

Chris wouldn’t ever say or treat me in that way. I trust him to support me and have my back. While we may not agree on everything, it’s all up for negotiation.

No he’s not an angel but he is good, kind and acts with restraint. Guess who’s the turtle here!

Respect is a cornerstone in a healthy relationship and it’s important we restore it quickly when it’s lost. No one’s perfect!

You are welcome to use Chris as a baseline too!

Ask yourself if there is a person or partnership you admire. Would they act that way, or say that ?

Perhaps we can require more of ourselves and our partners as we learn and grow together. Go gently and live fully. Yours in gratitude Philipa xox