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QR Code for Australia’s Official Imago Association of Therapists

Association of Imago Relationship Therapists Australia
Start your therapy journey here. For therapists learn Imago, connect with couples counsellors.

I often refer to Imago Therapy in my blog. That’ s because I use it personally and professionally. The skills I have learnt there have helped us so much. This is why I share this today, a list of beautiful therapists in Australia. The QR code that will take you directly to this amazing site.

QR code Association of Imago Relationship Therapists Australia.

Secrets of Successful Relationships

I can write them easily – Love, Respect, Friendship and Trust. Two dimensional words.

It’s the actions and responses that you show and share with your partner that can make or break your partnership. Are you a good friend?

Are you present, listening, showing care, curiosity and connection? Or are you just going through the motions as you walk through the door?

I am not talking about those still in the romance relationship phase here. This is where we are drugged with nature’s anesthesia as Harville Hendrix calls PEA – Phenylethylamine.

When the PEA wears off as it inevitably will, cracks appear. Our partner eats noisily, forgets to call, leaves without kissing you goodbye.

What attracted you initially now repels you.

All minor things but they build up. Resentment festers. If left too long it seems as if the D-word is the only option.

It’s not, change is possible.

How to Keep love alive after the honeymoon is over

Imago Couple Therapy is designed to help you gain skills, communicate, learn and grow together by applying loving, respectful, and trust-building practices.

So stop the resentment rot from setting in. See a relationship specialist today.

Only the other day in a couple therapy session, a husband and wife joined some of the dots on how their life patterns played out.

Husband said, ” Oh I used to take it personally when I imagined you were prioritizing your friends over me.” His Wife said “I can’t say no to my friends, I over-commit myself. I don’t want to let anyone down or it will feel like a failure to me.” Husband “I see now it’s you wanting to please everyone and where this comes from. What a lot of expectation pressure you put on yourself.” Both said they felt hopeful as this new perspective allowed more love and respect to build.

Relationships a two way street. Keep the avenues open with kindness, gratitude and generosity. Your partner will trigger you. Breathe to calm yourself. Use your words, actions, and deeds to inspire the love you want.

Loves wisdom, grow older and kinder
Loves wisdom, grow older and kinder

The Undoing & Fab February

Welcome to February. Lovely to see you. What a start to 2021. Hope your’s went safely and happily.

During this shut in time Chris and I have had a lot of Netflix binge time. I now belong to three streaming platforms. Truly I never thought I would but there you go.

We certainly enjoyed watching Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman in the HBO television series ‘The Undoing’. A lot happens in six episodes. I won’t spoil anything, only, in the end, there are ‘just desserts’. Warning TV ending different from book ending. Both work well though.

This inspired me to read the book of the same name. A little slow to start but hang in there.

Nicole Kidman plays a clinical psychologist in private practice who’s written a book – ‘You Should Have Known.’ This becomes a prevailing theme. Her character Grace’s self help title is to help people not make relationship mistakes. To get out early before marriage. She believes people tell you who they are and how they operate (so do I).

If we listened we would avoid all the heartbreak of divorce by not falling for a self-centred person, an emotionally abusive spouse or the addictive partner.

What we start to sense is ‘she should have known’.

We see Grace play out her guilt and denial about who her husband really is. Hugh Grant as Jonathon the pediatric oncologist has the perfect amount of charm and solicitousness. Author Jean Hanff Korelitz has selected a doctor to portray a narcissist capable of much duplicity. As Sam Vaknin, Professor of psychology, specializing in narcissism suggests reading as a way of understanding the narcissist and psychology. This book will give you excellent insight.

Grace as Jonathan’s ‘victim’ and wife starts to see her life unravel. It is only with hindsight she learns the true character of her husband. An egotist hides in plain sight. That is often the way we can’t see things as they are often little pieces of the jigsaw.

Her friends are sidelined systematically and she is isolated from outside observer feedback. This is a common tactic of the abusive person. The wolf separates the lamb from the herd.

We see Grace as confident and competent in her couples counseling profession. Yet her personality has a kind caring self, which totally ignored the red flags. Much to her detriment.

I think we the reader can identify. This guy had sort of ‘saved’ her. Her dating days were over. She settled. On paper, Jonathan Sachs looked much like the perfect spouse.

This is a spell she has to break free of. It is a form of trance I see many caring people struggle with. We see the charming superficial parts with explanations and rationalisations for everything. Yet there actions do not match their plays.

Some professions possibly lend themselves to the double life scenario. I recall a friend who’s best friend died in a helicopter crash. He as a fireman, pillar of the community type. His wife was most distressed at his funeral to learn of his second partner and family.

So take your time read the book, a great diversion.

I coach a lot of single men and woman on relationships. I love seeing their growth and healing as they find an equal and loving match.

For February make it fabulous with diversion and entertainment. Love to hear your thoughts on the book or series if you have read it or would recommend others.

Thanks for reading,

Gratefully, Philipa

Trailer of the Undoing

December Marriage Works

Christmas time can bring a load of feelings. For some of us these are heavy, painful and lonely times. For others, it’s a joyous celebration of connection.


My friend and eminent couples therapist Michele Weiner- Davis’ said at training, we as therapists need to be able to heal relationships. That includes our own circle.

Shutting off or cutting off as it is called in therapy speak it not the most healthy option. Real courage comes from working through the rupture in the relationship to repair and healing.


It is a bias of mine for families to have connections. So in this video, I will show you a Resource Therapy process for clarification. It’s a safe self-help action you can take. I give a quick demonstration.


I think it beats journalling ( although that is good too) as there is something unique in speaking this out with ourselves.

Note I am not suggesting you have the conversation with the person. Rather this is like the letter you write without sending. It is for you to gain insight and hopefully an emotional shift.
Love to hear how it went for you. please share your experiences.

Philipa Thornton is your Relationship Psychologist in Sydney, and now worldwide online. Philipa and her husband Chris Paulin run Marriage Works their busy private practice, helping couples re-pair with coupe therapy, heal marital issues to find relationship harmony. We assist singles em-power, heal, and develop healthy internal and external relationships.

How Our Childhood Plays Out in Our Partnerships

Have you ever heard your spouse complaining and feel as if you need to respond in kind with your frustration too? Too soon you’re in a massive argument wondering how di you go from 0-100.

Perhaps your mate works a great deal. They say it’s for your family but you feel lonely. You withdraw or share all your love with your children thinking about divorce.

You can’t sit still and relax, there’s a compulsion to keep busy. You worry. Sometimes it even feels like panic.

Maybe you like your world to be a certain way and it feels terrible if there is a disappointment or change of plans. Your partner feels controlled, you often feel out of control.

What is going on here?

Many of our feelings and behavioral responses are laid down in childhood.

We protect, reject, project and react from those childhood parts of us. Our Parts that were emotionally neglected, shamed, abandoned or not accepted or allowed to explore or make mistakes as little people.

We may have received conditional love if we did well at sports or feel that we were not seen, heard, or supported. We feel invisible, voiceless, and not good enough on the inside. It’s a struggle to let love in. We hide.

This then plays out for us in adulthood. Our partner selection ensures we will find a person who mirrors our caregivers negative and positive traits. Our parts will become active in their adaptive ways trying to protect our emotional selves.

No you haven’t chosen the wrong person.

Far from it. Indeed you have found the exact match to help you heal and grow.

Perhaps you relate, or see yourself or your partner?

Watch this video and drop a comment in the box below to share your thoughts and reflections.

Help others by sharing your insights below. Thanks for reading !

Clinical Imago Therapist Listing

Shout for those who are looking to re-pair and want to rekindle the good stuff. Home is where the heart is as they say – learn how to reconnect.

Here is my profile on the Australian Imago Relationship Therapy Website – Philipa Thornton Relationship Psychologist

Look there for other well trained clinical couples therapists in your area 🙂

November Monthly Support

Hello all you gorgeous people out there, thanks for stopping by!

Apologies there was no October post, I had too much on my plate personally. Never fear we are here.

I am taking a leaf out of my American friends and making this month’s Marriage Workers and relationship repairers support theme of Thanksgiving.

When we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, we are sowing the seeds and inviting in kindness. With appreciation, we soften. We can lean in.

With all the pressure the whole world is experiencing now more than ever in our personal relationships gratitude may be vital.

Expressing your appreciation can be transformative.

As part of my sessions, I love it when couples share these special gifts with each other.

And it’s the little things like :

When we were in bed and you reached over, put your arm around me, and cuddled me, I felt so loved and cared for by you. It was really special to me.

Wife sharing to husband

The micro matters most to our mates.

Grand gestures are the exception. When you share your attitude of gratitude you open the love channels. We create safety and respect.

The same for those of us who are solo.

We can share our care, being kind to ourselves, our pets and our people who matter. I love coaching singles past old patterns toward healing and healthy relationships. It starts with ourselves first.

So please let me send a heartfelt thank you for reading and viewing my YouTube Channel Marriage Workers and relationship repairers. I care for you!

Lots of love and the latest episode here

Online Getting the Love You Want – NZ Style 🧡

Hello lovely relationship workers! My Imago friends, and teachers in New Zealand Brenda Rawlings and Peter Macmillan are offering a special treat.

Online 2 hours post Getting the Love You Want Post Workshop Support for Couples.

It’s perfect timing for us Aussies at 5-7 pm, monthly next on August 31st.

Getting the Love You Want
Online Couples Support –  Monday 27 July
A monthly online Seminar ***for couples who have attended a ‘Getting the Love You Want’ Couples Workshop
****
 
About Online Couples Support
The aim of these sessions is to provide support to couples, following your attendance at a ‘Getting the Love You Want’ Couples Workshop.
 
The sessions will be via Zoom and will be presented by Brenda Rawlings and Peter McMillan (jointly or individually).
 
They are held on the last Monday of the month, from February to November.
You can register for one, some, or all of the sessions.
The next one is on Monday 31, 7 pm
– 9pm (New Zealand time).

Each session may include a lecture, a demonstration, and exercises to work on with your partner. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.
 
What Will Be Covered?

  • Imago dialogue
  • Parent child dialogue
  • Behaviour Change Request
  • Relational cycles
  • Zero negativity
  • How to listen deeply
  • How to speak safely
  • Using appreciation and gratitude to build safety and connection

You will be guided in using the tools and principles outlined at the Couples Workshop, and to further explore and integrate these into your lives.
 
TIME
5pm – 7pm Sydney Time
 
FEES
$45 (per session)
 

Register here Getting the Love Online :https://www.relationships.co.nz/getting-the-love-you-want-online-couples-support-australia/

Flyer https://relationships.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c59dd153b1792240bef578a5e&id=9396e91ca9&e=3d2c08868c

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