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.
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.
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.
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,
Trailer of the Undoing
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.
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.
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 !
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 🙂
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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