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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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!

.

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

Hello February Marriage Works Monthly Fun Challenge

Hi beautiful Marriage Workers and by that I mean all of us in committed partnerships. Welcome to the second month of the year.

As we are starting to get back into the day to day runnings, I wondered if we might just keep a hold of the holiday spirit and keep the fun running. It’s good to keep the fun running!

Now this is the ultimate couple fun sky diving !
Now this is the ultimate couple fun sky diving !

We crave novelty as a species and no more so than in relationships, that’s where affairs can happen. So what can you do to prevent doldrums?

Beautiful fish at Sealife

Mix it up, break out of patterns by exploring your surrounds, learning something new or giving free reign to that desire you’ve held inside. Maybe you sky dive, perhaps you guys take a surf lesson. I did see an archery course on Groupon at Bondi, I think look like a fun time.

Sydney Aquarium date for February
Boy fish are hard to photograph. Always moving!

February Fun Challenge get out of your relationship rut by mixing up your routine. Captivate your mate by making a suggestion to do something out of your usual rounds. It can be as easy as a drive, a walk in a new park or beach. Or be a tourist in your city or town. We loved the Sydney aquarium. Love to hear your adventures please drop us a comment and share :))

Here’s my video

https://youtu.be/sJKjxJBAotw

Marriage Workers having fun

Bye for now, yours in gratitude