Heal Your Relationship: Imago Relationship Couples Intensive In Sydney!

Are you and your partner looking to deepen your connection, improve communication, and reignite the spark in your relationship? At Marriage Works, we’re thrilled to announce our upcoming Imago Relationship Couples Intensive Program, is taking place in beautiful Sydney on November 16th and 17th.

Join the thousands of happy partners who have found the secret to success with this globally respected, tried, and true course – Getting the Love You Want weekend workshop.

This transformative experience is designed to help couples like you build stronger, more fulfilling relationships. Applying real-world practical skills, you will be able to use immediately.

What Is the Imago Relationship Couples Intensive?

Our Imago Relationship Couples Intensive is a two-day immersive program that combines the best of relationship psychology with practical, hands-on exercises. Whether you’re newlyweds or have been together for decades, this program offers valuable insights and tools to help you navigate the complexities of your relationship with greater ease and understanding.

This is you in your future - happy, connected and passionate for each other!

Led by Philipa Thornton, a highly respected Relationship Psychologist and certified Imago Psychotherapist, you’ll benefit from her unique blend of professional expertise and personal experience. As a partner and wife herself, Philipa understands the real-life challenges couples face and is passionate about helping you overcome them.

Why You Should Attend

  1. Expert Guidance: Philipa Thornton brings years of experience and a deep understanding of relationship dynamics. Her warm, approachable style makes learning enjoyable and effective.
  2. Interactive Sessions: Our program is not just about listening; it’s about doing. You’ll participate in practical exercises and meaningful dialogues designed to bring you closer to your partner.
  3. Safe and Supportive Environment: We create a confidential, nurturing space where you can feel safe to share, heal, and grow together.
  4. Proven Techniques: Learn effective tools and strategies from the Imago Therapy framework, a proven approach to enhancing relationships.

Don’t Miss Out – Register Now!

We understand how busy life can get, but investing time in your relationship is one of the best decisions you can make. Our early bird rates are currently available, so don’t wait to secure your spot. These special rates are limited, and our programs tend to fill up quickly.

Join Us in Sydney!

Picture this: a weekend in Sydney dedicated to just you and your partner. A time to step away from the daily grind and focus on what truly matters – your relationship. Imagine leaving the event feeling closer, more connected, and equipped with new tools to keep your relationship thriving.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Early bird rates won’t last long, and spots are filling up quickly. Take the first step towards a more loving and fulfilling relationship today.

For more details and to secure your spot, visit our website or call us. We can’t wait to welcome you and support your journey to a stronger, happier partnership!

Warm regards,
Philipa Thornton and the Marriage Works Team

Take Action Today

Please drop a comment below and let us know your hopes for joining us.

Registration is now open! To apply for your ticket to Loving Connection, simply click this link to Call Philipa or send me an email.

It will be amazing, and I can’t wait to meet you all!

Unlock the Secrets to a Lasting Relationship with “Getting the Love You Want”

Last updated on April 18th, 2024 at 03:55 pm

In the heart of every couple lies a deep yearning to understand and be understood, to connect and be connected, to love and be loved. If you’ve found yourself seeking a deeper, more fulfilling bond with your partner, the Imago Relationship Therapy’s “Getting the Love You Want” two-day couples program is your gateway to transforming your relationship into the partnership you’ve always dreamed of.

Why “Getting the Love You Want”?

Developed by leading experts in marital stability and satisfaction, this program is more than just a retreat; it’s a journey toward the heart of what truly matters in a relationship.

Professor Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and wife Helen La Kelly-Hunt Ph.D., Oprah’s favourite couples therapists, have developed a tried and true two-day inspirational couple journey.

Your presenter Philipa Thornton and husband Chris Paulin offer a lived experience as partners and psychologists. We know it can be tough but with the right help, change is not only possible but inevitable. This was the workshop that energized and strengthened us. We want to offer you the same support and practical skills you can use immediately in your home.

This workshop packs a punch. No more hours of therapy sessions. Get it done in a weekend intensive retreat.

Through a series of interactive sessions, you’ll explore the complexities of love, communication, and connection, unravelling the mysteries that have kept you from achieving the intimacy you crave.

Join the husband and wife team Chris & Philipa relationship psychologists for real world relationship satisfaction and resolution in our latest Sydney Getting the Love You Want Program, a two day workshop for couples.
Exclusive Couples Retreat two-day intensive Program Sydney with Imago Psychologist Philipa Thornton.

What You Will Discover

Over two transformative days, you and your partner will dive into the science and soul of love. You’ll learn:

  • The Art of Communication: Unlock the secrets to expressing your needs and desires without conflict.
  • Deepening Connection: Discover how to forge an unbreakable bond with your partner, even in the face of adversity.
  • Resolving Conflict: Learn strategies to turn conflicts into opportunities for growth and deeper understanding.
  • Revitalising Your Relationship: Rekindle the passion and joy that brought you together in the first place.

Why Now?

The “Getting the Love You Want” program is not just an event; it’s a turning point for your relationship.

With registration now open for May, this is your moment to choose love, understanding, and connection. Spaces are limited, as we believe in creating a close, intimate setting where every couple receives personalized attention.

Who Should Attend?

This program is designed for couples at any stage of their relationship, whether you’re in the blissful honeymoon phase, navigating challenges, or anywhere in between. It’s for those who believe in love’s potential to grow and enrich our lives in unimaginable ways.

Join Us and Transform Your Relationship

If you’re ready to embark on this journey, reach out to register for the “Getting the Love You Want” program – in person in Sydney Eastern Suburbs on May 25 & 26.

Don’t let another day pass wishing your relationship could be different. Take the step today towards the love you’ve always wanted, and the relationship you and your partner deserve.

Act Now: Secure Your Spot

Registration for May is now open, but spaces fill up quickly. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your relationship and your life. Sign up now and start your journey to getting the love you want.

Register Here

Remember, love isn’t just about finding the right person. It’s about becoming the right partners for each other. Let us guide you there.

Deepening Bonds with Imago: Nurturing Empathy and Understanding in Relationships

By Philipa Thornton, Psychologist and Imago Relationship Therapy Expert

After decades as a psychologist specializing in relationship therapy, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing countless couples transform their relationships through Imago Relationship Therapy. This journey, both personal and professional, has been a testament to the power of understanding, empathy, and connection in fostering stronger bonds.

Understanding the Imago Concept

Imago Relationship Therapy, developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., is based on a simple yet profound idea: our intimate relationships mirror the needs, fears, and experiences of our childhood. The term ‘Imago,’ Latin for ‘image,’ refers to the subconscious image of familiar love we carry with us, shaped by early interactions with caregivers. This image often guides us unconsciously in choosing our partners.

Personal Journey with Imago

My experience with Imago started several years ago when I realized that the approach enriched my professional skills and illuminated my personal path. Like many, I discovered parts of my ‘Imago’ in my husband, leading us to a deeper understanding of each other’s worlds. Our communication improved significantly, fostering a relationship filled with more empathy and less conflict. It was amazing to share such a magical experience learning more about my spouse’s inner world.

Couples’ Transformations

What’s truly remarkable is watching couples experience their own transformations. One couple, struggling with repetitive arguments, learned through Imago to see beyond the surface-level issues. They uncovered deep-seated vulnerabilities, leading to a newfound appreciation, compassion, and for each other.

Another couple, on the brink of separation, found hope in Imago workshops. Getting the Love You Want offered a reconnecting healing weekend beginning a new journey toward a deeper sense of security in their partnership. They learned to communicate their needs and fears without judgment or defensiveness. This safe space for dialogue allowed them to rebuild their trust and intimacy.

Core Principles of Imago

  1. Safe Communication: Imago emphasizes respectful and empathetic dialogue. Couples learn to express their feelings and needs without blame or criticism, creating a safe environment for both partners.
  2. Understanding Childhood Influences: By exploring how our past shapes our present, couples gain insights into their behaviors and reactions. This understanding fosters compassion and reduces conflict.
  3. Healing and Growth: Imago therapy is not just about resolving conflicts; it’s about growth and healing. Couples often find that as they work through their issues, they develop stronger, more fulfilling relationships. The benefits flow onto their children and the important others we all have in our lives.
  4. Empathy and Validation: Learning to validate and empathize with each other’s experiences is a cornerstone of Imago. This process deepens emotional connections and fosters a supportive partnership. Being seen, heard, and valued is priceless.

Why Choose Imago Therapy?

Couples choose Imago because it offers more than a quick fix. It’s a journey towards a deeper, more meaningful connection. It’s suited for all stages of a relationship, whether you’re newly in love, navigating rough waters, or simply seeking to deepen your bond.

How important is it for you to be seen and supported in meaningful ways? With Imago Therapy you and your partner will know the real, loving you.
How important is it for you to be seen and supported in meaningful ways? With Imago Therapy you and your partner will know the real, loving you.

Final Thoughts

In my career, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of Imago Relationship Therapy firsthand. It’s a tool not just for resolving conflicts, but for building a foundation of understanding and empathy that can weather any storm. The rewards are immeasurable for couples willing to embark on this journey – a relationship based on true understanding, respect, and love.

Remember, the path to a fulfilling relationship is not always easy, but with the right tools and guidance, it’s certainly possible. If you’re interested in exploring Imago Relationship Therapy and coaching, feel free to reach out. Let’s embark on this transformative journey together. Both Chris my husband and I offer Imago Relational Coaching in person or online.

Grateful for 2023 -Share it here …

Hello, lovely relationship wonders! Chris and I wish to welcome your entrance into 2023 with a special dialogue gift. The gratitude dialogue is a sheet of inspiration for you to share with your partner or friend, or yourself. Learn the art of couples’ communication. Offering joy and connection.

Turn your world around with Imago Relationship Free Gratitude sheet for 2023 Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash
Turn your world around with the Imago Relationship Free Gratitude sheet for 2023 Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Couple Retreat in Bali Registrations

Dear Relationship workers, Chris and I hope this finds you well. We are in a wet patch here in Sydney. Just met with the plumber for drainage help.

Gloriously we returned to Bali, a place where we reset our relationship. We fell in love with this wonderful island a few years back. For us, it has the flavor of a honeymoon all over again. Positive vibes that warm our hearts and keep our partnership healthy and strong.

Wanting to share the love and healing of magical Indonesia we are thinking of offering a couples retreat in Bali winter of 2023.

Bali Tropical Paradise Couples Retreat 2023

The program would be a long weekend with a mix of workshops and activities. For fun, frolic, and reinvigoration with real-world communication skills and exercises immersed in a tropical paradise.

My suggestion is that your relationship is in a stable place and you are wanting to increase your heartfelt connection.

It’s not “Survivor for Relationships” if you get my drift.

We will keep the group small. You will only ever work with your partner, so rest assured.

Naturally, we will all benefit from being together, sharing wisdom and all that brings.

Registrations of Interest are now open. Applications are open from all areas of the world. Please join us.

So drop me a line or add a comment below. Please sign up for the newsletter to keep in the loop.


With love and Light Philipa and Chris

Imago Clinical Therapist Online Training

Super excited to offer counselors, social workers, family educators, psychologists, and other therapists AIRTA IMago Australia’s online training. Register now :))

Imago Clinical Training – Starting April 2022

AIRTA has organised for International Imago presenters to deliver the Imago Clinical training. For health professionals who would like to become certified as Imago Therapists or those interested in learning the skills. The training is delivered online.  Each module consists of 32 hours and this translates to 32 CPD hours. 100% attendance is required but exceptional circumstances will be considered if a session cannot be attended.  Previously Imago Therapists can attend the lecture one hour component for free.

Photo by dusan jovic on Unsplash
Module 1This is a prerequisite for Modules 2 & 3. It is an introduction to Imago theory.  16 hour are spent on lectures whilst the remaining 16 hours consist of homework, videos, etc.
Module 2This consists of hands on practice and less theory.  The different dialogues, such as, Parent Child Dialogue.  It is a feedback model and focuses on the phenomenology beneath feelings.
Module 3This is like a learning lab. Videos of the students work are studied, there is feedback and coaching, specialist areas are explored, such as reactive couples, addictions, affairs, multicultural couples, sex (this is touched on) and more.
6 months self study periodOn going supervision group for 3 – 4 hours once a month.  A final video is then submitted and once approved, the student will be certified as an Imago Therapist.


The presenters are Gene Shelley, Nedra Fetterman and Kobus van der Merwe.

Gene Shelley Clinical Instructor and Workshop Presenter

A person smiling for the camera

Description automatically generated with medium confidenceGene is a pastoral psychotherapist and a fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, an International Association of theologically and clinically trained therapists. He is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor. He also is an affiliate member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He was a former member of the teaching and supervising faculty of the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute, a psychoanalytically oriented residency training program. (Imago Therapy Gene Shelly, M. Div.)

Gene is also a Imago Clinician, Clinical Instructor and Workshop presenter. He runs the Getting you Love Workshop and the Imago Clinical Training for therapists.  In addition, he runs individual and group consultations to support Imago therapists.

A picture containing person, indoor, child, hair

Description automatically generatedDr Nedra Fetterman Clinical Instructor and Workshop Presenter

 Nedra is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Relationship Center in Ardmore, PA. She brings over 16 years of experience in working with couples, families and organizations and is a senior therapist at The Center for Psychological Services and a clinical consultant to Corporate Initiatives. While she is known for her gentle, healing touch, she is a powerful presence in her workshops and her trainings. As a coach and mentor, she is committed to producing results which often means assisting clients transcends their self-imposed limitations and to get on with the adventrure of their lives. Nedra is passionate about rekindling her client’s aliveness and increasing their sense of wonder and possibility.

Nedra is a unique member of this training team and her work inspires transformational work in others. In both her workshops and trainngs, participants speak openly about the vulnerabilities and strengths that took them from a place of distance and injury to a place of connection and healing. She lives the dialogical processes that are at the heart and soul of vibrant relationships. (Imago Therapy Nedra Fetterman, Ph.D. (geneshelly.com)

Kobus van der Merwe Clinical Instructor and Workshop Presenter

A person wearing glasses and smiling

Description automatically generated with low confidenceKobus van der Merwe is a faculty member of Imago International Training Institute and has been training clinicians in Imago Relationship Therapy (Clinical Training) and other professionals in the Imago Relationship Theory (Imago Professional Facilitator Training) since 1998.

He was a winner of the Harville Hendrix Award for Clinical Excellence in 2016 and is currently a Professor of Imago Studies at Daybreak University, California USA.

Kobus is a remarkable teacher and couples’ therapist who seamlessly weaves theory and Imago relationship constructs into his practice and supervision with students.

He has made a significant contribution to the development of Imago globally and particularly in South Africa. He is a second-generation Imago practitioner as both his parent’s practice Imago. He has been married to Anita for 30 years and together they have nurtured a family of third-generation Imago practitioners. (Kobus – Imago Africa).

Dates of the training

Module 1 (Duration 2 Hrs)Module 2 (Duration 4 Hrs)Module 3 (Duration 4 Hrs)
Tues 26 April 20228:00 amTues 19 July 20228:00 amTues 11 Oct 20228:00 am
Mon 2 May 20227:00 pmTues 26 July 20228:00 amTues 18 Oct 20228:00 am
Tues 10 May 20228:00 amTues 2 Aug 20228:00 amTues 25 Oct 20228:00 am
Tues 17 May 20228:00 amTues 9 Aug 20228:00 amTues 1 Nov 20228:00 am
Tues 24 May 20228:00 amTues 16 Aug 20228:00 amTues 8 Nov 20228:00 am
Tues 7 June 20228:00 amTues 23 Aug 20228:00 amTues 15 Nov 20228:00 am
Tues 14 June 20228:00 amTues 30 Aug 20228:00 amTues 22 Nov 20228:00 am
Mon 17 June 20227:00 pmTues 13 Sept 20228:00 amTues 30 Nov 20228:00 am

Costs of the Training $1400 Early bird Prior April $1500 Standard fee

Register with PHilipathornton@gmail.com or call me 0434559011

? June Monthly Challenge – Share Kindness ? ?

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. ?

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 ? 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.? ?

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.? ?

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

Getting the Love You Want – Couples Workshop

I have just spent the last 3 days with my husband Chris attending a Character growth Imago workshop. This was with Advanced Imago Therapist Brenda Rawlings of The Imago Institute of New Zealand See here https://www.relationships.co.nz/about-us/

Now we are in luck Sydney folk!

The Couples Retreat – a 2 day weekend is here! Brenda and husband Peter are offering the Getting the Love You Want Couples workshop. Up the road in lovely Crows Nest.

Here is the link to https://www.relationships.co.nz/couples-workshop-dates-fees/ to secure your spot.

We can definitely recommend this workshop. Indeed it saved us from the brink. Please do yourself a favour and get the love you want. Your partnership is worth putting in a 2 days effort !

Couple Coaching Helps -Don’t Leave It Too Late!

The best thing you can do for your relationship health and well being is to come in early. Relationships can be repaired. It is so much easier and quicker to learn new ways or communicating and relating before hard core patterns of hurt set in. Waiting for change won’t work and the alternative where there is a breakdown or a crisis like an affair will double or even treble the time, energy and money you will have to channel into your couple therapy.

Not only does all the research confirm this commonsense tells you the truth here. Come in before your spouse says they don’t love you or it’s over.

Why wait for that pain?

Perhaps you have already heard those words. Come in and improve your partnership today I have a quick 4 minute video here encouraging you to take action and save yourself heartache and pain plus money !

Make the call today – take action!

You want this to be a beautiful version of your future – look at this couple.

Live in love together to a ripe age and stage having fun in your marriage.
Live in love together to a ripe age and stage having fun in your marriage.

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0434 559 011
Weekdays 9am - 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC +10)

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