Positive Relationships: How they Impact our lives
The quality of the people we surround ourselves with has a profound impact on our lives. Be it family, friends, partners, colleagues or the broader community, positive relationships help us create the life we desire. They bring love, respect, and shared experiences that reaffirm who we are and who we aspire to be.
Good Relationships: Smooth and Enjoyable
A healthy relationship runs smoothly and enables us to enjoy life, work, and activities beyond the relationship itself. Much like a well-maintained car, we don’t have to keep repairing it. While disagreements may happen, there’s still an underlying sense of goodwill. It’s possible to talk things over, resolve conflicts, and return the relationship to a loving and enjoyable state.
Investing in Great Relationships
Any genuinely great relationship takes investment. We need to spend time and effort to ensure that the relationship grows and is flexible enough to adapt to life’s ups and downs. Taking care of a relationship means more intimacy, fulfillment, and stability. If you feel that your relationships are negatively impacting you or that you may need help reconnecting with loved ones, Toni-Maree can assist you.
Empirically Proven Relationship Counselling
Techniques by Toni-Maree
Toni-Maree employs empirically proven techniques for relationship counselling with both binary and non-binary couples. Her resources and methods are sourced from the Gottman Institute in Seattle, which has over 40 years of clinical research and experience in helping couples improve the quality of their relationship.
Reaching Out For Support
Experiencing challenging times is a normal part of every relationship. Sometimes you can manage these challenges through open communication and cooperation. On other occasions, you may feel stuck and unsure how to achieve the needed changes. You might be having the same arguments over and over. Or you may feel increasingly alone and consider ending the relationship.
When relationships become fractured or broken, we feel uncertain and off-kilter. This creates stress, tension and diminishes motivation, so it’s more challenging to enjoy life. Unhappy relationships create unhappy people. It’s distressing and overwhelming, especially if you cannot get the relationship back on track.
But when you do everything you can, and the relationship still isn’t working, that’s the time to reach out for support. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new friendship or a long 20+ year marriage. When things get rocky and unstable, reach out to a relationship expert for clarity and guidance.
So, if you feel that any relationship in your life is not working as you’d like, relationship counselling can help. Toni-Maree is trained to assess the causes of relationship difficulties. She will assist in developing strategies to bring your relationship back on track.
Working through issues for a thriving relationship
Relationship counselling provides a safe and supportive environment for all parties to feel understood and heard. It helps to overcome obstacles, arguments, and misunderstandings in a secure way, allowing the relationship to grow and thrive. Toni-Maree acknowledges that admitting problems and discussing uncomfortable issues can be challenging.
Counselling helps to define problems clearly and restore balance, creating a more functional and solid relationship. Whether it’s money problems, health crises, or unexpected life events such as the loss of a loved one, couples can face various issues that bring turbulence to their relationship.
Building Strong Relationships with
Toni-Maree’s Relationship Counselling
Honest communication is vital for couples to work through difficulties and create deeply satisfying relationships. Toni-Maree is passionate about supporting couples and preventing further damage to their relationship. She offers individual, couple, and group sessions to address relationship challenges and develop a relationship toolkit of strategies for future use.
Toni-Maree’s relationship counselling is not just about fixing problems but also helping to avoid future conflicts. She can assist you in resolving any relationship issues you may be experiencing and give you the emotional and mental tools to weather any storm. Strengthen your relationship with Toni-Maree’s counselling services.
Common signs of relationship problems include:
- Lack of/ineffective communication
- Commitment difficulties
- Unwillingness to compromise
- Little concern and support
- Meddling by parents/friends/family
- Repeated deferences
- Arguments/problems that don’t get resolved
- Keeping secrets
- Too much time apart
- Persistent resentments and judgments
- Breakdown of reliability or boundaries
- Lack or loss of intimacy
- Life adjustments
- Differing opinions or beliefs
How do I know if I have a severe relationship problem?
The Gottmans spent 40 years working with couples to answer this question. The Institute identified four key aspects of a conflict. They are sound predictors of divorce if their presence continues in a relationship.
They call them ‘The Four Horsemen’. If you are regularly experiencing any of the following, your relationship is under severe stress.
A criticism attacks a person’s character.
Prevent this by: Complaining without blame – talk about how you feel and what you need.
Speaking with superiority, e.g. sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, eye-rolling and hostile humour. Contempt is the most significant predictor of relationship termination.
Prevent this by: Building a culture of respect and appreciation.
Righteous outrage or behaving like an innocent victim. They are usually used to protect the self from perceived attack (e.g. criticism). This never solves the problem but blames your partner, which does not resolve the issue and escalates the argument.
Prevent this by: Accepting responsibility, even for only one part of the argument.
Withdrawing from the interaction. It can involve exploding or imploding.
Prevent this by: Practising physiological self-soothing by ceasing the conflict discussion. Telling your partner that you are feeling overwhelmed and need a break. This time away should last at least 20 minutes. It will take that long before your body calms down. During this time, avoid contemptuous thoughts and do some soothing and distracting e.g. listen to music or exercise.
Seven Principles for Improving a Relationship
Seek support early
The average couple waits six years before seeking professional help. Half of all divorces occur within the first seven year. Suggesting that couples often delay seeking help for far too long.
It’s unnecessary to voice every critical thought when discussing complex topics.
Soften your ‘start up’
Don’t start by making critical and contemptuous comments. This is how arguments often start. Bringing up problems gently and without blame is more effective.
Accept your partner’s influence
When a husband accepts influence from his wife, the marriage is usually successful. Research shows that women are already well practised in accepting a man’s influence. However, a strong marriage partnership only occurs when a husband can do the same.
Have high standards for each other
The most successful married couples are those who refuse to accept hurtful behaviour from each another.
Learn to repair and exit arguments
The happiest relationships are between couples who know how to leave an argument. They rectify the situation before it gets out of control. Repair techniques include humour, displaying physical affection and understanding. Both parties work as a team to resolve the problem. This is followed by demonstrations of appreciation for your partner. In particularly heated arguments, it’s helpful to take a 20-minute break. Approach the topic again when both partners are calm.
Focus on positives
When discussing problems, make at least five times as many positive statements about each other as you do negative ones. A good relationship must have a rich, positive environment.
Toni-Maree uses a variety of empirically proven techniques (like those above) to assist couples in the Canberra region.
If you feel that you are experiencing relationship difficulties, contact Toni-Maree. She can assist you in reconnecting and strengthening your relationships.
"Before I met Toni-Maree my Anxiety controlled every aspect of my life. Through constant sessions where I was made to feel comfortable and heard I made the change that was needed. My whole mindset has changed and it has influenced so many new and positive things within my life including my relationships with other people! I never thought I could feel better through counselling… now I know how much more life has to offer and it's all thanks to this special lady!"
“I've been seeing Toni-Maree on and off as required for the past couple of years for relationship, personal development and work-related issues. I have a very good expectation of how she will work, including pushing me. She handles anything I throw at her professionally and supportively.
Making contact with Toni-Maree was really easy and she did a very comprehensive phone appointment before meeting with me in person; this made me feel like she wanted to ensure she was the right fit for me as a client.
As much as I hate this, (and also appreciate it), Toni-Maree will call me out if she feels I'm not being honest with myself, or am dancing around something that I find difficult to discuss. She will robustly discuss sensitive topics to ensure they're looked at with objective eyes, which in-turn has significantly reduced sensitivities around the topic making them much more easy to comprehend and deal with.
Toni-Maree has helped me to get through some difficult, stressful and anxious scenarios and become a much better person for it.
I strongly recommend Toni-Maree as both a personal Counsellor and a great life coach."
“Toni-Maree is great at what she does as a counsellor and she really cares about her clients. She has helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life."
A.D. in Canberra
“Toni-Maree listened to what was going on in my life, from my relationship breakdown to my employment issues. I told her exactly what I wanted to achieve and we went from there. Toni-Maree will call BullSh*t if she feels it’s not what you need at the time, or you start reverting to old thought patterns. As a result of therapy with Toni-Maree, I have additional tools (like NLP techniques) to pull out whenever I feel anxious or like everything’s getting on top of me again. I highly recommend Toni-Maree to anyone needing counselling support as I felt heard and understood, as she helped me to get my marriage, career and life back on track."
“Toni-Maree helped to give me clarity during a time where I was feeling lost and seeking answers. Her gentle approach, warmth and kindness helped me to feel at ease as she worked and gave me insight into areas of my life I was struggling with. Her intuition and knowledge is second to none and I was so impressed with her accuracy and professionalism as an anxiety specialist life coach."
Catharine Jean Ross – owner at Break Free with EFT.
“Before I met Toni-Maree my Anxiety controlled every aspect of my life. Through constant sessions where I was made to feel comfortable and heard I made the change that was needed. My whole mindset has changed and it has influenced so many new and positive things within my life including my relationships with other people! I never thought I could feel better through counselling... now I know how much more life has to offer and it's all thanks to this special lady!"
“I’ve been seeing Toni-Maree for about 5 weeks now. She has helped me really change my life for the better, from the first day I met T-M she made me feel very relaxed & comfortable in her office. Shes firm & honest without being over bearing or intimidating. I look forward to our counselling sessions together and would encourage everyone to meet her, especially if you are experiencing relationship issues."
“Working with Toni-Maree as a life coach has helped me to pinpoint the underlying reasons for my stress and frustrations. My sessions have opened my eyes to my potential as a person, and made me remember who I really am and what I really stand for. Toni-Maree has helped me to understand why I do the things I do and react in the ways that I do, and to change the beliefs that guide my actions. As a result, my stress levels are down, my confidence is up and I am able to focus more on the positives in my life. This change has not only affected me for the better, but my relationships with my husband and children have also benefited from a happier more calm wife and mother."
“I first came across Toni-Maree by accident. I was feeling very low and I found her in a magazine. I thought, well I could give her a ring. I rang and she answered immediately but was somewhat stunned. Her phone had been broken for the best part of a week and she had just that moment put her sim card in her daughter’s phone to see if she had any messages – and there I was. Since then, Toni-Maree has been a major player in my life. Her supportive counselling skills have helped me move from a place of darkness to retiring with the courage to enjoy my life as it should be, not as others want it to be. Since I made this decision to work with Toni-Maree, the world had opened up for me and I am no longer anxious. The low feelings have dissipated and I feel better than ever."
“Toni-Maree is a very professional and personable holistic life coach who’s had a positive and extremely productive influence on a family member. She has helped her to retrain her objectives and focus and I would absolutely recommend Toni-Maree as a life coach and mentor."
“I’ve been working with Toni-Maree as a life coach. Toni- Maree has the fabulous intuitive ability to tap in and connect quickly PLUS untangled my turmoil and anxiety in a holistic and beautiful manner. I will be back for more. Do not hesitate. This lady is spot on and you’ll connect on the same wavelength. In gratitude."
Allison Roe – Solopreneur