Disclaimer: this transcript has been modified to make more sense for the reader and is as true and genuine as possible.

SPEAKERS: Amanda Dounis and Toni Langford:

For the purpose of accuracy, the you tube video will need to be watched. I have decided not to code who says what, that part is not important, rather the conversation and what it brings is what’s more useful to some readers. Enjoy.

So here is the transcript:

And a warm welcome to today’s listeners. Allow me to introduce myself as the host of Today’s episode.

My name is Amanda Dounis and I am the founder of the positive thinking clinic located at Wolli Creek, Sydney. Here at the positive thinking clinic, I see clients of all ages.

I see individuals, couples, families, and small groups. I conduct psychotherapy and use a variety of modalities delivered through counselling techniques and hypnotherapy.

I am a professional counsellor a clinical hypnotherapist and strategic psychotherapist. I’m an early childhood teacher and an NLP master practitioner.

To learn more about what I do and what I offer, visit my website www.posititivethinkingclinic.com.au. The easiest way to connect with me on social media is to search my name. Amanda Dounis or my clinic, positive thinking clinic. You may also access my social media at the bottom of my web site.

I am the author of my coping skills handbook aimed at kids 8 to 12 years of age. I have also turned this into an online course.

I have a range of podcasts that can be found on amandadounis.podbean.com In addition to the positive thinking clinic I am the owner of four early learning centers. I am passionate about quality care and emotional wellness of all ages. I believe we set the foundation for emotional wellness from a very young age.
My early learning centers are licensed as positive living skills services. I also have an emotional wellness & kids Facebook group.

One of my greatest hobbies is learning. I think I am always enrolled in a variety of courses no matter how small. I enjoy adding to my skill set as an integrated therapist. I learn diverse skills and select the best fit for any situation.

If you wonder if I have any other hobbies I am also into fitness.
I have run a number of marathons including two ultra marathons.

So that’s me in a nutshell. If you wanted to get in touch you can use the contact form on my website positivethinkingclinic.com.au I would love to hear from you.

Signing out and moving forward, you’re listening to Amanda Dounis.

Joining us today is Tony Langford from TLC [Tony Langford counselling] and she is a Gymea based counselling and clinical supervision service. She offers face to face, and zoom counselling, and supervision, to individuals couples families and groups.

TonI’s passion is relationship problems and issues. She likes educating people to understand what the other person is saying and not to put their feelings or their filters and perspectives on what they think that they are hearing.

The key to a good or even great communication is not to be a good talker. Toni says it is to be a good or even greater listener.

Since 2005 Toni has been helping people deal with their day to day lives, supporting them to find better ways of communicating.

She has also run emotional eating workshops through most of southern Sydney’s curves women’s health centres, as well as providing clinical supervision and mentoring for counsellors and hypnotherapists, either face to face, zoom, or groups.

Communication starts with understanding ourselves first says Toni.

If we can’t understand or identify with what we want, how can anyone else understand us. Once we have that clarity, understanding what other people are saying is the next step. Communication is a gift not a weapon. Yet we are all guilty of using it to hurt and to wound, simplifying and debunking how we all communicate. And yes there will be generalizations. Communication is the base of any good relationship especially the one with ourselves.

It’s not rocket science says Toni. If a dog and cat can happily live together then why can’t two people of the same species do the same? Why can’t they get along without fighting?

As a counsellor, Toni’s role is to become redundant once someone has reconnected with their own internal strengths and coping strategies. Then she says she should no longer be needed when they have struggles in the future. They now have plans and skills to use. Instead of having to involve others.

You can find out more about Toni Langford on www.TLCounselling.com.au
She does face to face sessions at Gymea. You can locate her at twitter and Facebook: TLC Tony Langford counselling.

She’s done a Diploma of holistic counselling, Bachelor degree in counselling, clinical supervision qualifications, and training and assessment qualifications. I hope you enjoy today’s episode.

Welcome back. Tony LANGFORD It’s so good to see you again.
My pleasure. Thank you for having me. You know Tony you do so well with relationships and couples and communication and you’ve just got the world of knowledge and always great sharing conversations with you.

And for our listeners out there today what we’re going to do is we’re going to explore. What do you bring to a relationship.

Now what I like most and a few little a book which is so full of just wonderful wisdom and I really thank you for that. It’s quite easy. You’re right. Instead of looking for the best partner why not become the best partner. Tony that is such an amazing and very valid point because so many people that come into our clinic saying I’m looking for…And I’m looking for …and I’m looking for….

But what about what. What do you look like. First of all what about you. What do you bring to the relationship. How important is that to bring that point across to our our clients.
I’m a big believer in …. it makes me sad when I hear clients or anybody talk about… this is my better half, my other half but they’re not a whole entire person without having some sort of relationship.

So that straightaway that tells me that they don’t believe that their entire themselves if they not a full and whole person that they’re waiting for that other other missing part. And so instead of looking for the two to two for the right partner be the best partner you can be. Everybody has to look at the common denominator or the common factor in all their relationships whether they’re romantic platonic familial like family is themselves.
So if if there’s a correlation or a similarity or dysfunction in all of those that they become victim B that they expect other people to make them feel better or soothe them then they’ve got to look at that they’ve the dysfunction is coming from them and they have to sort them themselves out. You know I’m a strong believer that. I teach the world how to treat me by the way I treat myself.

So do you think anybody really has a second chance to do the wrong thing by me. Absolutely not. It’s not that I’m a you know a ball breaker. I just you know I I don’t treat my self with disrespect. So why would I let other people do that. You know I’m not saying that I’m in a bit I am in my own world. However in the wider community I have to blend in.
So you know if all my past relationships have been poor relationships or dysfunctional relationships and what am I bringing to the table you know what. What are my expectations as far as being in a relationship. Do I expect my life to be better because I’ve got you know a partner. Do I expect to have all my problems solved. You know I want a partner in crime not someone that takes over my life.
And I think I’ve mentioned before I choose to be with someone that could live without me. He’s choices to to be with me. So there’s choice in everything. If you come from that what we call …. which is if you’re not all right. I’m not all right if you’re not all right. What did I do wrong. And it’s putting the blame of all dysfunction on yourself or if your partner is angry or upset it’s about going okay.

You know…if they’re angry with me or then had a bad day instead of jumping to that automatic conclusion Oh what have I done wrong. Yeah. Well also because my partner’s having a bad day so that means I have to have a bad day. No they’re having a bad day unfortunately but it’s a bad day it’s not your bad day. It’s like we’ve spoken before about inviting one another to parties jealous parties or anger parties or resentment parties whatever’s going on for the other.
Sometimes when we are in conflict with one another we’ve got a side of ourselves. Something’s going on over there. It’s not my stuff though. The thing is if you’re in conflict with your partner. Traditionally the conflict will start with internally in yourself and you put it on the other person and I know I get … and I don’t know whether you or any other therapist that you know. A lot of my supervisors say they find training.

There seems to be….we get you know for a couple of weeks of the clients saying the same thing especially new clients and I find that there’s a there’s something that’s been quite interesting lately about people arguing a lot and it could be because it covered everybody you know being cooped up. At the end of the day if you’re cooped up.
You can choose to embrace that … darkness or you can push against it and fight against that blame other people for your inability to feel relaxed and comfortable in your own skin or in your own company. So there’s three questions that I ask couples and the first one is how much do you want to fix this. And it’s not about fixing it for the other person it’s about fixing it for self.

So what am I putting out there that I had to change so that I’m not putting crap into that relationship. It’s like what I’ve said before you can’t take mouldy meat an absolutely beautiful fresh asparagus and put it together to make a healthy meal same with a relationship you can’t have dysfunction and not functional and expected to be functional.
So the second question is what are you prepared to do and that’s normally Let’s go to a counsellor and get them to fix us which we don’t do that’s not our job our job is to put all those raw ingredients of skills and then they make them they free. And like I said last time on our last episode you said my role is to be redundant on your opening statement. That’s right. And I know you’re on the second point here.

But just going off that rotten meat you’re writing your your little book you can’t take rotten meat and mouldy vegetables and make a healthy meal. You also can’t take fresh vegetables and rotten meat and make a healthy meal. So why would you take dysfunctional communication styles or internal belief systems and expect to make healthy relationships. It just doesn’t work or makes sense such a good point and it’s a great way to visualize because it’s so true. But God knows your second.
I like the picture in that part of my e-book because it’s just that a ham and cheese and tomato sandwich that’s all mouldy and really a little absolutely the third one which is I thinks that the other two are sort of linking but this one could be a standalone one and it’s about arguing and it’s are you willing to stop trying to convert the other person to your way of thinking. And that’s where arguments come from.

That belief that I’m right you’re wrong you know and and it doesn’t matter whether I’m right may wrong in my world I’m right in their world they’re right. So why have an argument about something that is about converting the other person. An example is I loathe seafood I even hold my nose going past a seafood shop hate it with a passion. Yet I’m always being not my partner anymore but I’m always being asked by faith Oh you should try it.
It’s really good for you so give me a vegemite sandwich why bother wasting beautiful seafood on someone that’s going to have to have a deep fried and bad or better than they brought in a source to Dunk in. So I can’t taste it. So stop trying to convert me to eating mushrooms or whatever and it’s the same thing in any sort of relationship argument. You need to agree to disagree.

So okay you believe in Trump you believe in… in liberal you believe in labor or you believe that smacking is all right. I don’t. Well then that’s where you draw the line when there’s harm so it’s about looking at being able to stock inverting the other person to your way of thinking we’re never going to understand what the other person is really going through because we’re not them.
So it’s about acceptance and allowance of someone else’s core beliefs. If it’s a moral or ethical issue. Fair enough. You look at is this a relationship I need or want to be in. If there is that moral or ethical compass you know disparity Yeah that’s right. You know one of the. I don’t know where I read this and I’m sure I’ve said it before but once upon a time I read the best relationships are those in which you are free.

Yes. And that’s why you choose to base with someone you know I don’t want someone who one has to be with me I want someone who could live without me but chooses not to. So that’s the context. And so you know I’m working with a family so kids and everything and the child. One of the kids is seems to be the problem child and he’s got a diagnosis diagnosis and it doesn’t matter what that diagnosis is.
It’s a label and I say to these key you’ve got a choice you can listen to that internal narrative like all of us where you know that keeps going. He’s got a kid you know one voice guy you got to do this. The elements of that auto and the the negative one is louder than the soft one. So we all had that but that thing in our head of well you know I’ve got to help them you know. And but I really don’t want to but you know I will anyway.

And then we get angry because we do something that we don’t particularly want to do whether in a conflict or go to dinner with your partner but you really can’t stand and they don’t make any effort with you which is another big thing. It’s about you know looking at do you. Do I need to do this to make my my partner happy and if I’m doing that what’s the detriment to myself.
And then what’s the fallout to my relationship. Why then you know so bottom lip hang in there you know. You know my non-verbal to screaming I don’t want to be he. And I suppose that’s where you’ve got to look at you know 93 percent of our communication is nonverbal. So if I’m sitting here and I hear that I’m really enjoying you know talking to you and I’m talking G does it really look like I am that blind Freddy could see.

So if you know on this one thing that I do a lot with clients and I and it traditionally it comes from the female perspective and yes I am generalizing not all women are like this however it seems to be this inability to say no or I don’t want that or I want this. And it’s when.
The partner comes home and he can say even I mean don’t read I think they can read five facial expressions where women are about 11. So men can confuse frustration with sadness. You could Google all that. That’s how it works. But it’s, if a man sees that there’s something wrong with his partner you like in the face and they go where you’re right. I’m fine.

It’s like ninety three percent non-verbal as to saying I’m not I’m I’m still asking and I know I’ve got an acronym for that. So in my non-verbal as I’ve been telling you I’m not all right. But my words are saying I’m fine. So we take that off the table and go I’m not okay or I’ve had a bad day. It’s not about you.
I just had a fight with Fred at work. Oh okay. So the other person’s off the hook. They don’t have to worry or take responsibility for how the other person feels. There’s a really good example I had a couple well maybe a decade ago and they they had a couple of older kids like late teens. They owned a very successful business and they worked together which is really hard.
So we had several sessions with them and eventually came down to the point that she said I can’t be unhappy or sad. I have to be up all the time if I’m not up. He tries to Joey me and I just want to feel what I want to feel. And he felt terrible if she and this is the codependency type thing. If you’re all right I’m all right. If you’re not all right. What did I do wrong. So he was always trying to make her feel better.

And it took him probably four or five months to see the discomfort of her being sad or angry and not taking it on himself and if you think of our comfort zone. So if that’s a comfort zone you’ve got to sit with that. So if if you’re uncomfortable with your partner being angry not at you but just being angry that’s your comfort zone. When you’re in discomfort you’ve got to sit with it and it grows it comforts her and then next time you discuss you have discomfort with it and you grow a comfort zone.
And we all have to learn. To look at who we bring to our relationships and if we have to work relationships that are very functional what are we using there that we need to start looking at. And that’s normally what happens. Everybody is really good at work and can hold boundaries and speak their mind in that romantic or home relationship the familial. There’s a there’s a sense that we can’t and from what I can gather after 15 years it’s about rejection.

If I say no then how’s that going to relate to my comfort. I really so let’s say we’ve got a couple who come in and we discover just like you’ve just done a really nice big summary about the external blaming it’s it’s you it’s pointing the finger and you know all of that that obviously creates the world of problems for one person’s model of the world.
They both come in because they’re in conflict and it’s usually because of you and you and you and you. So we say to them what do you bring to your relationship. Because it’s always. He didn’t bring she didn’t bring it home in a second. What’s your investment and what are you willing to make change. What are you self aware of. So how we said that we was that’s our job. Our job is not to agree. Yeah. Your partner.

Our job is to say OK we’re here for you even if they’re both sitting together. It’s live and we’re going to be responsible for our own actions our own reactions our own responses and our own interpretations. What we find is people having conflict because you said that and also you act like that and then you looked at me like that. That’s all a matter of interpretation. We can all watch the same movie and come out with a different interpretation and remember different parts of the movie.
And so once we ground ourselves collect ourselves and our thoughts and become responsible for what we do to contribute to the conflict then we make a plan and help our clients make a plan. What will you do in future so that you don’t create these conflicts that you’re contributing to. So what is it that you’re going to bring to this relationship and that’s what therapy is all about. What changes are you going to make for yourself. Don’t worry about what your partner’s going to do.

What are you going to do. And you’ve got to be little and often changes they can’t be big grand gestures of oh we’re going to go away every month for a weekend in the city. They’ve got to be things like if there is disconnection in the relationship because of children or and it’s traditionally it’s it’s the over overworked miss of the family unit with children where you know one parent not traditionally the woman not always however one parent is at home doing stuff the other parent comes in and comes into bedlam.
They need a little bit of time to adjust but the person that’s been with the children needs to go half time change sides and get some space. So there’s all this dysfunction where again the expectations voicing them saying Well when I get home I just need 10 minutes on my commitment is I’m going to come in. I’m going to put salsa out I’m going to give you a hug or a kiss or whatever the other person agrees to then I’m gonna go and have a shower debrief get rid of you know my day come down and I’m going to be I’m gonna be the parent and the partner instead of coming in or frazzled also that’s what you said there Toni.
You said it you said it really nicely. Go for a shower debrief wash the day away. That’s a really nice turning point for you to say right. I’ve finished work now I’m at home here and that’s what I’d do myself. So this is my home office and I’ve got my clinical office you know in Crimea. So and this is just like a sealed unit in our house.

So when I finish here this afternoon what I do is I go can look at my darling go Okay I’ve done all invoices I’ve sent all my notes for tomorrow. Is there anything else that I think and I just sit here and I think thinking that I got Okay take my glasses off take my face off I take all my makeup I’ll take my jury I’ll change my clothes turn the computer off turn the light off close the door and don’t come back in here. And also my phone doesn’t get it that after 7:00 p.m. or before 9 a.m.
and it’s about having that boundary of If I walk out of this room and leave the door open then it can sort of metastasize out here. There needs to be a clear boundary between home and work. And that there needs to be you know. A reconnect it’s almost think of it as rock n roll they call those electric cars where you plug them in when you get home. Well you’ve got to plug yourself back into the family. You’re not a satellite out there.

You’ve got a plug plug back in and be part of that unit. That that relationship that third entity. So it’s really important if you most people if you look at your family of origin I call it the family of origin now a relationship an adult romantic relationship looks to us is give it to us by our parents or the relationships we saw grow up. That’s why.
And if you think about some of those obscure cases around the world where people have been they’ve been they’ve been read by chimpanzees or monk like foxes or wolves or whatever and they learn the social dynamic.

And even one step back if you and it be interesting for you in in-joke Amanda if you’ve got a little hands like non-verbal Pete’s like the under one year old if they’ve got a cat in the family as soon as they look at you they’ll go because they’re cats cat say hello by going all week and you’ll see and I’ve seen it with people like babies but that wink at you or close that they see you when they close their eyes.
Or if my nieces and nieces nephews whenever I’d see them I go you know all excited and whenever from then on whenever they saw me they got. So it’s the way we react on it. I’d rather respond. I don’t like react because when you react you redo. I like to be proactive and respond. There is some choice in that. A reaction comes from the flight fight freeze.

The crocodile brain where you respond is from front brain logical thinking so. Out the way a relationship looks like is role model to us. It’s really interesting. So if you have a healthy relationship now then you’re not normally in counseling and you’ve had a very healthy non enmeshed family of origin okay. So what happens when relationships are doing just fine.
They start off that would trigger each other or annoy each other and then in time. All of a sudden it’s so easy to become annoyed angry disappointed and triggered by their partner. Because you don’t do what you used to do when you don’t what me and you don’t do this and you you it’s that view and and I suppose if you replace that you with expectation so if you actually think about it when you say you don’t do this anymore I have an expectation you used to do this for me why aren’t you doing it now instead of saying sitting down in a quiet place like in a quiet emotional place.

It’s like emotional sobriety. You don’t have a conversation when they’re there. You know you’re absolutely meeting me. Hurdled so drunk why so why try and have an emotional conversation with someone that’s emotionally drunk so it’s about you know if if your partner for the first five years of your relationship did this this this this and this and then for the last five years they haven’t I’d be going Why do you waited five years why didn’t you call them on the night.
So there’s a lot of you know women have a tendency of like if I back my eyelids they’ll get what I mean and men and look even you could be standing there in lingerie and they could go Oh this is my car I’m going to get lucky or so you know it’s really interesting that those expectations FSA if you’re if your partner has been doing something I got good clients to come in and go.
Why can’t he be dot dot dot and all say has he ever done that. No but it’s like no and then we go back to that belief. And this is something that I’ve you know I Tony I didn’t it’s like I really wanted a dog but I bought a cat. I’m going to teach you to be dog like. Which is in my book. So it’s expectations. This is what I want. I’m sure I can make this person who I want them to be whereas in a very this is who’s in front of me they’ve got their faults however I love them who they are.
Women aren’t like that we. We fall in love with the potential of them. And there again is your expectations. I expect them to change because they love me. Another important point that I noticed is that some clients who are sent away to create their own. Values they shared values and their shared principles that they’re going to live by just to get through their crisis.

Everything is subject to change. I have this talk with them why are they together. Again if after 12 months if you’re in a relationship with that but with someone that doesn’t have shared morals values ethics and outlook and issues and shared future then the first year. Yes. The hormones block access to the front brain so even though we get things going all our brain stops us thinking that run away.
Those bonding hormones. But after a year if you’re still in a relationship and you start going Oh he’s he’s her morals are they mine are their values then why are you in the relationship. And we go back to co-dependency. And you said before that an external reference that I’m a ah I need that otherwise I don’t I’m I don’t fit into the social norm and I guess sometimes let’s call it evolution let’s call it external environment triggers.

Just life changes who we are because let’s face it the person I was at 20 and 25 and now many 26. Yes well I’m 28. It’s okay. So the person we what I’m my point is we’re changing we evolve. This is one thing I say to life not just relationship situation but individuals as well. But so that’s why they may lose each other lose themselves.
Life changes everybody because they get new jobs that have kids or illness disabilities anything. But let’s say they come to that point where they say Okay we need to recollect ourselves let’s get our values and our our personal philosophies together. What else is really important I notice when clients come in and say okay we’ve agreed on these five points. Trust respect and they give such a great five values there’s such global terms.

When I ask sometimes OK what does trust mean for you. And what does trust mean for you. One person might say trust means you can’t. Go with a third party and the other may make money or others say yes but this is my take on no trust. If you can’t come with a third party but you’re going to be honest about it. OK well hold on a second. You both have two different definitions.

You rewrite down values but all you’ve got to define anarchy in a good example of that is you know when when someone says I just want to be loved or I want support. It’s like saying I want a car. So I ask what do you want the car for. I think I just want my car. So do you want an off road you know big thing or do you want a little one like you.
And if they can’t if they cannot tell you what they want and not use those global law global words like support I just want them to support me I just want them to understand the big ones. I just want him or her to understand how I feel. That’s never going to happen. It’s never ever. I even know you and I are very similar. Never understand what it’s truly like to be the other person to ask.

What does that look like for you if you want him to understand how you feel. What what does he have to do to show you that he understands or that he understands. Yeah. And it’s also they don’t have to actually believe or so they don’t have to internalize that what the other person is feeling is now their perspective. It’s about you know I use the analogy you know. Have you ever been in a same sex relationship and if you say no it’s okay.
Does it bother you that you know what it’s like to be with a woman and like no not really I said Well you know I’ll say you know do you have problems with .… No not at all. Okay hold that context. Now we’re talking about your partner and you know and I put that on them you can you can conceptualize this group of people that you’ll never understand what it’s like yet you can’t hold that respect the one of the important words that this your partner may feel differently to you.
And then we go back to the why are you trying to convert them into your way of thinking. So if you think about it everything we’ve spoken about in the last three sessions all thinking.

You can’t have one without the other and if you think of communication you need to know whether you’re dealing with a wounded but an adult that has internal core beliefs that were stunted when they were a child because they that there was you know there was abandonment or you know abuse or you know all of those complex trauma issues which are all about childhood or past or they were bullied in school or you know they some people you know they they saw they don’t get run over and it traumatized them and no one ever allowed them to emotionally acceptably emotionally deal with it.

Don’t worry about da but that can then change all those core beliefs and those those narratives those things we feel about ourselves. That’s when people will start externally referencing think people worry me are ones that are always 100 percent perfectly made up and you never see them. Absolutely not. Perfect perfect. It’s really toxic word that’s telling me all what’s inside.
And there may be a core belief that it’s all about external. I have to look I have to have the house the car the husband the kids the wife whatever it is. And then I’ll feel better about myself which will be no never works. So it comes from our self-worth is inside out. Similar values inside out and values values are even religion that’s your values that you bring into your relationship your communication is what you bring into your relationship lifestyle you bring that into your relationship as well.

So it’s really important. What do you bring into your relationship. Because the truth is it’s not just you and your smiling face. You bring in self not looks like we’ve got a pulse. There’s a past and you know we talk about baggage. That’s the catch. He’s coming and he’s yelling at me. Sorry if I’m the office manager.
It’s really important that if if your worried about you know that you know are they going to like me. Is this going to work then. It’s all about that external stuff. If you let go if you stop white knuckling with your relationship that you know the open people appeal hanging on you know no more Eddie and then Catskill that’s when and it’s called distance or and pursuer. That’s where a lot of dysfunction comes from that expectation.

I have to I must have a partner otherwise I’m not going to feeding I’m not complete I’m on an entire unit whether I have a partner or not. I think people start recognizing that yeah I think I must say I must add at this point in my experience the most important ingredient that someone can bring into a relationship is self love.
Yes. Half the reason why this relationship breakdown is because people have lost their self-love or they don’t have self-love so they need the primary work that you need to do with yourself always. First is self-love. I find that extremely rare. A lot of trust and openness. What when I said to you when you’re on a plane when you are doing the safety thing.

If a mask falls out of the the ceiling put it on yourself. Again we’re back to that last time when I was talking about the Visa debit card. I can’t help any of my clients or my partner or the office manager unless I’ve got emotional currency inside. Unless I’ve been doing self care. Otherwise I get angry and I burn out and then I’m used to no one including myself. So if you’ve got people that will if he she didn’t do this thing I wouldn’t do that.
That’s not taking responsibility. You know I’d be if they would do dot dot dot and I guarantee you if you have anyone that says if you didn’t do this everything would be right. Because as soon as you stop doing whatever it is going to move the goalposts and find something else because that’s putting the blame and onus on you instead of them.
So there’s lots of words that we hae you always do this when someone says that they’re not in the logical now flight fight freeze they’re running around of Gilligan’s Island you know I had a I had another interview recently with that with another expert such as yourself Carrie Bailey and we were talking about the drama cycle and the drama cycle within oneself or within relationships or within families or within what absolutely can exist anyway.
And it’s when you you’re stuck in the victim mode it’s really stuck in the. Persecutor or you’re stuck in the rescue up and they’re interested in it. It’s now the healthiest thing to do there is remove yourself and become the observer. Because and it’s not just the observer of your partner or your family but most importantly become the observer also yourself.
Then you can really evaluate what you bring into the relationship. Really. Yeah. No no no. No. That’s right. Well I was going to say sometimes and this is a really important message for all our listeners out there. If you’re struggling. And if you just need to get unstuck because it’s very easy to get stuck.
In a relationship where you’re weak your expectations are no longer realistic or you are not yourself anymore or you just need movement. What you need is the observer which happens to be the external therapist who is not the victim or the persecutor or the rescuer that if you need an external force to get you on track to help you see clearly to make your own self discoveries then it’s really important.

The faster the better that couples any relationships go to a therapist get themselves in control of themselves again whether they need to do some tasking some negotiating some contracting get it done and then get on your merry way again get on track. So it’s something like to bring up and I think we might save it for another time and I’d really like to talk about the loss of identity and it’s a very big thing for when children come into the house that’s a good topic.
What do you like about it about how a woman’s identity starts to sort of frayed I think. I think I think about you know you know you can see me and then sort of all the filters go on so it’s like once someone pulls pregnant and you become you know you tell people people stop talking here and talk to your belly strangers will come up and touch your belly so I think it’s important that we discuss that and also how marginalized men feel in the whole process.

Yeah I could tell you with Robbie Williams last week and it was quite interesting. He said You know I was there for the birth of our first child with his wife. And he said you know when the baby crown. He said all I could think of was my favorite palms burned down and he he struggled seeing his wife the way she was pre giving birth.
So there’s a lot of grief that happens when and that’s where a lot of this stubbornness happens in couples relationships when children come in and it’s not just heterosexual couples. I’ve you know I’ve worked with gay couples that have had children come into the household like had surrogate children and from their own sperm. And you still get that male female role and the the husband that’s taking over the female role again loses his identity.

Or your friend …And it’s really hard. And it’s a it’s a big struggle. Meet new parents. It doesn’t matter who they are. I mean the early childhood industry as well. And I’ve seen it for years and years and so it’s taught me so much. So yes let’s save that for our next discussion. And I want to thank you Toni Langford.
Thank you so much for all of your input today. It’s always great speaking with you and thank you to our listeners as well. Thank you Amanda. You have a lovely evening. Thank you. Have a good night.

Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850



It is important to know that resources are available if you are experiencing anxiety , and exploring other websites, such as mindaustralia, and headspace.  

I welcome you to visit my podcast to learn about anxiety basics.

In any emergency you can always reach out to lifeline.

Help is also available for kids, and support for families too.

You may find my Coping Skills Handbook a great resource.  It teaches kids how to cope with everyday challenges using a simple C.O.P.E. formula.

You can find out more about me on natural therapy pages or psychology today

I am a level 3 member of the Australian Counselling Association and am a member of the Hypnotherapy Council of Australia

Here is a short clip on FAQ at Positive Thinking Clinic https://youtu.be/GNWaRVsC-OU

Ways that Positive Thinking Clinic can help you https://youtu.be/m0z-f0PSQNM

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