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Leonie Nolan: Couple counsellor, relationship educator, director PREPARE/ENRICH…. see her at the Marriage and Relationship Educators National Conference (MARENC) 2019, East Melbourne, August 2-3, 2019

Leonie Nolan cites her finest achievement as a 43 year old marriage that has been 90% fabulous with about 10% a bit Crazy.

Leonie is married to Michael. They have three adult children, two are married and five beautiful grandchildren.

When Leonie is not travelling to visit her family, or working with Michael on their farm, she is engaged in working with couples at Catholic Care Melbourne as a FOCCUS Facilitator. She has been doing this for the last ten years.

For the last sixteen years Leonie has also worked at Open Doors Counselling in Ringwood, Melbourne. Here she works with clients who are struggling to comes to terms with the Grief around Pregnancy Loss as well as Relationship Issues.

Leonie came to Counselling after being in the Aged Care Industry for many years owning and managing her Aged Care Facility.

Leonie thoroughly enjoys working with couples and loves those “Light Bulb” moments when they discover new insights about their relationship.

Leonie’s academic achievements include a Graduate Diploma in Counselling from Victoria University and a Batchelor of Economics from Monash University.

She endeavours to stay abreast of the latest developments in Relationship Counselling.

Hosted by the MAREAA Victorian State Committee and National Committee we are thrilled to have Danielle join our wonderful line up of great topics and sensational speakers.

Marriage and Relationship Educators National Conference (MARENC) 2019, to be held at the Cardinal Knox Centre, East Melbourne, August 2-3 2019.

With topics ranging from Wellbeing and Happiness, Internal Family Systems and Grief and Loss and Stress, the 2019 MARENC promises to bring new thinking and ideas for professional development for both professional and voluntary practitioners interested in the field of marriage, relationship and family education.
$159 Members
$199 Non-Members

$60 Annual membership special

Great speakers on topics such as Internal Family Systems, Grief and Loss and Stress and Changes in couples over the decades.

Registration is available now. Click here to register for this exciting educators’ conference.

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When life hands you lemons… Managing the unexpected occurrences in relationships!

The Victorian State Committee and National Committee is thrilled to introduce a wonderful line up of great topics and sensational speakers at the upcoming Marriage and Relationship Educators National Conference (MARENC) 2019, to be held at the Cardinal Knox Centre, East Melbourne, August 2-3 2019.

With topics ranging from Wellbeing and Happiness, Internal Family Systems and Grief and Loss and Stress, the 2019 MARENC promises to bring new thinking and ideas for professional development for both professional and voluntary practitioners interested in the field of marriage, relationship and family education.
$159 Members
$199 Non-Members

Great speakers on topics such as Internal Family Systems, Grief and Loss and Stress and Changes in couples over the decades.

Registration is available now. Click here to register for this exciting educators’ conference.

Register Now

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5 ways to celebrate your relationship: dance together

Here are five small ways to celebrate your relationship today (or any day of the year), because your relationship is worth a little extra effort today.

4.  Dance together: It could be a night out dancing to your favorite local band, a small dance in the kitchen while you are making dinner, or a recreation of your first dance at your wedding. Try sitting down and finding a new song that represents your relationship as it stands today to dance to tonight.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Couple Checkup is a fun, easy way to provide insights into your relationship which will generate deep and productive conversations that you may not otherwise have about your relationship. This will renew your understanding of one another, and it can help revive a relationship and increase intimacy. Take Couple Checkup today  and begin the journey of a stronger, healthier relationship.  And that’s really the best way to celebrate your relationship, right?

More tips at www.couplecheckup.com.au, tune in next week…

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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5 ways to celebrate your relationship: Capturing moments together

Here are five small ways to celebrate your relationship today (or any day of the year), because your relationship is worth a little extra effort today.

1.  Take pictures: Throughout most moments of the day, you probably have your phone, ready to snap a quick photo to share on Instagram. Remember to take a few photos of just you and your partner for just you and your partner. Capturing moments together gives you a visual reminder of love and reinforces “togetherness.” Bonus: Later down the road, you can make a photo album of you and your partner to remember those past moments you shared.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Couple Checkup is a fun, easy way to provide insights into your relationship which will generate deep and productive conversations that you may not otherwise have about your relationship. This will renew your understanding of one another, and it can help revive a relationship and increase intimacy. Take Couple Checkup today  and begin the journey of a stronger, healthier relationship.  And that’s really the best way to celebrate your relationship, right?

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Granting Forgiveness: Taking time to grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring your relationship

All couples eventually experience times of conflict, hurt, and letting each other down. Sometimes the offense is as minor as forgetting a date or failing to run an errand. For some couples, the offense might involve a major betrayal such as infidelity, addiction, or abuse. Either way, taking time to seek and grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring the relationship.

Forgiveness is the decision or choice to give up the right for vengeance, retribution and negative thoughts toward an offender in order to be free from anger and resentment. This process promotes healing and restoration of inner peace, and it can allow reconciliation to take place in the relationship.

It is important to be clear about what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning or perpetuating injustice. Since it is sometimes unsafe or impossible, forgiveness does not always involve reconciliation. Forgiveness is not always quick; it is a process that can take time to unfold. Don’t rush your partner if they need to spend days or weeks working through the process of granting forgiveness.

Six Steps for Granting Forgiveness:

  1. Acknowledge your pain and anger. Allow yourself to feel disrespected.
  2. Be specific about your future expectations and limits.
  3. Give up your right to “get even,” but insist on being treated better in the future.
  4. Let go of blame, resentment, and negativity toward your partner.
  5. Communicate your act of forgiveness to your partner.
  6. Work toward reconciliation (when safe).
  • Tune in for more tips and ideas next week…
  • Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Exploring family of origin for individuals who have grown up in extremely rigid and enmeshed families

    Relationship education provides an opportunity to work with couples’ perceptions of their families of origin. In particular, it is worth exploring the possible impact of extreme, or unbalanced, family structures on how couples are likely to approach their own relationship.

    A series of studies conducted at the University of Sydney have identified some key matters of concern. These studies have been conducted by postgraduate students in the School of Psychology under the supervision of Alan Craddock, a former Senior Lecturer in that School and also the former National Coordinator of PREPARE/ENRICH Australia. All of these studies used measures of family structure that were very closely related to the family of origin questions used in the PREPARE/ENRICH inventories.

    The form of extreme family structure focused on in these studies involves enmeshment or extreme closeness. Highly enmeshed families may be typified by an extreme form of cohesiveness that undermines the development of personal autonomy and which results in a form of family bonding that represents an over-identification with the family.

    There are two varieties of enmeshed families that occur quite frequently: Rigidly enmeshed and chaotically enmeshed.

    Rigidly enmeshed families are excessively close and also have very highly structured rules, roles and routines. In contrast, chaotically enmeshed families, whilst also being excessively close, lack structure and tend to be random, unstable and chaotic.

    The University of Sydney studies revealed three areas of personal adjustment that are strongly associated with rigidly enmeshed types of family of origin. These are all areas that may represent important vulnerabilities for couples, and therefore are worth noting.

    (1) Relationship Attachment

    In 1999, Natalie Nasr, Leah MacFadyen, Clint Marlborough, Rina Sarkis and Susan Scanlon examined the effect of childhood experiences of family of origin on adult relationship attachment among young Australian adults. One important and relevant feature of their findings was that rigid-enmeshment was a significant predictor of discomfort in adult relationships.

    (2) Feelings of Shame and Sense of Parentification

    In 2003, Margaret Walker studied the effect of childhood experiences of family of origin on young Australian adults’ reports of feeling a sense of personal shame and of being pressured to adopt parent-like roles in their childhood (parentification). She found that rigid-enmeshment, as a feature of family of origin, was a significant predictor of strong feelings of shame and a strong sense of being parentified during childhood.

    (3) Perfectionism

    In 2006, Wendy Church and Alexandra Sands investigated the relationship between features of family of origin and young Australian adults’ tendencies towards being perfectionistic. They found that family enmeshment and rigid, authoritarian forms of parenting were significant predictors of both functional (healthy) and dysfunctional (unhealthy) forms of perfectionism.

    In summary, all of these studies support the view that, although family closeness and structure are generally regarded as positive in their effects, too much closeness (enmeshment) combined with too much structure (rigidity) may be damaging.

    The damage identified in these studies may be apparent in couples taking a relational inventory or counselling. In particular, individuals who have grown up in extremely rigid and enmeshed families of origin may find it difficult to be comfortable in their own adult relationships and may be carrying a burden of emotional baggage with them that involves some or all of these components: A sense of shame, a strong pressure to perform perfectly and to inappropriately take on adult parent-like roles. This baggage appears to originate family of origin pressures that are associated with over-controlling and suffocating closeness. Facilitators and counsellors should be alert to these possibilities without assuming that the patterns fit all individuals who have grown up in rigid and enmeshed families.

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

    #PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

    For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… Couples, the Internet and Social Media: Being distracted by the wired world

    Social media has changed the daily lives of couples by:

    • How they stay in touch with others (and reconnect with people);
    • The way couples make friends, how they find acquaintances and how others find partners by connecting with people anywhere in the world;
    • How couples do business, how businesses connect to buyers and potential buyers;
    • How they reveal themselves and share information;
    • How couples allow their voice to be heard – to amplify a message; and
    • How they learn.

    This technology also creates difficult situations for couples involving emotional intimacy and fidelity, including the ease of access to personal details, the ease at which private communication can take place and access to pornography. Facebook is increasing cited in divorce proceedings in both the US and UK.

    Whilst most of the qualities that help sustain a good relationship have not changed – commitment, effective communication, constructive conflict and patience, honesty, forgiveness amongst others – there is strong evidence that couples are using these technologies to enhance their relationships. Both the opportunities and threats associated with the use of internet and mobile technologies including the stress associated with their use by couples must be understood and considered to ensure effective communication in all their life stages.

    While younger adults in serious relationships are more likely than older couples to report that the internet has had an impact on their relationship, this impact can cut both ways. Many young couples view technology as a way to bring greater intimacy to their relationship, even as it introduces new sources of tension.

    • 45% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships say the internet has had an impact on their relationship – 21% say a major impact.
    • 42% of 18-29 year olds with a mobile phone in a serious relationship say their partner has been distracted by their phone while they were together.
    • 41% of online 18-29 year olds in serious relationships felt closer to their partner because of online or text conversations.

    “Technology is everywhere and our relationships are no exception,” said Amanda Lenhart, lead author of the report and Senior Researcher at the Pew Research Center. “And for younger adults and those in newer relationships, tools such as mobile phones and social media are there at the beginning and play a greater role today for good and for ill.”

    Reference:

    • Cowley, D, 2017: Social Media Statistics Australia – April 2017: https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-april-2017/
    • Hampton, K.N., Rainie, L., Lu, W., Shin, I., & Purcell, K. (2014). “Social Media and the Cost of Caring.” Pew Research Center, Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/15/social-media-and-stress/

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… No screens at bedtime or during family time

    According to a recent survey, we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

    For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

    Here are some tips:

    2. No screens at bedtime or during family time.

    You don’t have to confiscate their phones, you can get an app that can automatically block activity at a certain time or when a time limit is exceeded.

    By installing a child control app on all devices that your children use, you can set various time limits for the Internet, PC or mobile device and even specific programs, apps and websites. some even shut the device down automatically, displaying a lock screen.

    In your search browser, type ‘manage your kids screen time’. Use the app as a starting point for conversations about screen use, not as a replacement for them.

    Reference:

    Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016: http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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    Text, Twitter, Tweet… Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door

    A recent study claims that there is anecdotal evidence of parents needing to lock away their children’s devices for fear of midnight video watching, texting, and gaming.

    According to the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016 – we are fast becoming (if not already) an always-on mobile society. Our addiction to our favourite device and the apparent need to check regularly and respond instantly must be in response to our growing fear of missing out or perhaps our love of being always-on.

    Here are some tips:

    1. No technology in the bedroom. The number one recommendation from experts in addressing cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is most likely to occur behind a closed door.

    For children, this obsession can start early but needs to be tackled by parents to ensure good habits are learnt and distractions from mobile technology don’t impact negatively on their health and learning abilities.

    Reference:

    Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 2016: http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/tmt-mobile-consumer-2016-final-report-101116.pdf

    Tune in for more tips and ideas next week.

    Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

    Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

    Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf