From Turmoil to Triumphs: How Lissy Abrahams is Using Tech to Transform Relationships

By Giulia Sirignani
on 26 March 2024

Lissy Abrahams‘ mission is clear. While she may wear many hats – psychotherapist, speaker, relationship expert and acclaimed author – all her work is driven by a common goal: To help individuals unravel the mysteries of their own minds, put an end to internal suffering and foster more meaningful connections. TV host Tracy Spicer delves into – including her latest release – Relationship Reset author’s game-changing journey in a recent conversation with Lissy on “Game Changers.“‘


Lissy Abrahams
Lissy Abrahams: Founder/CEO and Founder Health Group Practice, Author and Relationship Reset Photograph: / Andrea Francolini

Separation, six-year stats and seeking help

When it comes to relationships in Australia, the statistics are sobering. One in three Australian marriages end in divorce. The problem is that couples often wait six years before seeking help, unfortunately creating more disharmony and unhappiness along the way! However, according to Lissy, the issue often lies in the fact that couples often underestimate the gravity of their conflictual dynamics. And are unaware that any given disagreement could be the tipping point towards separation.

“A lot of people fear exposure. So, they don’t go and get help. They fear how much time it’s going to take out of the week, or how much money it costs. And so there’s lots of reasons people don’t go. But if they don’t get the help, then they’re inviting a family catastrophe,” she says.



A conversation about conflict

Lissy goes on to explore the concept of healthy conflict within relationships. And, when questioned as to whether arguing can ever actually be considered a positive aspect, emphasizes that conflict itself is not the concern; rather, it’s the impact on the individuals involved.

“Fighting is not a problem in itself. It’s what happens in your mind when you fight. Do you change and your partner becomes someone you think about more negatively? Or do you end up disliking and creating stories of how unhappy you are? That’s when it becomes a problem?” she explains. Before advising that resolving conflicts and developing new understandings can actually contribute positively to a relationship.

Distress intolerance and defense mechanisms

According to Lissy, the concepts of distress intolerance and defense mechanisms also highlight that these reactions can be both negative and positive.

“We’ve all got a point at which we can handle certain situations. And when we can’t, that’s when we have distressing tolerance. We’re no longer able to just manage ourselves through it. So, we’ll do something and often what we’ll do is we’ll use something like an ego defense mechanism,” says Lissy. “This might be denial, or regression when we start acting like a younger person. Or we might use compartmentalisation, where we say I can’t deal with this moment, I’ll put the information back here somewhere else,” says Lissy.

“It’s all very unconscious. And we’re not doing it deliberately. But, when we understand that there’s a pattern to what we do and that we can actually change it, that’s when they become healthy coping mechanisms.” she adds.

Understanding one’s coping mechanisms allows individuals to navigate challenging situations consciously. These include incorporating mindfulness, breathing techniques, or taking pauses, these coping mechanisms can transform into healthier responses.

The root cause of relationship issues

Money and parenting are common sources of conflict in relationships. But, Lissy asserts that they are not the real reasons behind the issues. Instead, these topics represent deeper concerns related to security, freedom, and control. “A lot of couples say they argue about money, or parenting, but are they the real reasons? Are they masking something deeper?” asks Lissy (this was tracey’s question).  For instance, differing approaches to handling finances can trigger fears of control or lack of freedom, causing constant friction in a couple relationship.

Lissy also addressed attachment theory. Explaining how childhood experiences shape adult relationships. “Some children are emotionally bonded to their parents in a secure way. So we say that they’ve got a security attachment. They’ve grown up in an environment where they’re safe enough that their needs as babies have been responded to in a particular way where they felt secure … And so they develop security in life,” says Lissy.

She compares this to insecurely attached individuals who may struggle with trust, leading to patterns of anger or detachment in adulthood. Understanding these patterns is crucial for building healthy adult relationships.



Transformation through technology

As well as her book, Relationship Reset, Lissy offers online programs to a global audience of couples and individuals, aiming to reduce conflict, eliminate blame, and create a harmonious home environment. The programs delve into understanding communication dynamics and unravelling the mysteries of one’s own mind and creating a world of meaningful connections.

Relationship Reset: How to Break the Cycle of Conflict and Create Secure and Lasting Love by Lissy Abrahams. Pan Macmillan Australia. $36.91

For Lissy Abrahams online programs and free ebooks:

Latest releases Relationship Reset: How to Break the Cycle of Conflict and Create Secure and Lasting Love


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