The secret to happily ever after

Last updated 09:53 05/05/2014

LIFE'S A FAIRYTALE: According to relationship expert Leanne French Kiwi women must look within to slay their inner 'Evil Criticising Queen'.

Leanne French
HAPPILY EVER AFTER: Leanne with her prince.

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New Zealand women struggling to find their happy-ever-after should look at themselves says relationship therapist Leanne French.

Divorce numbers could be reduced if people took greater responsibility for their own love stories, she says in her new book Fairytale Love: How to Love Happily Ever After.

In it, she says some women in the course of a relationship transformed themselves from happy Disney Princess to Evil Criticising Queen.

"It's not uncommon for women to revert to a cultural norm of criticising, feeling disappointed in their partners and highlighting and communicating what's wrong, rather than celebrating what's right," French says.

"I want to empower Kiwi women to understand that the changes they might be looking for outside of themselves are actually available within themselves.

"It's time to enlighten Kiwis with the secrets for creating their own 'happily ever after' - the good news is it does exist."

Fairytale analogies used in her book can awaken creativity, enliven the imagination and direct attention to common human conditions and traits of character, she says.

"They can also entertain, empower and inspire you to really look at your own ways of thinking and behaving when faced with trials and triumph," she says.

Most problems can be resolved, says French, who has worked in the area for a quarter of a century.

It's not just Kiwi women who will benefit from looking within - also men respond well to practical tools to lift blame, invite more intimacy and connection.

On her Twitter feed, French describes herself as a Martinborough-based therapist, artist, writer and "mum of Giggles the pig".

"I blend my 25 years previous experience as a Counsellor with empowering supportive therapy and I add a dash of angel guidance and life and love wisdom to give you great results."

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