Meet the Expert: Trish Purnell-Webb


Trish is an experienced psychologist with 38 years of work experience and 15 years of running her own private practice as a registered psychologist in the Gold Coast community. Her love for her family is immense and always come first in her belief system.

1. What is your role?

I have a number of roles.  I am a clinical psychologist in Private Practice. I am the Clinical Director of Burleigh Heads Psychology Clinic and oversee the clinical work of 8 therapists.  I run Relationship Institute Australasia with my business partner John Flanagan.  I am a Master Trainer and Consultant for the Gottman Institute and run training and workshops for therapists and couples all over Australia, New Zealand, Asia and North America – these days we of course, are mostly doing these via webcast.  I am a wife, mother and grandmother.


2. What was your first job?

My first job was as an usherette at the Civic Theatre in Canberra in 1974. I got to meet lots of people and see lots of movies for free.


3. Who is your hero?

Hmm, that’s hard to answer. I have many. They are ordinary people who face the struggle and tragedies in their lives with courage, compassion, resilience and humility. I meet them every day and am awed and inspired by them.


4. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Wherever my husband, 3 children and 5 grandchildren are. I’m a great believer in “home is where the heart is”.


5. If you could have a dinner party with anyone in the world, which three people would you invite?

My 3 kids; they are the most entertaining, funny, passionate and loving people I know. We have great conversations about anything and everything and can talk a whole night away, solving all the problems in the world.


6. What makes your heart sing?

This is probably getting boring (can you tell family comes first in my belief system?), but that would be playing ‘tickle hugs’ with my grandchildren or any of the other thousand and one games they have devised to keep Ma’s attention.


7. What do you do to switch off from work?

Write in my journal, cook, play with my grandchildren.


8. How do you manage the stressors of work and life?

Reflection, meditation, laughing with family and friends.


9. What is one thing all businesses should be doing to support the health and wellbeing of their people?

Fostering connection, ensuring people feel known and cared about.


10. CTM Partners are about Conversations That Matter. Why are conversations that matter important to you?

Conversations that matter have the power to make a positive difference in people’s lives. It’s what I do every day. I talk to individuals and couples about their lives and create conversations with them that help moves them towards happier, more fulfilling and meaningful lives.


11. How can we create more opportunities to have conversations that matter?

As a person who mostly works on a micro-level – my motto is “Changing the world one person, one couple, one family at a time,” I would say every moment is an opportunity to engage in a conversation that matters, whether it’s checking how your colleague is doing, dropping by your neighbour’s house to say ‘hi’, listening to your kids tell you about their day or spending 15 minutes in pillow talk with your partner, all these conversations matter because they let those people know you think THEY matter.

Thanks for your time, Trish!