Read our posts about relationships

What is love?

What is love?

Ongoing contact with significant others is an innate need we all have throughout our lives. We humans are pack animals, and close relationships are part of what we need to thrive. But in recent years people have wondered whether too great a reliance on this desire for love shows our immaturity. Where the misunderstanding about love may have arisen is that when you feel secure in your relationships you tend to make and maintain healthy contact with others, which gives you a sense of autonomy. This is because you are good at dependence, rather than being good at...
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Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Old Faces, Younger Lives: How to See Beyond Dementia

Imagine yourself in hospital, aged and unable to articulate what you need and when. Think of the dejection, loneliness, and knowledge that your wellbeing lies in the hands of someone who sees you only as a blank and wrinkled canvas, who sees you only in the context of your dementia. I have, and I find it frightening. Dementia visits the elderly with a cloak of confusion and uncertainty, its prey usually unaware of its early presence, manifested by occasional illogical behaviour. A friend witnessed her 75 year-old mother trying to pay for groceries with cigarettes,...
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Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Dealing with Difficult Family Members

Do you have difficult family members, someone who doesn’t always make for good company? Take 45-year old Simon. He’s been married to Ali for 15 years, and though she loves him, she struggles to cope with his irritating ways. Why does he spend so many hours a day by himself,  most often hidden away playing computer games? And when they do go out, he can’t seem to hold a proper conservation without getting flustered. She can’t stand the way he procrastinates all the time, and is irritable whenever she asks him to do things to help her out. She is fed up that, as she puts it,...
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Coming Out as a BiSexual Sportsman

Coming Out as a BiSexual Sportsman

The hardest conversation I have ever had about my sexual orientation was in a car full of my team mates on the way back from practice. I had decided weeks before that it was time I became more publicly comfortable with my sexuality. No longer could I be afraid of what people would say, how differently people would treat me, or more specifically - how my friendships with other guys would change. It was as if what I had said required no bravery, or was not in the least bit surprising to him So I am on this bi-weekly journey home (excuse the pun), when my friend James...
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Are You in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

Are You in a Relationship With a Narcissist?

All of us can be selfish at times, but some of us are selfish all of the time! There’s nothing wrong with a little ‘me-time’, but some people are so self-preoccupied that they're unable to form healthy relationships. If that sounds like your partner, you may be in a relationship with a narcissist. Narcissists, in bygone days called megalomaniacs or severely egocentric, are people who spend the entire time wrapped up in themselves. Narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme form it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which affects...
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Taking Care of Our Elderly

Taking Care of Our Elderly

More and more of us have an elderly relative in residential care. Currently more than 400,000 people in the UK live in care homes, a figure which is bound to rise further, given the ageing population (there are currently 3 million people aged over 80 in the UK, and that figure is predicted to almost double by 2030. Currently one-in-six of the UK population is aged over 65; by 2050 it will be one-in-four). NICE the (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has issued new guidance on improving the mental wellbeing of older people in residential care, via a...
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Is Your Partner a Sociopath?

Is Your Partner a Sociopath?

Sociopaths are people with little or no conscience or ability to empathize with other peoples’ feelings. One sociopath in the course of their lifetime will harm many people but hurt most those with whom they have intimate and close relations. Although many operate as seeming ‘model citizens’, behind the façade they have interpersonal deficits such as grandiosity, arrogance and deceitfulness, lack of guilt and empathy, and impulsive and occasionally criminal behaviours. It’s easy to miss these traits in someone you love because you are not expecting to see them....
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