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Read our posts about Relationships

Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Is there a topic more emotive, fraught and confused than sex and consent, versus sex and coercion? Impaled on the shameful histories of silencing women and violence against women, many solutions are value driven but goal blind.  How far will the recent call for explicit consent go in protecting women from being victims of rape and men from being perpetrators of rape? One in seven students who responded said that they had experienced serious physical or sexual assault at University. In an NUS survey conducted four years ago, one in seven students who...
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Adopting Siblings: Our New Family

Adopting Siblings: Our New Family

My husband and I have been together for nearly 17 years and married 11 years ago. Since marrying we had tried for a family but when it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to have biological children we both (separately) came to the conclusion that we would like to be considered as adoptive parents. I read information on the adoptive process and we approached our local authority and Clifton Children's Society, an adoption service who specialise in adopting siblings, for further information. After attending information sessions by both organizations we asked CCS to...
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Becoming a Grandparent

Becoming a Grandparent

I was pleased when my son and daughter-in-law announced they were expecting, but I had no idea what a transformational rite of passage it would be when she became part of our family. How much love would be unleashed, how it is to see her little personality shaping itself and to have a soft dough hand thrust trustingly into mine and The Old Man's as we stride down the street with her, pausing to examine dogs, doorways, shop, windows at her command. In fact I fear I've become a sentimental old bore whipping out my smart phone if someone as much as enquires...
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We All Use Sexist Language, Women Too

We All Use Sexist Language, Women Too

Adjectives have now become the scapegoat for a sexist culture - these naughty words are seen to be drenched in misogyny.  First “bossy” came under fire; now “feisty” is targeted. Forget feisty's positive meaning - apparently the fact that it is commonly used to describe women provides sufficient proof of bias and bad intent. When I went through the list of additional 'women only' words presented in The Telegraph Wonder Woman, I felt the frisson of easy recognition that often accompanies what psychologists call the 'confirmation bias': it is much easier to think...
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Don't Rush Forgiveness

Don't Rush Forgiveness

In my psychotherapy practice I often sit with people who are struggling with forgiveness.  Many of us, whether in therapy or not, have a hard time forgiving both ourselves and others. Someone close to us betrays our trust. Someone takes something from us, be it a purse, a car, or our very sense of safety in the world. We’re told when this happens that we must not act like victims. We’re “survivors” of every awful thing that befalls us. We seek the experience of forgiveness in order to free ourselves from hatred, anger, grief and again, victimhood. But forgiveness is...
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Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

Why We Shouldn't Fear Touch

The media impress upon us the often horrifying results of inappropriate touch. As increasing numbers of celebrities have come under investigatation, media coverage has been innundated with examples of inappropriate touch.  The fact that Rolf Harris is now serving five years for using his celebrity status to control young women is a case in point.  Are we  fearful of touch?  We now struggle to decipher what is appropriate and what isn't.  At this years sports day, I was surprised to discover that primary school teachers are no longer allowed to put suntan lotion onto...
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Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

Parenting and Gender: What's the Difference?

When my triplet daughters went to university in 2005 my household switched overnight from one in which I, as a female, was in a 4:2 majority, to one in which I was outnumbered. Suddenly it was just me, my then three-year old son, and his dad. The shift in dynamic is one I'm still getting used to as my son grows up. I confess I miss my daughters, and I miss female company. People assume I'm an old hand at this parenting lark, but the truth is that raising one boy is very different to raising a trio of girls, and is providing just as much of a learning curve. Parenting...
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