PRACTICAL RELATIONSHIP ADVICE IN 2022

In these blogs, articles, & essays you will find practical relationship advice and insights on a wide range of relational challenges.

I write about my current & evolving thinking on different aspects of relationships and how they are changing, as well as sharing practical tools and tips that you can immediately implement.

Online Couples Therapy on the Couch

Does Online Couples Therapy Work? The Pros & Cons of Online Therapy

Post-panny, many of us still use Zoom for work or to connect socially, and most of us have a pretty good handle on it. But does online couples therapy work? I mean, as always the answer is both yes and no. Like every service, couples therapists range from amazing life-changers to horrendous hacks and bad actors. And again, like every service, taking that into an online space can have both benefits and challenges.
Read More
retro roles in relationships

Defining Roles in Relationships: Escaping Relational Fuckery

Roles in relationships are rarely explicitly defined- most couples fall into roles that draw from the best & worst of their family histories. Those roles aren't reviewed strategically, and are only discussed when frustration or resentment trigger an argument (or ongoing conflict). In couples therapy all of the couples I work with have challenges directly created by poorly defined or disputed roles.
Read More
That banana is attracted to someone else

Help! I’m Attracted to Someone Else: How to Handle Sexual Chemistry When You’re In a Relationship

There are few things as exciting as the spark of sexual chemistry; That rush of heat, the butterflies, the tingling in your loins... The raw magnetism is a heady rush- you feel vital, desirable, like you've truly been SEEN. That feeling is empowering. Your response can be devastating. So what do you do when you're in a relationship and find yourself sexually attracted to someone else?
Read More

Protected: Systems Leverage Points – Domestic Logistics

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Read More

Couples Therapy Newcastle: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing a Therapist

A Google search for "Couples Therapy Newcastle" generates loads of options, so how do you decide? This piece is equal parts cynical piece for search engine optimisation, and genuine guide to choosing a therapist. Like, within capitalism my website needs to rank well, AND folks actually want help making this decision. I think if I can bring enough transparency & honesty to what I'm writing, we can both get what we need here.
Read More
2

Boundaries Versus Rules: Navigating Cooperative Power

Boundaries versus rules is an important distinction when we navigate power dynamics within relationships. A boundary is about power within me to make my decisions. A rule is about power over your decisions. Tara Thomas & Kia Handley talk about the different types of power in a relationship, and how to collaborate to express preferences, maintain boundaries, and navigate rules or agreements.
Read More
Polarising Issues Chess Board

How to Navigate Polarising Issues in Your Friendships Without Being Antagonistic

Polarising issues arising from an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, can lead to relationship conflict or even end friendships & relationships. Tara Thomas & Kia Handley discuss a message from a listener about a friendship breakdown, and some of the issues that arise from that experience.
Read More
Emotional Labour of Fake Smiles

What is Emotional Labour in Relationships?

Emotional labour is the energy & effort required to perform the task of managing emotions for self & others, so how does it affect relationships? In the context of relationships, emotional labour includes a whole shit load of work performed to make sure others feel emotionally 'comfortable'. This piece will unpack some of the fuckery that comes with that work, and some of the common relational patterns arising from emotional labour.
Read More
Emergency Gap Plan with Plant

The Gap Plan; How to Avoid Catastrophe When the Sh!t Hits the Fan

Would your household fall apart if you had to take a week off? A gap plan is a great way to plan in advance for the inevitable lows of life, and to put support systems in place for your friends & family. Tara Thomas & Kia Handley talk about what needs to go into a…
Read More
emotional awareness brain plus heart

Emotional Self Awareness; Unlock the Natural Wisdom of Your Body & Mind

Emotional self-awareness is one of the 3 facets of self-awareness which underpins all of the core skills in an emotionally intelligent person. This post unpacks the elements of emotional self-awareness, and provides some practical exercises to help develop your skills in that area.
Read More
human behaviour: 6 core needs pyramid model

Reviewing The 6 Core Needs: Coaching and Criticisms

This psychological framework of the 6 core needs is helpful AND harmful. It perpetuates capitalist & oppressive ideals for individuals & relationships. While there are some helpful perspectives and relational tools, it is also crucial to be mindful of the impacts of adopting models without considering the context.
Read More
introduction to boundaries image of shoes at the line.

An Introduction to Boundaries; A Complete Primer to Empower Your Relationships (Part 1)

Boundaries has become a real buzzword in popular psychology, and these days in almost all of my client intakes someone cites "boundaries" as one of their issues. But what the fuck does that even mean? In this introduction to boundaries we look at defining boundaries, common challenges, and identifying your strengths & gaps.
Read More
Four seasons of relationships

The 4 Seasons of Love: The Natural Rhythms of Intimate Relationships

The Seasons of Love is a framework that maps common relational experiences & progression to meteorological seasons. In mapping the development of relationships to climatic seasons, we see that there are no better models or metaphors than those we find in nature. As relationships evolve, they move both in a linear fashion from their conception to their death, as well as through circular temporal and energetic cycles.
Read More
Phone Damaging Relationship

Is Your Phone Damaging Your Relationship? 21 Strategies to Take Control.

21 Tips: From small changes (grayscale) to the big guns (k- safe), reclaim your partners attention and stop your phone damaging your relationship.
Read More
Image for Best Friends With Your Partner (in the snow)

3 Practical Approaches to Being Best Friends With Your Partner

Being Best Friends with your partner is about your ability to connect with each other. It is the element that sustains your love beyond any challenge or change in your lives. Given that 69% of relationship issues are unsolvable, and 16% of those lead to gridlock, wherever we build connection we will also find contrasts. The deepest work in navigating these differences, is discerning for yourself “can I bring grace & generosity to accepting this contrast will persist? Am I ready to engage & generate solutions? Or is this, in fact, intolerable? And this deep work requires strong friendship.
Read More
strengthen interoception image

7 Simple Ways to Strengthen Interoception

Relational skills are grounded in resourceful responses to the sensory data we receive from our environments & other people. Learning to strengthen interoception directly influences your capacity to identify physiological needs, regulate emotions, and connect relationally.
Read More
Attachment Styles Interactions

The 4 Attachment Styles; The Complete Easy-to-Use Guide to Attachment in Your Relationship

The latest trend in popular psychology is exploring attachment theory, and how that influences us as individuals in our various relationships. Tara Thomas & Kia Handley talk about the different attachment styles, how attachment styles influence relationships, and what can we take from that into our futures. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More
3

When Can I Stop Calling Myself Divorced

So you've moved on from your marriage, started the next chapter(s) of your life, but somehow this question keeps coming up; What is your marital status? Tara Thomas & Kia Handley talk about the considerations around whether to use that label, and what it means to be 'divorced'. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More
What are emotions header

What Are Emotions? A Bonus Compilation of Explainer Break Downs

This is some pretty helpful background information about emotions, what are emotions, and how do they work, entirely borrowed from my Instagram posts which you can view below on this page, or browse @the.sugar.doctor at your leisure. Table of Contents What Are Emotions? View original post in full on IG here. What is an Emotion…
Read More
Couple Sleeping Separately

Is it Bad for Couples to Sleep in Separate Beds?

Sharing a bed can increase intimacy, connection, and the amount of REM sleep we get, but it isn't always a bed of roses. What do we need to consider when we are deciding whether or not to sleep in separate beds? Tara Thomas & Kia Handley discuss the pros and cons of separate beds. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More