COUPLES THERAPY NEWCASTLE: THE SUGAR DOCTOR BLOG

In this blog, you will find rich discussions and ideas on how to improve your relationships. From ways to resolve issues, to how-to's, practical tools, and everything about marriage and couples therapy Newcastle, The Sugar Doctor blog has it covered.

As always I really appreciate & value your questions & feedback~

If you have requests for me to address specific questions in a general way (that is, I'll speak about the issue, but not your unique situation), then feel free to email me at tara@thesugardoctor.com.au

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

What Drives Human Behaviour? The Powerful Relationship Benefits of The 6 Core Needs

This psychological framework of human behaviour 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

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

There are so many ways you'll find your phone damaging your relationships. The couples I work with on “the phone thing” have three main gripes; *One person is “chatting” online, to exes, to friends or colleagues, or to others, in a way that feels to their partner like infidelity *Someone is uncomfortable with the level or type of personal sharing on a public platform. *One partner feels like there is an issue with presence, level of connection, or quality of their time together.
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

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

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

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

What is a Textationship? Are Text-Only Relationships Legitimate?

Textationship is the latest portmanteau on the scene and describes a relationship that is text only. Are these still legitimate relationships? What about when you're dating? What are the pros and cons of a textationship? The Sugar Doctor and Craig Hamilton chat all things textationships [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Is Gossip Bad for Relationships?

Social scientists define gossip as 'sharing about people who aren't there'. So is gossip bad for relationships? Are there different types of gossip? Tara Thomas & Kia Handley discuss the gossip spectrum and how to be better at pro-social behaviours. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Should You Keep That Old Friendship?

Friendships can change depending on the stage of your life, as well as whether you are both growing & changing at the same pace and in the same ways. One of the hardest things to know is when should you put the effort into maintaining an old friendship? And when is it time to let it go? The Sugar Doctor and Kia Handley talk about navigating friendship. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Will Keeping a Secret End Your Relationship?

The 2021 Australia Talks survey has shown that between 9-14% of Australians (depending on age groups) are keeping a secret that they think would end a relationship within their family or with their partner. What are the considerations when you are deciding if it is a secret for keeping? or for sharing? The Sugar Doctor and Kia Handley discuss the complexities of keeping a secret. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Is Social Media a Force for Good or Evil in Relationships?

With social media and electronic devices becoming omnipresent in our lives, how can we keep our sense of agency in the way we use them? And is their influence on our relationships a force of good, or evil? The Sugar Doctor and Kia Handley discuss the impact of social media in intimate relationships. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Toxic Exes and Breaking Up: Managing Boundaries and Behaviour

When you find yourself with a toxic ex, it's a tricky situation to navigate. Tara Thomas and Kia Handley talk about how to maintain your own boundaries and get the best outcome for yourself. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Why You Must Stop Pathologising Your Partner!

These days we're all armchair psychologists, but could you be creating bigger problems in your relationship? Tara Thomas and Kia Handley talk about why you must stop pathologising your partner. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More

Who has the Power as the Decision Maker in Your Relationship?

What happens when one partner has to make all the decisions? Tara Thomas and Kia Handley talk about whether it is okay to delegate decision making, and what to do if you want to change who is the decision maker. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More
Passive Aggressive Lego Knight

Dealing With Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Nothing makes me crankier than someone who can't even tell me that they're cranky! The Sugar Doctor and Kia Handley talk about why people behave passive aggressively, and how to manage it. [Includes audio & full transcript]
Read More