PRACTICAL RELATIONSHIP ADVICE IN 2022

In this blog, you will find practical relationship advice on a wide range of relational challenges.

I write about my current & evolving thinking on different aspects of relationships and how they are changing in 2022 (not patriarchal trash), as well as sharing practical tools and tips that you can immediately implement.

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?
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alternative couples therapy image for mobiles

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.
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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.
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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.
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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…
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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office romance

Are Office Romances a Bad Idea?

What are the pros and cons when you are considering an office romance? Kia Handley and The Sugar Doctor talk about navigating love in the workplace. . [Includes audio & full transcript]
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sex and porn cucumber

Sex and Porn: How to Talk About It

There's a big gap in reality between sex and porn, Kia Handley and The Sugar Doctor discuss how to talk about the issue of sexual expectations that arise from online porn. [Includes audio & full transcript]
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No Trespassing Sign

How To Protect Your Personal Boundaries as Restrictions Ease

Personal boundaries have changed rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kia Handley and The Sugar Doctor discuss how to identify and maintain our personal boundaries as restrictions ease. [Includes audio & full transcript]
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From Partner to Carer: Navigating Difficult Role Transition

Making the transition from partner to carer can be sudden and provide a big challenge to your relationship. Kia Handley and The Sugar Doctor talk about how to navigate shifting dynamics in your relationship when one partner requires an additional level of care due to illness, accident, or disability. [Includes audio & full transcript]
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Never Text Your Ex at Christmas!

Don't text your ex at Christmas! Discover what does it mean to be "marleyed", and why you should never text your ex at Christmas (except in this one scenario!) Kia Handley and The Sugar Doctor talk about A Christmas Carol and the Ghost of Exes Past. [Includes audio & full transcript]
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