Don't just do something, sit there!

"Don't just do something, sit there!" As a starting-out counsellor, many years ago, I remember seeing this caption on a cartoon framed above a colleague's desk. For me, it captures the essence of what it takes to be an effective helper perfectly - the best help we can give someone is to be there for them, not only physically, but with all of our attention, resisting the impulse to fix the issue, change the subject etc etc. I believe that the same principle applies to our most important relationships - those with our partner and family.

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What creates true intimacy in relationships?

What are the things you do, and that your partner does, that nurture intimacy between you?

Many of us may think that intimacy is about having mind-blowing sex at every opportunity. or having romantic interludes away together, or surprising each other with extravagant gifts or romantic gestures.

Of course, these things are wonderful, and when they happen in the context of a relationship where both partners already feel connected and good about how things are going, they may well intensify your sense of pleasure and excitement about being together.

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Are your children struggling to cope with your new partner?

There's a lot of advice out there about how to cope with a partner's children - helpful tips about strategies to use, how to work as a team when parenting in a blended family, as well as some great insights about what the complexities are for everyone in this new family formation. Because children don't tend to read blogs or self-help books, most of this great information is pitched at adults - i.e. parents and step-parents.

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Sharing Power in Intimate Relationships - The Best Aphrodisiac


According to eminent relationship researcher Dr John Gottman, successful relationships rely on each partner allowing the other one to share power, have a voice in decision-making and accept the other's influence. 

What does this mean in practice - in the day-to-day interactions we all have about running the household, thinking about our future, balancing competing demands for time and money?

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