Teenage Girls, Tech and Trying Times

As a parent, how often do you find yourself saying to your teenage daughter “for heaven’s sake – will you put that phone down!” Or hear yourself remarking on the fact that “we didn’t even have mobiles or laptops in our day!” And indeed we didn’t. We had the luxury of going home and shutting the bedroom door on what might have been a dreadful day at school, burying ourselves under the blankets until we were ready to face the outside world again. […]


Twins – what is their experience of parental separation?

Having worked with a few twins who have experienced their parents divorce,  I’ve noticed they can sometimes be labelled as the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ twin. But just because they were once ‘wombmates’ doesn’t mean they’re identical. If anything they represent the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ and are bound to display their unique characters and have different reactions – but perhaps not quite as polarised as on first impression. Twins have their own distinctive personalities. Although they have the same genetic […]

Brexit Stress: A Divorce No Less!

Today we are in the middle of an almighty mess. Where one party does not want to separate and another is ready to leave. Does this sound familiar? Oh yes – Brexit is the very disorder of divorce! As with most divorces, the majority are not as well equipped for the long and winding road both parties face during a divorce/separation. Divorce is full of surprises! As with the UK and Europe, there have been ups and downs, with the […]


Imagine your child as a little seedling with its fragile roots encased in some soil.   As parents, you are the sturdy and protective plant pots they seek refuge in. But as separated parents, you are now two very different shaped pots.    Your child wants to find comfort and nestle into both parents’ pots so they can spread their ‘roots’. To do this they now have to change their shape accordingly, acclimatising to your way of parenting. Then they have to ‘uproot’ and get ready to change shape again to suit the other parents pot while […]


If a child is in a sensitive state or is not thriving and proves to be the vulnerable child, this may exacerbate tensions between separated parents. A vulnerable child can make any parent worried and quickly become the focal point of your ‘failed’ relationship as feelings of parental inadequacy are arising in both of you. Parental differences become more apparent as your fledgling, fragile co-parenting relationship comes under closer scrutiny. When neither of you has a clear view of the […]

Therapy is like untangling the knots

Attempting therapy to tackle our personal issues could be likened to unknotting a tangled necklace. You make the decision that it’s now time to loosen up the necklace as it’s beginning to choke you. You’ve probably been putting it off for some time until you finally brace yourself for the leap into therapy. And sometimes the issues feel insurmountable and so messy. The more you unknot one bit, another bit seems to get more tightly wound up. You could say […]

The Limbic system: The Accelerator in a Teenage Brain

Much has been written about teenagers and the brain and indeed, the brain does go through a revolutionary overhaul during the adolescent years. One could describe this overhaul as the second brain ‘reboot’ beyond the toddler phases and some parents will say they observe the similarities. The Limbic system is hugely influential and key during the teenage years, being very active and often over-reactive. This emotional engine, or motor system, located in the core brain is responsible for survival, memory […]

A* Standards and exams: Could this explain increased Anxiety and Depression in the young?

The standard of exams seems to have gone sky high! I remember when an A was a great grade and was a real achievement. But now young people have to get an A* and lots of them. Getting a mere A is just not good enough! Young people and children are under ridiculous amounts of pressure these days. The number of cases where young people are suffering from acute anxiety has risen dramatically in my practice. More and more frequently, […]

Ex-Partner vs Parent

Having had a bad experience with an ex-partner can leave such a suspicious imprint that it’s hard not to hold a dim view of them once we separate. It’s easy to believe that if they were unsuitable as a partner, equally, they must be a lousy parent. Questioning and reflecting back on the relationship, you may have felt frustrated by their ‘lack of presence’ when you were together but noticed that since your separation your ex is claiming to be […]

How To Make Handovers A More Pleasant Experience For You & Your Child

I often hear about separated parents arranging to meet at petrol stations or train stations for handovers, which sounds very bleak and perfunctory for children. From a child’s perspective, experiencing their parents’ separation is such an emotional journey in itself, so we don’t want to create further trauma during handovers. And things are already strained at best if neither can meet at each other’s homes. There are many other more child-friendly handover settings that can make it easier for them […]

What is an addiction and how do we explain it?

Previously deemed a moral failure, scientists and researchers are now delving deeper into understanding and explaining the trap of addiction and its withdrawal effects. An alarmingly high percentage of people are at the mercy of addictions such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, sex, etc.,.  And there are an increasing number seemingly more innocuous, addictions also under debate – from obsessive gaming, mobile phone usage, social media interaction, to the simple buzz of one’s daily caffeine intake. So what exactly is […]

Depression: stuck in an old deep-sea diving suit gasping for air?

Almost 1 in 4 are being diagnosed with a mental health illness in the UK today,  of which the most common diagnosis is Depression. That’s nearly a quarter of the population who have or will experience depression at some point in their lives. Depression is the fastest growing ‘silent’ illness with many people suffering in silence and abject misery, feeling too ‘ashamed’ or embarrassed to seek any kind of help. Some become so fearful of being tagged with a mental […]