Sunday Star Times: Smartphones – changing how we fall in love

For two and a half decades Jill Goldson has been picking through the dramas of the families and couples who come to her for help. Over that time the Auckland counsellor and family mediator has identified four issues that come up again and again as a source of relationship friction: money, sex, parenting styles and the inlaws. But very recently, … Read More

NZ Herald: How to host a Christmas Grinch

One of my clients recently described this season as a “white knuckled Christmas” for her – recently separated and struggling to manage her sadness, this is not a new story. All those cheery songs and festive parties can certainly stir up the feelings when you are newly separated, bereaved, undergoing strife or plain old loneliness. Even when we know that … Read More

NZ Herald: Christmas, a time for jealousy?

Just as we are downing tools in readiness for the typical holiday pursuits of relaxing, eating, drinking and hopefully making merry, an unbidden thought or two can sneak in. A young female client of mine recently said: “I feel sick and even angry as I watch friends plan lavish holiday celebrations and pack up for their baches. I never let … Read More

NZ Herald: When party season freaks you out

“Tis the season to be jolly” indeed, but what happens when you have to be jolly and you are terribly shy? Like my client Tilly* who speaks of her dread, not just of the looming office parties, but also of her reaction to the invitation from her new partner to his family Christmas party. “I can’t bear it,” she said, … Read More

NZ Herald: Is it possible to have no regrets?

Regret is a bit of a prickly cactus of an emotion. That backward-looking and rather unpleasant feeling where you blame yourself and wish you could undo the past – not to be confused with remorse (which is the guilt and disquiet we experience when we have hurt others by our actions). The hauntingly beautiful words of singer Edith Piaf, “Non, … Read More

NZ Herald: Why the pursuit of happiness is flawed

Everyone wants to be happy and for their loved ones to be happy. The quest for this Holy Grail has exercised the minds of philosophers, priests and poets throughout the centuries. “I’m terrified of waking up in mid-life and discovering that I’m not happy” is a theme I hear often from my clients. The anxiety about negative feelings seems to … Read More

NZ Herald: What’s the biggest relationship killer?

Of all the difficult emotions we know so well in life, there is one particular rogue which can stalk our relationships like the proverbial bad witch at a wedding, sucking up joy and spreading poison in its wake: Resentment. And like all bad witches, this one has a lot of power to cast bad spells on your wellbeing. “We never … Read More

NZ Herald: Why women won’t ‘put a ring on it’

There is one thing that keeps me perplexed in my counselling practice and it is this: I see so many lovely, intelligent young women with good incomes, independent lives and loving relationships with friends and family. They love their partner and that love is reciprocated. The big and distressing dilemma though, is waiting for him to pop the question. The … Read More

NZ Herald: Give Peace A Chance!

In case it slipped past you, International Day of Peace was on Monday. Established in 1981 by the United Nations the day is commemorated by education and public awareness on issues related to peace. The New Zealand Human Rights blog suggested we mark the day in our homes and communities and asked “who will you make peace with?” With all … Read More