In On The Couch. More on Medium.

“There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life.”
L.M. Montgomery

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Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash; Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Being extraordinary seems like a big ask these days.

With a global pandemic and turmoil raging all around us, just getting through the day is a reason to throw a party.

But here’s the thing. Whatever happens out in the world, whether we do great things or nothing at all, we’re still getting older.

We’ve still got less time left on earth than we did yesterday.

And we still have to do something with it.

Why not be extraordinary?

But Extraordinary is Too Hard…

“It never failed to amaze me how the most ordinary day could be catapulted into the extraordinary in the blink of an eye.” …

You can come back from this.

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Photo: On the Couch

“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

You’re tired.

Not just a little sleepy, but a deep, bone-weary fatigue you can’t seem to shake.

You go to the doctor, your blood tests come back normal. There’s nothing organically — physically — wrong. And yet. You know you’re way off your game.

Unexplained fatigue is a sign that you’ve hit stress overload, that you’re operating in the red light zone for your mental health. …

They also dictate your happiness in relationships.

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Photo: On the Couch

“If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.” — Benjamin Franklin

Who are you as a partner?

Can you answer that question fully and truthfully? Or does it cause you to scratch your head in confusion?

Everyone wants to get to know themselves better: it’s one of the key reasons people seek therapy or coaching.

But getting to know yourself as a partner adds another layer of complexity because it’s about digging into who you are in relation to someone else, along with all their traits, quirks, needs — and baggage.

It’s requires you to think about how you attach, how you fight, how you “do” intimacy, how you express your needs — and receive theirs. …

5 tips for dealing with the wreckage of heartbreak.

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Image by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

“The heart was made to be broken.” — Oscar Wilde

So you’ve joined The Breakup Club.

Maybe your split was sudden — a shock from left-field. Or maybe your relationship was on slow-burn decline, you knew the end was coming. And yet it still has you reeling with the finality of it.

Look, breakup is hard, it hurts. Especially if you’ve been together a while and separating means a huge change to your circumstances and the future you were planning.

But even if it was a holiday fling. Or you got ghosted after a flurry of hot ’n heavy text messages. Or you were the one who called time on it. …

And, for a lot of us, that means 2021.

“When everything seems to be against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

You know you can.

You know you have what it takes to smash it out of the park — lose weight, get ripped, run a marathon, save money, start a business, launch yourself creatively.

BUT you’re not quite ready. You’ve got too much going on. The world’s crazy, uncertain. You just don’t have the head space to focus on your goals.

Therapists hear this often: people desperately want to make changes but their plans keep getting derailed by the ongoing Stress of Life. …

“The beginning is always today.” ― Mary Shelley

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Image by Icsilviu on Pixabay

New year, new page, right?

Time to put the old one firmly to bed — especially if it’s 2020 — and muscle up for a (sort of) fresh start.

After a tough year, plenty of us are amped about turning the page. Trouble is, Covid’s not done with us yet. Which means we’re poised for another year in the holding pen while it sorts itself out.

Perhaps more than any other year in recent history, it’s important we take proactive steps to support our mental health and happiness.

And we can start by ditching — or at least trying to — free ourselves of the things that will hold us back. …

Because 2020 threw the rule book out.

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Image: On the Couch

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― (attributed to) Maya Angelou

It was the sucker punch we didn’t see coming.

It was traumatic, confusing, isolating, uncertain; it left us exhausted and shaking our heads about where those 12 months actually went.

Many are still neck-deep in the pandemic and the uncertainty rages on. But 2020 did us one favour. It forced us to think about our lives; about what we want from them, who we want in them, how we spend our time, where the whole ship’s headed. …

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” — Maya Angelou

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

A shy young man was two years out of his only relationship.

He was lonely. He wanted a girlfriend but he’d been a little burned the first time around. He was also down on self-belief: he didn’t think he had much to offer a new partner.

He’d done some googling into what makes a great relationship and it left him overwhelmed. “I’m just not that guy,” he said. “I don’t think I’d get on anyone’s wish-list.”

I understood what he meant. The big, wide world of how-to-be-an-incredible-partner advice is daunting: it can make you feel inadequate or that a great (or even any) relationship is way out of reach. …

Qualities that will make (or break) your life.

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Photo by Leio McLaren ( on Unsplash

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That’s a question we’re all asked as kids. The trouble is, for most of us it never really goes away. In our 20s, 30s, 40s and up, we’re still asking it.

Because even when you get the job right — you have work you love/enjoy (or at least can stand) the question changes from what do you want to be to WHO to you want to be.

I’ve studied this for a long time, picking up the gold nuggets from all sorts of people along the way. …

Is your partner the emotional anchor? Or is it you?

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Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash

“…emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” — David Caruso

Have you ever been with a “rock solid” partner?

Someone who has a healthy view of themselves, others and the world, generally?

Someone who seems to steer a steady ship through the ebbs and flows of life?

Or perhaps it’s you? Perhaps you’re the one providing your relationship with its “emotional anchor”?

Emotional security is the measure of the stability of an individual’s moods and emotions. …


On The Couch

Practical psychology for everyday life.

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