I sat there listening to the stories of 70 and 90-year-olds still yearning for the company of their spouses - one keeps his wife's ashes in a bag on the chair next to him - and thinking about my own mother's story. Her husband died when she was my age, and her life pretty much folded. By choice.
In what has been called an "unprecedented move" by director of the PSHE (personal, social, health, education) association Joe Hayman, four select comm...
Ok, I'm a bit late. All the fuss has died down, the gyms are already full (for at least the next couple of weeks), diets have no doubt started in earnest and your Facebook feed is full of smug sweaty people showing off how many miles they've swum/cycled/run/hopped and how much weight they've already lost.
Making the transition after family breakdown from parenting-together to parenting-apart is tough. But parents who can work together after separation are 80% more likely to reduce the impact of the separation on their children, helping them maintain a relationship with both parents.
She was completely overwhelmed with sadness and an acute sense of loss. She had a high flying career and was angry at herself for falling apart yet she had no control over the crying or the obsessing over what she might have done wrong.
Before I say anything else I will say this; I love my boyfriend. I love him so much that if you catch me at the exact right moment (like, say, upon opening the dishwasher, poised to load it with dirty dishes only to realise it's still full of clean crockery), I could literally weep with how much I feel for him.
If you met someone that you wanted to be with, you would both find a way to make it work, the fact that you're still single doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you, it just means that you haven't met the person that is worth settling down with.
The main thing I learned last year is that if he appears to be too good to be true, then he usually is... This is such a cliché it's almost embarrassing to be writing about it. I had two instances of it last year, both with men in their late thirties.
Whether young or old; male or female; rich or poor; the new calendar year is upon us all and represents a fresh opportunity for change for many. Although, psychologically, change can occur at any moment on any given day of the year, you cannot deny that people ooze positivity at this time of year.
Fast-forward fifteen years; her mother and I sit on the couch; this little girl is now at university but home for the holidays and she walks in and bursts into tears, freshly dumped by her boyfriend.
It's no surprise that many couples fall out during the festive season: the longed-for break from work can suddenly feel like being under house arrest, minor issues become magnified, too much booze leads to loosened tongues which can lead to rows...
Why do people fear psychologists? Why are people worried that we'll single you out for mental interrogation? Anyone who's ever taken a psych class or has a book by Freud on the shelf, has probably met somebody suspicious of your educational interests...
He finally left rehab this autumn and I moved back home to be closer to him and my family. I had to be learn to be proud of that achievement at least. It's still hard, to muster up the courage to visit. Because, every time you see them, you know it might be the last.
I am not a psychologist and I know that releasing childhood emotional trauma is a big complicated area. I wouldn't know how to start advising people, but as a mother of five children, I follow the old adage, it is easier to raise a happy child than mend a broken adult.
What is remarkable is the number of divorce cases which get started after Christmas - for whatever reason, early January is the time when lots of people decide to get started down the path they've probably been considering for a long time.
Are we born a certain way or are we a compilation of our experiences that lock us into who we are? Can we choose who we want to be and then become it or are we determined by our genes and our family dynamics?