By Alice Boyes, PhD.

The therapeutic relationship

I was at a book talk last night (hosted by Susan Shapiro, who is an interesting speaker if you ever get the chance to hear her talk). At the event, a fellow therapist* made a comment that “Some clients use therapy for problem solving and some clients use therapy for the relationship”. (Its always both...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

2 types of Avoidant Coping to Catch Yourself Doing

Avoidant coping is about trying to avoid experiencing painful thoughts, feelings, memories, or sensations. Here are two types you should try to learn to recognize in yourself. Type 1. Avoiding situations. Type 2. Avoiding behaviours. Doing either of these types is likely to be limiting your happiness and success so it will help you to...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

2 New DIY Psychological Experiments: Admitting Mistakes/Flaws (imperfect decisions, behaviours etc) and Likability

The idea for this post was triggered by this Wall Street Journal article by writer Rachel Shukert. The WSJ article is about women, but I think fear that admitting mistakes will make you less likable is an issue for men too. Here are two DIY psychological experiments you could try. If you try them, I’d...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

Catching Yourself Guessing (Depression and/or Anxiety, Irritability)

If you are depressed or anxious (especially if you are socially anxious) try to catch yourself guessing – that someone doesn’t particularly like you, or is having negative thoughts about you – that someone is likely to react badly or be irritated by something you need to communicate to them – that things are likely...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

Practical Tips for Enhancing Your Body Image and Sex Life

I recently did an interview for an upcoming edition of Glamour (a US women’s magazine). The journalist Genevieve Field asked me for some tips about body image. Here’s what I said (slightly edited). The interview was much longer than the questions below but this is the practical advice part. What advice would you give women...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

Taking Yourself Seriously

I’m currently on my annual ‘sabbatical’ in New York City, hence the lack of posting lately. I will be back in New Zealand at the end of August and will start taking bookings for new clients sometime next week. Post topic When I’m away, I spend some of my time doing creative things that are...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

The Number 1 Relationship Mistake?

If you’re in an unhappy relationship (or you’re just unhappy with aspects of your relationship), one way to virtually guarantee that you’ll remain unhappy is to think that what’s needed for your relationship to change is for your partner to change. Instead you need to think about what YOU (not you not your partner) could...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

Date night

When people are experiencing a problem like depression, anxiety or stress, they often fall out of the habit of tending to their relationship. If you and your partner are out of the habit of going out together, start a new date night habit. Since behaving differently leads to changes in thoughts and feelings, if you...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

The Most Useful Values To Have (General and Relationships Psychology)

When people try to figure out their values it can be confusing. In my experience of working with clients, the most useful values are typically really simple ones that guide your actions in a helpful direction in lots of different situations. One of my favorites is “communicating clearly”. The way I think of the concept...

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By Alice Boyes, PhD.

What is your avoidant coping really costing you?

Avoidant Coping is one of the main causes of out-of-control stress, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, relationship problems, and eating issues. Avoidant coping is about trying to avoid experiencing painful thoughts, feelings, memories, or sensations. For example, avoiding having a conversation you need to have because you don’t want to experience feeling awkward, stupid or...

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