What is AA?

Founded by Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith in Ohio, in the US, in 1935,Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international organisation dedicated to helping alcoholics stay sober. It is based on the principle of fellowship, where an experienced sober alcoholic help other newer members not to relapse, and provides a support network. Although it […]

7 Ways Family Therapy Can Help in a Divorce

Because the end of a marriage often consumes a couple’s attention, it can also be an incredibly stressful time for the whole family.

Statistics show that around 40{7e66f01e68c52d858b59d425bd8f3886b02d30322136bee7d8e459b39be00af4} of the 8234 couples who got divorced in New Zealand last year had at least one child and more than 6000 children in total found themselves in […]

What is an “alcoholic”?

Everybody who isn’t an alcoholic has their own definition of what alcoholism is. Most of them would agree that it is about drinking “too much”. But how much is “too much”? And is it really what characterises alcoholism?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), although they are careful to say that they have no formal definition of alcoholism, […]

Why Anxiety Can Be a Real Pain

The stigma associated with anxiety is often summed up by the dismissive “it’s all in your head”.

But research in the past year from The Netherlands has confirmed a strong link between generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder and agoraphobia and experiences of pain – known as somatic symptoms.

The study of more than 2000 […]

Has Drinking Become Your Hobby?

What are your hobbies? Sport, movies, fishing, book club, walking?

And how often does your hobby go hand-in-hand with a few drinks? Do you always take a box of beers on the boat or to the game? Does a trip to the cinema always involve a bottle of wine? Are book club and “a walk […]

How Parents Can Help Withdrawn Children

Being shy or withdrawn isn’t, in itself, a negative thing for children.

Some may choose to spend significant time away from others in order to focus on constructive or creative play or projects, while others may simply enjoy listening to or observing their peers as opposed to joining in with them.

In other words, as an […]

How play therapy can help children

However hard it is to get adults to “talk out” their feelings, it’s far more difficult to do the same thing with children.

Youngsters may not have developed any language skills let alone an adequate vocabulary before they are exposed to aspects of the real world for which they and their families require help from […]

Anxiety and stress, what’s the difference?

Despite our tendency to conflate the two terms in our everyday speech, there’s a gulf in how our body actually deals with anxiety and stress and how they are caused.

For example, we might well say that a looming deadline at work or the thought of having to visit your partner’s family for Christmas is […]

Self-compassion versus self-esteem

New Zealanders are constantly bombarded with the message that health, wealth and happiness are the cornerstones of our Kiwi ambition – and that to attain them, we must remain devoted to maintaining high self-esteem.

This is reflected in our worship of success – especially in sports – and in how we raise our children to […]

New Zealand’s new drink-drive laws

New Zealand’s lower drink-drive laws seem to have hit the right mark when it comes to keeping dangerous drivers off the road, but they’ve also highlighted many people’s reliance on alcohol.

The limit dropped from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood to 50mg per 100ml last December for those aged 20 and […]