Is it ever okay to "divorce" a parent?
Cutting off contact with a parent is more common than you might think. It's not an exaggeration to say it's one of the last taboos in relationships - and, as a result, not something we tend to talk openly about.
One of the strongest instincts we possess is what we call "attachment", that bond between child and parent, necessary for survival. An human infant without parents is perhaps the most vulnerable newborn in the animal kingdom.
But what happens when this bond goes awry? Well, it's easiest to understand when there has been obvious abuse - physical or sexual - although proof of the strength of this bond is that even in these cases it can be hard to break free.
What happens when the problems are less visible: when the abuse is emotional or when the relationship falls apart as adults?
Well, asking "Would I put up with this behaviour from anyone else?" is a pragmatic place to start. Of course, it's never that easy.
Generally relationships fall apart because it's not possible to talk through problems and feel that our point of view is heard. But the nature of attachment is to make us keep trying, even when it hurts or we're not getting what we need. But at some point - and only you may know when - it is okay to put your own emotional safety first.
And if you're a parent reading this - I don't believe your job ever stops, no matter how old your children are. As parents, we are required to put our own needs aside, to try to listen and we should always be willing to fix things.
Listen, be open be prepared to apologise, even if you feel you've done nothing wrong. They're not doing to hurt you, they're doing it because they're hurting.
How long should I expect therapy to take?
Most people want to spend as little time as possible in therapy. Fair enough and, while some short-term treatments can sometimes be effective, funding shortages have made short-term approaches very popular with those who hold the public purse strings.
Having said that, some people struggling with something immediate in their life will likely benefit from a handful of sessions to help better define a problem and sort out solutions. It's also often true the positive impact doesn't tend to last.
Overwhelmingly though, the research shows that therapy takes time. Perhaps not surprisingly, the more severe one's mental health difficulties are, the longer it tends to take.
Most people find around six months is where things start to change and around half (according to the research) complete therapy within a year. Some need longer. But unlike short-term therapy, the longer people stayed, the more they improved.
I've just broken up with my partner and started seeing other people but my friends are worried it's too soon. How soon is too soon?
Most relationship advice - even if well-intentioned - should be ignored.
With that in mind, let me offer you some advice: do what feels right.
While self-help books and well-meaning friends may caution against jumping into a "rebound" relationship, my belief is we find what we need in our relationships with other people - especially intimate connections. As long as we can be honest about where we're at when we connect with people, then do what feels right.
After a long-term committed relationship, you may not want to commit quickly to another but don't stay on your own simply because you feel it's the right thing to do.
One caution: if you do have a history of relationships that are dysfunctional or abusive, it can be helpful to take some time to be careful about breaking that pattern. Therapy can help with that.
Otherwise, rebound away, I say!