Holiday fun fact sheet
by Suzie Hayman
A Relate-trained counsellor and agony aunt with more than 20 years experience, Suzie has written 26 parenting and relationship books. She was also a counsellor on the BBC series ‘Stepfamilies’.
Being a trained counsellor, an accredited parenting educator, a teacher and someone who has lived as well as studied life in all its complexities I’d like to think I can help you with any parenting or relationship issue you bring me. I do have particular experience with stepfamily issues and teenage issues, as well as experience that would help you deal with: • Being in a single parent family and keeping the link between child and non-resident parent • Keeping your relationship on track • Coping for yourself and your children when there is a separation • Building confidence in yourself and in your children • Finding solutions when your children are experiencing issues such as bullying and sibling rivalry • Developing strategies for dealing with behaviour and discipline problems • Ways to talk with your children about the sticky issues such as sex and sexuality, unhappiness and depression, family turmoil and loss • Building family togetherness
Hi, my name is Suzie Hayman. I’m a counsellor, agony aunt, parenting educator, broadcaster and author. I’ve been helping people deal with their worries and problems for almost 20 years - face to face, on the telephone, through letters, in newspaper and magazine columns and on the internet. Relationships are not easy, whether they’re loving bonds with friends and family or intimate bonds with a partner, which is why I offer my experience and training to help you explore what goes wrong, understand why and move on to make the changes you want. Being a parent can be even harder, which is the reason I do a lot of work with and for parents, either by running parenting courses, coaching on the phone and writing on the many issues. I’m a trustee and passionate supporter of the parenting charity ParentlinePlus. I worked on its parenting courses and on publications - in print and online - and continue to work with it to support parents by being a spokesperson in the media. I’m available to help you make your family life happier - not by telling you what to do but by supporting you in finding your solutions and putting them into practice. There are no judgements in my work, only answers.
I originally trained as a teacher, and later worked with Relate to become a counsellor, and with Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme), to be accredited as a parenting practitioner. I’ve also worked for the Family Planning Association and Brook Advisory Centres, and am also a trustee for The Who Cares Trust, for looked after children.
I’ve written 28 books on parenting, relationship and health issues. Four are in the successful Teach Yourself series: Be A Great Step-Parent, Be A Great Single Parent, Raise A Happy Teenager and Be More Assertive (Hodder Educational, 2010). I’ve written about coping with relationship breakdowns: Moving on; Breaking up Without Breaking Down (Ebury 2001), and on keeping relationships alive: Make Your Honeymoon Last (Hodder and Stoughton 2000). This is as well as writing about sexual relationships in books including Tantric Sex, Sexual Fantasy, and The Good Sex Guide Abroad (all Carlton - 2002/1995).
I frequently appear in the UK media as a counsellor and agony aunt, including:
• In a family column for Woman magazine
• As the agony aunt for Woman's Own magazine, BBC Health Online and the ‘Family’ supplement of the Saturday Guardian and The Times
• As the counsellor seen guiding five families through their family dilemmas on the major BBC1 series Stepfamilies
• Appearances on BBC Breakfast, Woman’s Hour, You and Yours, BBC 5Live, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and many local stations
As a freelance journalist I’ve written features, mainly on parenting, relationship, sex, health and counselling matters, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers, most recently The Times, Independent and the Guardian. I’ve conceived and written leaflets and website material for ParentlinePlus, the NSPCC, One Parent Families, the Family Planning Association, Parenting UK and Brook Advisory Centres including a Young Mums Guide for OPF and the magazine Hands Off for the NSPCC. I also contribute voluntarily to Who Cares?, the magazine for kids in care produced by The Who Cares Trust.
Oh - and I am a stepmother, a (very youthful!) grandmother and have been married for more years than I like to think.
As you can see, families and children are what motivates me. I think it’s important to raise the issues around parenting in public as often as possible. It is easy to feel incompetent and incapable when you run aground on the many difficulties parenting, and relationships, throw in your way. It helps to hear that so many of the issues that bother us are actually common and normal, and experienced by lots of other people, and are not because of your ineffectiveness or the wickedness of your children but are simply par for the course.
2007 Primary Care Triple P
Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme)
2007 Group Triple P
Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme)
1992 Couple Counselling
counsellor, agony aunt, trustee, author, parenting educator
1985 - Present
After a university degree, I trained as a teacher, was trained by and for some years was a volunteer counsellor for Relate, am an accredited Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme) parenting educator, a broadcaster and author of twenty six books. I am a spokesperson and trustee for Parentline Plus, the major UK parenting charity, and a trustee of The Who Cares Trust, for looked after children. I have worked for The Family Planning Association and Brook Advisory Centres and Parentline Plus and contributed to the planning and creation of PLPs parenting courses. I counsel and give parent support, both through courses and one-to-one, locally and give seminars and do one-to-one support on the phone nationally, on all aspects of parenting and relationships but perhaps have a particular interest and expertise in stepfamily issues. I make frequent appearances on national and local television and radio, as a counsellor and agony aunt, on programmes such as BBC Breakfast, Womens Hour, You and Yours and I am a regular on BBC 5Live, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales. As a freelance journalist i have written features, mainly on sex, relationship, parenting, health and counselling matters, for a wide range of national magazines and newspapers, most recently the Times, Independent and Guardian. I have also conceived and written leaflets and website material for Parentline Plus, the NSPCC, One Parent Families, the Family Planning Association, Parenting UK and Brook Advisory Centres including a Young Mums Guide and a Tax Credit Guide for OPF and the controversial magazine Hands Off for the NSPCC. I also contribute voluntarily to Who Cares?, the magazine for kids in care produced by The Who Cares Trust. As well as answering emails to my own website www.agony-aunt.com I am regularly asked to give expert comment in national and local media and to speak at conferences and seminars on a wide range of issues to do with relationships and parenting.
Holiday fun fact sheet
by Suzie Hayman
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