It’s time to move past our relentless focus on other people’s lives.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a cute acronym. We use it casually in day-to-day conversation, “oh, if I don’t go to that dinner I will have real FOMO”,
“I need to buy that dress or I will get FOMO”. FOMO feels capricious; a gentle romp through the fields of what-could-be and the vistas of endless-possibility. A good match for our post manic pixie dream girl era. Behind the acronym, hides a darker reality. FOMO causes people significant distress, as people forget to inhabit their lives and instead live their lives through the filters of what-are-other-people-doing? Clients who have…


Navigating a friendship break-up with compassion and kindness.

The modern-day trope of friendships would have us believe that friendships make our lives whole, that everyone has a significant ride-or-die group of friendships, that friends will always have your back and that friendships are forever. I will not argue with the first — we need a range of close social connections to have a meaningful and rich life. The rest however? Myths.

Some people have solid groups of friends, some have scattered individual pockets. Sometimes friends will have your back, and other times, they will be unable to give you all the support you need. Sometimes friendships are forever…


I was approached by a publisher at one of the big five houses, but had an offer fall through at the publishing meeting

This is important to write about. We often write about our successes and wins, and fair play — we all want to share successes. However, being human is about messy lives, ventures not quite going to plan, failure and rejection. I value authenticity and sharing these warts-and-all moments, not just the carefully curated, sunshine shaded instagram versions of our journeys.

Real lives, not highlight reels.

My story started during the pandemic. After a long hiatus (approximately 15 years worth), I started writing again. I used to write prolifically and always envisaged a career in writing, but a. life happened, and…


How psychology study prepared me for writing and why defining what you want to write about can hold you steady through rejection

As it turns out, my first couple of months of writing have been filled with slow satisfaction, and an unexpected stack of wins, including commencing a popular Psychology Today blog, success in the mainstream Australian print media, being a featured writer on a range of Medium topics, success with large publications, a 100% curation rate and receiving an unexpected payment bonus from Medium. All of this — and I have really just started placing my writing into the public domain two months ago, have a scant handful of followers and a small profile.

I jumped onto Medium in April 2021…


It may be difficult to know where to start when making new friends as an adult. Four simple tips may help with this.

These are the places I have made friends as an adult; university, through former partners, hobby groups, book clubs, family members of friends, and work. The common denominators with all of these?

Proximity, Similarity and Repetition.

Proximity —being close to someone, geographically. This is why we make friends so easily with neighbours or people in the same residential hall at university as us. Proximity makes it easy to access people, which leads to…

Repetition— seeing people over and over again, usually across a range of settings. The mere exposure effect often kicks in (i.e., we start to like things more…


Understanding the psychology of those who lie, con, defraud, or manipulate.

I was 8 when I first encountered someone who lied for no discernible motive. She went to the same school as I did and we spent an hour a day together, as the school bus jolted us home. She was given to telling me somewhat fantastic tales of her life and I became increasingly suspicious of her stories. One day, she told me that her (Indian) grandparents resided in Hiroshima when the nuclear bomb was dropped. “Oh, really?” I said, somewhat incredulously. “Yes, and I lived with them at the time,” she said, fired up by my interest. …


Waiting for motivation to strike is likely to be time spent in vain.

“But I just can’t find the motivation”, is probably one of the most common complaints I hear in my private clinical psychology practice. I have heard this from clients who come in with a severe depressive disorder (where amotivation is a symptom), but also from clients who are struggling with a general lack of get-up-and-go. I have worked with people who want to work harder, study more, exercise more, develop a new hobby or commit to a new business idea, but struggle with building the impetus and momentum they need. They might think about doing things, but find themselves procrastinating…


Identifying, understanding and addressing self-sabotaging behavioural patterns.

In my work as a clinical and forensic psychologist, I have clients who come in to see me with a range of difficulties, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, perfectionism, and anger issues. Some of my clients progress very well in therapy, align themselves neatly with the work we are doing, practice what I suggest between sessions and usually get better very quickly.

Other clients struggle a little more. They may come in wanting to feel better, but often find it hard to practice the techniques that we discuss in session, or make choices that run counter to all of what…


How the love of a very good dog sustained me through the pandemic.

My family have always been Dog People, capitals necessary. My sister and I, especially, have worshipped at the altar of various canine denizens, with the current matriarch (Waffle, a 15.5 year old labrador) ruling the roost with an iron fist and faltering gait. The family WhatsApp group remains abuzz with constant questions about Waffle’s welfare, her sleep, her pain medication, her diet, and the timely purchase of her (munificent) snacks. My parents traipse back and forth between my sister’s house and their own to provide dog-sitting services, as Waffle is now at the cantankerous age where she barks all day…


What is stalking? What makes people stalk? What can you do if you are being stalked?

Simon* was a 40-year-old man. He was referred to our service** to be assessed for stalking related risk. He had been stalking a prominent doctor in his local community, for over 15 years. He first started seeing this doctor at a time when an intimate relationship was deteriorating and he was under significant stress. He was very isolated and had few supports to lean on. When the doctor was kind to him, he started to wonder if she was in love with him. Over time, he developed a fixation on this belief that she was in love with him and…

Dr Ahona Guha

Clinical & Forensic Psychologist, DPsych | Real Psychology, No Woo | Melbourne, Australia | also blogging @ Psychology Today | All views my own.

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