'My mother has secret children from a first marriage'

ACP Media and Comms Lead Alison Roy gave the last media interview of 2015 offering her expert advice to a real life scenario published in the Guardian's Problem Solved column.

In it a reader asks how to tackle the sensitive subject of contacting her long lost half siblings - the reader's mother had left her first family comprising three young children to be with the reader's father - but she was unsure how to approach the subject of these children with her mother. "I have never felt any real desire to meet them, however neither have I any desire to have to contact them for the first time when mum has died or is very ill. She is in her 70s, and although in good health now, this could soon change," she says.

Alison advises the reader to work out what she wants from the situation: too often, people go into complicated family situations without analysing what it is they really want to achieve. Once this first step has been done, Alison recommends treading carefully: "Closing down can be a strong defence against emotional pain. Tearing down those defences is not going to go down well. It is about beginning a conversation that you can continue."

Read the article in full here

Child psychotherapist Eve Ashely was also interviewed by the Guardian for its Problem Solved column in November. Read the article: 'My mother wants my sister to upstage me at my wedding' here