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How Do? A new advice column for Now Then

Starting in 2022, local psychotherapist Mat Pronger will look at one conundrum from a Now Then reader each month. Read on and get in touch.

Sheffield city centre from Park Grange Road

Life is full of weird challenges and problems, and sometimes we just don’t know who to ask or where to start.

Some of us are lucky enough to have that person in our lives who always gives the best advice and says the thing that gives us the confidence to get stuck in. Some don’t. Maybe your problem is too complicated or embarrassing. Sometimes we have friends that just give crap advice.

How Do? is a new advice column for Now Then. You’ve seen these things before - people send in their problems and once a month a 'solution' is published. For me, it’s one of the bits of a paper or magazine I love to jump to. What's been asked? How have they responded?

I’m a psychotherapist. It’s my job to help people work through different issues every day. And yet I still get drawn into the tangled columns of dilemmas and carefully worded solutions, sometimes nodding along but usually screaming inside, thinking of all the ways I would answer differently.

So I’m going to stop being an armchair agony uncle. If you have a problem or dilemma that you want advice on, if you have a question and you don’t know where to turn, you can get in touch. Send us an email to nowthenhowdo@gmail.com.

Once a month, I’ll reach into the virtual postbag, pull out a conundrum and do my best to respond. Maybe there’s something going on in your relationship you’re not sure about or a question you’ve never felt confident to ask. Perhaps you’re struggling with a family member or you’re just not yourself after months of isolating Covid lockdowns. Whatever your worry, get in touch. If I pull your dilemma out of the postbag, I’ll do my best to answer sensitively and respectfully - and of course I’ll keep you anonymous.

I don’t have the answer to everything. If I’m stumped, I’ll do my best to track down an expert to help me out. The saying goes that 'it takes a village to raise a child.' I'm confident that the giant village that is Sheffield has more than enough expertise and experience to help you through this.

I’m looking forward to reading all your emails – type away!

Learn more

Mat Pronger is a psychotherapist in private practice, based in Sheffield.

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