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Hello, I am a marital therapist, communications trainer and author. I have thirty-five years helping couples and individuals make better relationships. I have written twenty-plus self-help books which include the international best-sellers ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ and ‘How can I ever trust you again?’ My books have been translated into twenty languages. I trained with RELATE the UK’s largest counselling charity. Perhaps it has been turning sixty but I have become interested ...
 
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Our parents’ divorce can have so many ramifications, some of which don’t become apparent until well into adulthood. How do we face up to and understand the unprocessed pain of divorce? How do we build more successful relationships of our own? Terry Gaspard specialises in helping clients overcome the legacy of their parents’ breakups in order to bui…
 
Parents like to feel they are independent individuals making their own decisions, but in reality parenting is hugely influenced by our own experiences of childhood. In this episode, Andrew and Philippa talk about how we are “links in a chain", and why it is really important for parents to recognise that and to make sure that their own links are sha…
 
As well as producing weekly episodes of The Meaningful Life, our podcast engineer Michael Dooney is a brand new dad. This week, Michael and his wife Christy talk to Andrew about their life-changing and at times traumatic journey to parenthood. Michael and Christy battled infertility and grieved the loss of several pregnancies. When they finally con…
 
It isn’t hard as a parent to find advice on breastfeeding, your child’s education or managing their behaviour. What’s rarer is insight into how the parenting journey changes us as a person. Yet, becoming a mother is a unique opportunity for self-realisation. In this episode Lisa Marchiano and Andrew take a deep dive into motherhood: how it connects…
 
The relationship between a man and his penis is rarely discussed except as a joke. Men don’t often talk to each other about erection issues, and women are left in the dark. Angus Barge took the plunge and spoke to his cousin about the problems he was having getting an erection at the age of 27. His cousin was also brave enough to break the silence,…
 
When did you last learn to do something totally and utterly new? Tom Vanderbilt, author of Beginners: the Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning, was awestruck by his young daughter’s insatiable need to know how to do almost everything. He was inspired to embark on a year of learning purely for its own sake. Tom had a truly unique year -…
 
Are you living a life you really believe in, or are you filling in time until your “real life” begins? Are you waiting on marriage, a better job, a new exercise regime or a beautiful house to create an authentic life? Humans do need to have goals and plans, but it is also destructive to ignore those inner voices telling us what would bring us indiv…
 
Fenella Hansen brings her own life experiences of grief, loss, mental health and trauma to her counselling work. After losing her mother to cancer, she made a dramatic career change from IT into counselling, and has since worked extensively with survivors of various forms of trauma. Fenella has herself also suffered medical PTSD and family violence…
 
We all think of infidelity as something that happens to someone else. When betrayal enters our own safe universe, it comes as a terrible shock. Many couples confronting infidelity end up re-examining just about everything in their lives: not just their marriage, but their work, their relationships with family and friends, and how they find meaning …
 
Dena Justice’s lifelong interest in mentoring and coaching began at age seven, when she took her first social-emotional training program. At 15, she taught her first personal development course. She has undertaken years of training in conflict management and mediation, leadership, communication, facilitation, and has two Master’s degrees. Despite l…
 
What is it like to step away from individual freedom and enter into a life of submission and domination? This week’s witness is Slave Phil, a writer, blogger and podcaster at Master Slave Lifestyle. From early childhood, Phil was drawn to being controlled and dominated by others. At the age of eighteen, he began exploring the master slave lifestyle…
 
What does gratitude actually mean? It isn’t just about being nice or saying thank you a lot. According to Chester Elton, who has been called “the apostle of appreciation”, gratitude cuts to the heart of who we really are. Gratitude exists at an emotional level and is about who is in our lives, what we find meaningful and how we live. If we make tim…
 
You exist at your own centre; so you are the only one who is in the right place to look and understand your individual being. Richard Lang has devoted his life to exploring and teaching “the headless way”: a unique system to answer the question of what life means and who you really are. Richard met Douglas Harding, author of On Having No Head, as a…
 
How do we find meaning out of a difficult childhood and a troubled mother-daughter relationship? In this episode Nigerian-American writer, mindfulness practitioner and educator Itoro Bassey speaks with Andrew about how to mother the wounded child inside. Itoro now lives in Nigeria (after being born and raised in the USA) and is the founder of the d…
 
2020 wasn’t the easiest year to feel in control of our lives: a lot of us experienced loss, loneliness, and illness. Yet through my podcast, I feel like I learnt a lot about changing your life in a meaningful way. My guests shared wisdom on so many different aspects of life - sex, love, masculinity, gender, disability, companionship, spirituality, …
 
Nathanael Garrett Novosel started his quest to understand the meaning of life at the age of six. He is the author of The Meaning of Life: A Guide To Finding Your Life’s Purpose, which sets out 8 concepts key to finding meaning. In his book and in his teachings Nathanael helps people answer questions like “why are you here?”, “how does life work?” a…
 
Martina Schneider is a psychologist and a teacher of Vipassana meditation. Her work with clients combines a therapeutic and a spiritual approach. In this episode, she talks with Andrew about her own spiritual journey, including intensive study of the Vedanta tradition in India and being ordained as a nun. Martina offers her thoughts on the time and…
 
Joe Horton founded Guild of Dads after losing his own father in 2015. This huge loss launched him on a journey of self-discovery, during which he was able to shape a vision for himself and begin to create a more meaningful life. Joe’s Guild of Dads podcast and growing social movement now help many other dads to reflect on their own lives and pinpoi…
 
In 2017, Rachel Weiss watched a TV programme about the menopause and was inspired to hold a Menopause Café. This has now turned into an international movement of pop-up events where women and the men in their lives meet to drink tea, eat cake and talk menopause. The Menopause Café is modelled on the Death Café movement, founded by Jon Underwood. In…
 
Guardian columnist Tim Dowling has spent thirteen years chronicling his marriage and family life for the Weekend magazine. His self-deprecating humour and determinedly cynical approach have made him hugely popular with readers. Rare is the Saturday Guardian reader who doesn’t flip first to the magazine to see what’s happening with Tim’s pets, banjo…
 
So much of the meaning we find in life comes from reaching out to help others. Charlotte Fielder has been the Head of Volunteering and Fostering at London’s famous Battersea Dogs and Cats Home since 2015. She finds intense meaning in giving animals a second chance and supporting the Battersea volunteers who work for love, not money. Charlotte is he…
 
Why are so many working parents exhausted? Why does it often feel so unfulfilling switching between a demanding job and doing our best as parents? Anita Cleare’s new book, The Work/Parent Switch, explores the challenge of moving between driven, goal-oriented professional mode, and the looser, more mindful state needed to parent. Anita talks with An…
 
Please note - this episode of The Meaningful Life podcast contains references to gender based violence which may be distressing for some listeners In 2000, Susie Kalich survived a violent attack by a stranger in her home in Los Angeles. As part of her recovery, she sought martial arts training to learn self defense basics. She enrolled in Ninpo Tai…
 
Too many men struggle to be happy in their intimate relationships, and fail to find a healthy version of masculinity that works for them. Disconnected males, without a strong sense of inner guidance, can behave destructively and even abusively towards those around them. In the fourth episode of The Meaningful Life With Andrew G. Marshall, Andrew ta…
 
What is life like if you don’t fit into any of mainstream society’s ideas of gender or sexuality? Do any of us really fit those ideas, anyway? In this episode, Finn Ballard talks about life as a transgender man, and his experiences growing up as a trans child in a traditional town in Northern Ireland. Finn talks about his search for an authentic li…
 
Have you ever felt so defeated and frustrated that you want to just throw in the towel and run away? Author Kay Hutchison did exactly that, fleeing her annual holiday to the Cote d’Azur, moving out of her home, and leaving behind her marriage and a well-established career. In seeking to understand what forced this huge rupture in a previously smoot…
 
No-one would deny sex is important to a meaningful life, but what that looks like changes as we age. In this first episode of the new self-help podcast The Meaningful Life with Andrew G. Marshall, international sex therapist and Daily Mail columnist Tracey Cox discusses her new book Great Sex Starts at 50: How to Age-Proof Your Libido. While wild, …
 
So what is the meaningful life? Why do we so easily lose our way and get lost in depression, anxiety, doubt, addictions and obsessions: the swamplands of the soul? One thing I know for sure is that there is not one answer. Each of us has to find out for ourselves what makes our life meaningful. But we can learn from each other, share our experience…
 
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