Agony aunts don’t have an easy job — they need to be sympathetic yet critical, practical and cautious. So who has been voted the ultimate celebrity agony aunt? That’s right, Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones. One in five* people said they would go to her for relationship advice, while Will Smith was voted the ultimate agony uncle.
I’m assuming that these two are front-runners because they are in solid relationships. Zeta-Jones has been married to Michael Douglas for 10 years and they have two children together, while Smith has been married to Jada Pinkett for 13 years, and they also have two kids. But does this really qualify them to give relationship advice?
Psychologies’ agony aunt Lucy Beresford says it’s hard to tell. ‘It could be that their marriages are strong because they have worked at things,’ she says. ‘Or maybe because they have had the perfect marriage, they haven’t been tested. We don’t what goes on behind closed doors.’
At Psychologies we are proud to have Beresford as our agony aunt. She is a qualified psychotherapist, is insightful, direct and understanding, often pointing out underlying issues in reader dilemmas that laid previously unnoticed.
She believes the key to being a good agony aunt it taking the time to listen. ‘You’re not just listening to what’s being said, but what’s going on underneath,’ she says. ‘When I look at a letter I look at the tone, not just the words. It’s about active listening.’
You can read Lucy Beresford’s advice here.
*Love and lies survey commissioned by Divorce Online.