The 1% Podcast

Trish Murphy

  • 01

    Trish Murphy

    How to Make the Most of Your Relationships, Personally and Professionally Lincoln Recruitment Specialists

My guest today is Trish Murphy.


Trish is a qualified and accredited psychotherapist, trainer, and offers counselling and therapy in couples counselling, sexual intimacy and individual psychotherapy.


Trish has appeared as a commentator on Prime Time, The Afternoon Show, Frontline, Live at 3, and teenage programmes on RTE. She is also a regular contributor to the print media in national newspapers, including a weekly column in The Irish Times. She is also the author of two books ‘#Love: 21st Century Relationships’ and ‘The Challenge of Retirement’. 


Join our conversation as we explore the role of psychotherapy, relationships during lockdown, the role of sexual intimacy, approaching retirement, and relationships for teenagers.






Show Summary


2:08 How lockdown 2.0 is affecting Trish’s work schedule and life generally

  • The 18 – 25 seem to be the most affected age group right now
  • Interesting work with couples


3:10 Her route into psychotherapy

  • Former probation officer
  • Seeking more long-term impact with people who wanted to change


4:26 The role or purpose of a psychotherapist today

  • Women more likely to have therapy than men
  • Having a safe place to “download”


6:21 The role of routine in psychotherapy

  • Helpful to have a contact
  • Learning to create your own tools and resources


8:58 Common problems with communication

  • Issues with communication stems from fear
  • Learning to ‘put up a front’


10:58 The power of words

  • Externalisation: it’s not you
  • Renaming nightmares


12:37 What are the main issues couples tend to present at counselling?

  • Setting high expectations from your partner
  • Loss of romance and sexual connection
  • Using unhelpful language like ‘giving’ or ‘taking’
  • Protecting each other by not bringing up topics


15:23 How  couples and families can cope and give each other space when they’re in lockdown

  • Expressing anxiety by seeking comfort and reassurance, or by needing to be on their own
  • Understand how people express their anxiety
  • “Don’t judge your relationship on this time”


18:13 About her new book ‘#Love: 21st Century Relationships’

  • The reasons behind breakups
  • Practical advice for all people
  • Writing about sex and porn in an ordinary way


20:00 Why we need to be our whole ourselves before we enter a healthy relationship 

  • Your partner isn’t responsible for fixing you
  • Long-term relationships stretch people
  • Making a decision and sticking to it


22:18 Life-lessons from failed relationships

  • “It takes a healthy person to want to be in a relationship”
  • Willingness to take risks
  • Instead of blaming yourself, learn from the experience
  • “We need friendships, we need relationships”


24:18 Having good judgement in assessing a potential partner

  • Listening to reliable people around you
  • Embody self-awareness
  • Listening to your excuses 


25:47 We change ourselves, not our partner

  • Making it possible for other people to help out


27:11 Acting confident vs being confident

  • We all start self-confident as babies
  • Confidence gets blocked over time
  • Find the blocks and let go
  • Fear of being found out
  • Overcome one small fear a day, with communication


30:00 How confronting our small fears helps us overcome our biggest fears

  • We get too frozen when it’s too big
  • Through practice you get better at overcoming fears
  • Fear governs your conversations so much


32:41 How children choose friendships

  • Kindness equation
  • Things need to be fair
  • Small things over big gestures


35:52 Advice for online daters during a pandemic

  • Chance for more conversations
  • ‘Meeting Your Match’ by Daisy Buchanan
  • Age is no limit


38:34 Having a long-distance relationship

  • Common to fight when finally meeting each other
  • Maintain the regular connection
  • “Fighting is a form of intimacy”
  • Building up expectations


41:52 Using the pandemic as an opportunity

  • Reduced external pressures


43:10 Healthy couple habits

  • Simple gestures like welcoming them home and having hugs


46:04 Why we seek long-term, stable relationships

  • Studies show people live longer and have higher levels of happiness if they’re in long-term a relationship
  • “It takes evolved people to stay and be successful in a relationship”
  • It’s developmental
  • In the UK, up to 40% of people live alone
  • Living alone for too long can be detrimental


48:06 Choosing to be single

  • People can be lonely in relationships, and love being on their own


50:05 Why people stay in abusive relationships

  • “The person who’s being abusive, that’s not the whole of them”
  • Responding to the abuser’s vulnerability
  • Getting stuck in patterns
  • The false belief that you can change them; they have to do it themselves
  • You’re at your most vulnerable when you’re about to leave


52:57 Dealing with turmoil and heartbreak

  • It’s grief and loss
  • “It’s takes much longer than you think”
  • Healing comes from a small, trusting group around you


54:32 Loss of physical love in happy long-term relationships

  • It needs to be addressed
  • Sex and intimacy can stop at a number of times
  • Often point of total commitment that it stops, such as marriage
  • It comes from habit
  • ‘I love you, but I’m not in love with you’
  • False fear of talking about it kills the passion
  • It takes homework and commitment
  • Can lead to affairs


57:09 Reasons why people cheat and have affairs

  • To make their partner ‘fight for’ them
  • Mid-life crisis
  • It can lead to destructive blame-games


59:25 When should relationship education, including sex education, start? And for a parent what is the best approach?

  • We’re afraid for our children
  • “The best thing you can do for your child is to have reasonable relationship skills”
  • Sex education needs to be taught young
  • Young people want to learn how to get into a relationship
  • Create possibilities for discussion, not teach it


1:02:29 School’s role in teaching students practical habits to safeguard their mental health and well-being

  • Teenagers are very resilient
  • Increase in depression and anxiety in this age group
  • The government’s framework for mental health and suicide prevention


1:05:25 Does a lack of social life stunt a teenager’s growth into adulthood?

  • Danger of normalising being in your room the whole day
  • Increase in social anxiety
  • Lots of work will need to be done


1:09:02 Advice to parents for their kids during lockdown

  • Listen, not talk
  • “You can’t fix everything”
  • Teenagers retreat when they’re at home
  • Be more tolerant


1:11:37 “Psychological flexibility” instead of “resilience”

  • Words can be great to express ourselves, but they can be limiting
  • “Resilience” can be binary


1:12:51 The importance of attitude

  • It’s hard to change our habits, but it’s easy to change our attitude
  • ‘The Monday morning’ attitude
  • Attitude influences everything that we do
  • It’s a choice


1:14:59 Key takeaways from Trish’s first book ‘The Challenge of Retirement’

  • Retirement opens up doors
  • “You have to practise now what you want to be good at”
  • What’s your identity for when you’re retired?
  • Interviewing her retired parents about their sex life
  • You are more than your job


1:18:33 The impact on society as people are living longer and working longer

  • 65 – 75 year olds rate themselves as the happiest across the world


1:19:40 Reinventing yourself at retirement

  • Retirement is rarely discussed
  • Women traditionally go through more identity changes than men
  • Making your life meaningful


1:21:42 The role of a growth mindset during retirement

  • It’s not for everyone
  • Self-awareness and reflection


1:23:14 Representing and promoting mental health awareness and psychotherapy in the Irish media

  • Radio is the most intimate way
  • The need to have conversations
  • It makes a difference to people


Links and resources mentioned in this episode: