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And it's goodbye from Wendy; ON THE COUCH WITH WENDY ALLEN.

SHE'S written 850 columns over more than 18 years for the ECHO, but now our resident agony aunt Wendy Allen is about to set down her pen.

"It's been great fun and I've really enjoyed it but I feel the time is right to take up other challenges, " explains Wendy, 63, who is a mum of two and grandmother of four.

A former assistant chief probation officer she has also worked for the national Marriage Guidance Council and is a family and marital therapist.

She says she feels she was destined for a career in trying to help bring people together.

"My parent's marriage was very dynamic. They loved each other but found it difficult to live together and wouldn't speak for weeks. I was always trying to get them to talk, even as a child, " she remembers.

She married at 18 but was widowed some years ago.

"And that's given me insight into all sorts of difficulties and pressures that women face on their own, " she explains.

Despite changes in society Wendy reckons relationship problems have remained the same over the years.

"I find it's not peoples' differences that cause difficulties, but their similarities.

"I think the problems couples face today have been the same for the past 2,000 years."

Now she is looking forward to continuing to run her highly successful restaurant business in Lancaster although she is working on a number of other writing projects, including a book about her experiences as an agony aunt.

"I'm a firm believer that you know when the time is right to move on and that time has come, " she adds.

Our brand new agony aunt Fiona Caine starts next week.

Fiona is married with two sons and two cats. She is a trained counsellor and has been an agony aunt for more than 20 years.

She specialises in family planning as well as sexual and marital problems.

She also works in the voluntary sector with charities for the disabled and health charities.

She says: "I have always felt it is an agony's aunt's role to act as a sign-post - to try to point people in a direction that might enable them to find the help the needed."

Read Fiona Caine for the best allround advice for all your problems.

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LEAVING: Agony aunt Wendy Allen
COPYRIGHT 2001 MGN Ltd.
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2001
Words:387
Previous Article:Our families think age gap is too big; ON THE COUCH WITH WENDY ALLEN.
Next Article:MADE-UP TO LAST?; Dawn Collinson asks twins to test expensive and budget cosmetics.


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