Are you obsessed with your man’s exes? You could be suffering from Rebecca Syndrome… what it is & how to deal with it

Plus why social media platforms have made retroactive jealousy more likely. Psychotherapist Toby Ingham is the author of new book Retroactive Jealousy, Making Sense Of It. He says retroactive jealousy is a threat to relationships, adding that it can even become a form of obsessive compulsive disorder.

In his view, the key to understanding retroactive jealousy OCD is to realise that it’s not about your partner’s past. It’s about yours. Toby says: “Retroactive jealousy is a symptom of a deeper issue from the past.

The Sun, 5th November 2023, Tanith Carey

Why are women turning serial killers into wistful lovers? Bizarre fan fiction stories about sick murderers, often written by FEMALE authors, may be motivated by a desire to ‘rescue’ monstrous men.

The well-documented stories of dangerous serial killers remain largely uncontested as the world remains horrified by their monstrous crimes.

But for a small online community, the personal stories of such violent criminals is open to interpretation – and in many cases, the inspiration for romantic plotlines.

Toby Ingham, UKCP registered psychotherapist and author of Retroactive Jealousy, has explained why amateur writers are drawn to such dangerous criminals as subjects – and suggested women in particular may be motivated by a desire to ‘rescue’ the monstrous men. 

Toby explained the obsession with violent criminals is not uncommon, as many people are ‘drawn into the darkness and the taboo’.

He said: ‘For an author, the murderer’s mind becomes somewhere we can project all kinds of ideas, fantasies and thoughts onto. 

Jessica Taylor, Mail Online, 12 August 2023

‘Little treat’ culture proves we’ve forgotten how to live simply – without turning everything into content.

Anyone else feel like we’re one TikTok lifestyle trend away from imploding?


Likewise, Toby Ingham, a UKCP registered psychotherapist and author of Retroactive Jealousy, has concerns that our newly warped approach to simple moments won’t fulfil our need for ‘authentic value’ either. Are we really enjoying things if we’re filming them, or only doing them to fit the mode du jour?

“It does put pressure on us to fit in and conform and that might not feel so good,” he says. “It also may play into our wish for approval, so we become attached to behaving in ways that TikTok and its users will approve of, without really noticing if these things actually mean all that much to us.”

Ingham stresses that we should be free to experience things without feeling like we should be trying to fit into a particular aesthetic or trend. “The freer we are to experience the spontaneous pleasures that are part of the every day, the freer we are to enjoy our lives authentically,” he says.

Cosmopolitan – 03 AUGUST 2023

What an Actual Therapist Thinks of Jonah Hill’s ‘Boundaries’ Texts

“Social media doesn’t really have boundaries, does it?”

Rather than leave these questions purely up to the debate of social media, I decided to speak with a professional who is well-versed in both other people’s romantic strife and the world of therapy. Here, psychotherapist Toby Ingham, author of Retroactive Jealousy, Making Sense of Itexplains why Hill, in fact, needed to do a better job of setting boundaries—and that maybe online, we all do, too. 

VICE: From your perspective, are these texts an appropriate example of “boundary-setting” as one might learn it in therapy?

Toby Ingham: 
I think that boundaries are a good thing. Most relationships work better when we do know what the boundaries are, what we’re comfortable with, and what other people are comfortable with. And when we cross those things, then things can become more complicated. And often, people are in therapy because they need to get a better sense of how to have boundaries, so they can stop jumping into relationships with people too quickly or stop doing things they feel they shouldn’t do without more thought. So I think boundaries by themselves are not the bad guy here. 

Vice – July 12, 2023

A Psychotherapist Explains Why You’re So Attracted to Kendall Roy

Grown women are calling him ‘babygirl’ now, and I’m one of them.

By Helen Meriel-Thomas, 12 May 2023

VICE: What do you think is behind the attraction by some women to men who are struggling, emotionally traumatised and a little problematic; like Kendall from Succession?
Toby Ingham:
 It’s the “help me – fix me” quality, alternating with power and possibility. Kendall is helpless, pathetic and needy and some people find this irresistible. At one moment Kendall reaches for the sky, the next he collapses into a pitiful self-destructive mess, compelled by his addictions, reaching for coke, speed, whatever is to hand. He rages, breaks down, smashes up his father’s bathroom then tidies all the mess away like a good little boy. He’s still a child underneath his adult corporate clothes. He acts out being a superhero man – the man his father never helped him become – but really, he’s empty [and] without authentic strength. For some women, this mix is intoxicating – they want to reach out, break through his facade and help him with his struggles. 


Empty nest syndrome? Here are 6 tips on how to reclaim your life – and still be there for the kids

“It’s a shock when children leave home,” says psychotherapist Toby Ingham ( “Whatever stresses and complications have been part of living with your teenagers, when they leave for university, or for new adventures, it can leave you feeling somewhat bereft. You can try and prepare yourself for what’s coming, but the reality will only hit you when it happens.”

Irish Examiner
Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Dr Clare Bailey: Why hugs are good for you

I spoke to psychotherapist Toby Ingham who told me that embracing each other plays an important part in making, repairing and strengthening connections between us. He says, ‘When we are hugged we feel close and intimate, creating a feeling of warmth. There are a lot of people who get very few hugs and miss the feeling of being held.’

Dr Clare Bailey
You Magazine
December 16, 2018

Why sniffing your partner’s used clothing could make you happier

The smell – and clothes – of a loved one could have a powerfully calming effect. So claims a study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which tested 96 women, who were asked to randomly smell one of three scents – a male partner’s, a stranger’s or a neutral scent.

“This sounds like it’s taking the idea of something old and borrowed to an extreme, that might be considered macabre, but perhaps for this woman it’s part of something constructive [a grieving process],” says psychotherapist Toby Ingham. 

Lucy Fry
The Guardian
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Empty nest syndrome? Here are 6 tips on how to reclaim your life – and still be there for the kids

When your child secures a place at college, you want to burst with pride. It’s a great time for bonding, as you prepare them for moving away, living with strangers and looking after themselves. But once they’ve been gone for a couple of weeks, and your brain realises they’ve actually flown the nest and aren’t just on holiday, it can really stir emotions.

Suddenly, you have lots more pockets of time – which can be both a good and bad thing. It’s a time of major change, and that can be hard to get your head around.

Irish Examiner
Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Psychotherapist reveals the seven reasons partners cheat… from changing jobs to Peter Pan syndrome

For some people it can stem from past experiences but for others they could have the oddest excuses such as ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’

IT always ends in tears and it’s never okay, but there are a lot of different reasons for why people decide to be unfaithful.

Toby Ingham is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, member of The Guild of Psychotherapists and The Association of Psychotherapists, and he revealed to Fabulous what the main reasons for cheating are…

23rd August 2018

Love Island: why Alex’s ‘natural beauty’ ideal is problematic

If someone is self-conscious about their appearance or has specific insecurities concerning their skin, then the prevalence of “natural beauty ideals” could induce feelings of worry and stress.

“The idea that the ‘natural look’ is desired or preferable, particularly if someone has insecurities about their appearance, is likely to make them more anxious,” says Toby Ingham, a UKCP registered psychotherapist.

“The more we judge ourselves against some apparent natural look, the worse we may feel about ourselves.

“If you get too attached to an idea that your self-esteem depends on meeting someone else’s aesthetic taste it is easy to feel like a failure.”

Sabrina Barr
The Independent
24 July 2018

Body language experts reveal hidden ‘tension’

Psychologist Toby Ingham tells FEMAIL: ‘The individual pictures suggest that Victoria is holding on, and David is looking away and leaning away from her.

‘David’s body language appears to suggest tension. He looks tight across his shoulders as though he is withdrawing into himself and away from Victoria.

‘Victoria is embracing him, looking up into his face. She appears to be trying to get his attention. His attention appears to be elsewhere.’

Toby adds: ‘There is a sense of confusion, hurt and conflict in Victoria’s look. But when we watch the images as a moving sequence the story looks rather different. 

‘When we see the video as a moving film we get a better sense of the context of the situation. Instead of a set of individual pictures about a marriage in crisis, the film appears to show that the couple are enjoying and absorbed in the day’s events and being open about their affection for each other.’ 

Toby Ingham is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, member of The Guild of Psychotherapists and The Association of Psychotherapists

Unity Blott
Mail Online
5 July 2018

How to cope if your family is grieving on Father’s Day

Celebrating Father’s Day can be a difficult time for those who are grieving their loved ones but we have some top advice for the bereaved.

June 17th will be a tricky day for those who are missing their dad on Father’s Day but there are ways to help make the day just that little bit easier.

We spoke to psychotherapist and counsellor, Toby Ingham, about what parents can do to help support their children during a time of grief.

Heart Radio London
15 June 2018

Meghan Markle gushes about her husband Prince Harry

Psychotherapist Toby Ingham added that when they were sitting together at the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge today, they seem to be very much at ease with each other.

“The body language of the Queen and Meghan is warm, friendly, they look to be enjoying the time they are spending together,” he said.

“There is formality to the occasion as they step from the train, but the overall tone is relaxed and warm.

“When sitting together they move in towards each other and enjoy a shared joke. The impression of spontaneity and warmth.”

Emma Costello
15 June 2018

The Worst Thing To Do With Anger Is Bottle It Up, So Here’s How To Flip Your Anger Positive

RSNG’s emotions expert, Toby Ingham, says that locking a lid on your anger is the wrong approach – here he reveals the ways you can engage with it, and funnel it into positive energy instead.

Toby Ingham & Matt Ray
The Rising Man
18 April 2018

Can you regulate psychotherapy?

The Government wants to regulate how psychotherapists do their job. Professionals fear it will make their work impossible.

Andrew Billen
The Times
15 July 2008