"Depending on what the issues are, I give people cognitive (mind) and behavioural techniques and exercises.
For example, I might ask someone to keep a diary and write down their thoughts and how they feel.
It's the run-up to Christmas, and seemingly everywhere you look there are couples kissing under mistletoe or strolling along hand-in-hand, bundled up in scarves and gloves like the living embodiment of a Disney happy ending. There are 13million singletons in the UK, and recent research by online dating service Parship shows that 5.6million of them haven't been on a date for the past six months or had a relationship in more than a year.Scroll down for more For those who are dating, the prospects are not much brighter."When working towards your goals, the trick is to break things down into manageable tasks."If you are introverted you could start with something easy such as saying good morning to your colleagues, and gradually moving on to harder exercises.However, according to Dr Lukats, what we're seeing more of now is people who are stuck in a cycle of going on endless dates but never getting anywhere further. "After an initial in-depth consultation, we work out a few goals," says Dr Lukats.
"I also get all my clients to do a psychometric test which is devised to help establish certain basic traits."There may be lots of different reasons why someone has low self-esteem. "They get too intimate, or talk about inappropriate things too quickly - such as how much they want to get married or have children, or why their ex left them. "Lack of opportunity also affects people equally, so we look at that in more detail. "I see a lot of men who feel anxious about talking to women," says Dr Lukats.It could be something that goes back to their childhood. "They might be fine with female friends, they just find it difficult to start conversations with women they don't know.According to psychiatrist and relationship expert, Dr Victoria Lukats, it's not quite as bleak as that.She believes many people suffer from a build up of "dating toxins" - essentially, attitudes and behaviours that hold them back and stop them forming successful relationships.Forget speed dating and boring your friends rigid moaning about your romantic woes.