Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Your Guide to Applying Positive Psychotherapy

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Formerly – Lockdown: Character Strengths and Silver Linings

Lockdown: Character Strengths and Silver Linings logo

Get in touch with Chris and Rowan – podcast@chrismackey.com.au

Scroll down to view the latest episodes, or access the individual episode pages by clicking the links below:

Finding Flow within Four Walls

Exercising in Exile

Quelling Quarrels in Quarantine

Navigating the Noise of the News

Speaking of Sport

Expunging Anxiety

Dealing with Depression

Transcending Trauma

Demystifying Dissociation

Addressing Avoidance 

Interpreting Anger

Easing OCD

Undoing the Affliction of Addictions

Overview

Rowan Mackey is joined by his father, clinical psychologist Chris Mackey as they discuss ways of applying character strengths and remaining optimistic during the time of COVID-19.

Episode 1 – Finding Flow within Four Walls

In episode one, Rowan and Chris discuss what the podcast will be about, take a broad look at the character strengths and why they’re particularly useful and look at what opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic may present to us over the coming months.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

The list of character strengths

Identifying signature character strengths article

Click here to do the VIA character strengths survey

Episode 2 – Exercising in Exile

Rowan and Chris take on the topic of exercising under the current stay at home restrictions and social distancing. We look at why it’s particularly important to exercise during this current time, how the character strengths can apply to exercise and also look at exactly how habits are formed to ensure that changes we do make over the coming months are long-lasting.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

The benefits of physical exercise for your mental health article

Self-compassion bolsters our mental health article

Boost your wellbeing with gratitude article

Episode 3 – Quelling Quarrels in Quarantine

This week, Chris and Rowan discuss ways of using positive psychology to manage the added conflict and situations that we’re all likely to face over the coming months. We discuss what conflict is and some of the main conflict styles that people tend to use, ways of using the character strengths to manage conflict with family and friends as we’re all in closer proximity and finally, ways of managing anger when tensions do bubble over.
This Week’s Links

Managing anger and aggression video

The bystander response to conflict article

Episode 4 – Navigating the Noise of the News

This week, Rowan and Chris discuss ways of curating a news diet that’s healthy for our state of mind. We discuss why too much negative news is bad for us, how we can use the character strengths to improve our news diet with different sources, including new media, and why it’s worth taking this opportunity to reflect upon and expand the places where we seek our news.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

The Happy Broadcast

Reddit’s Uplifting News Forum

The Greater Good Science Centre (UC Berkeley)

The Happiness Lab

Episode 5 – Speaking of Sport…

On this episode, Rowan and Chris ask the question, if sport is likely to be one of the first things to return, how can we best take advantage of it? We look at the importance of sport and the relationship between sport, the character strengths and our wellbeing.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Presented Research into Character Strengths and the Western Bulldogs

Black Power Salute

Derek Redmond 1992 Olympics

John Landy Assists Ron Clarke After Fall and Still Wins Mile Race

Episode 6 – Expunging Anxiety

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan look at ways of managing anxiety in our current situation and how we can help those around us if they’re suffering.

In recent years, positive psychology has changed some of the ways we think about anxiety, so we explore ways to look at anxiety more optimistically, including ways of using the character strengths to be more proactive against feeling anxious and offering support to those around us.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Bilateral Stimulation video

How to manage panic attacks 

Dealing with panic article

How to worry less article

Episode 7 – Dealing with Depression

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan look at ways of managing with depression using general psychological techniques as well as how to use strategies from positive psychology to ensure that you’re able to keep yourself out of depression.
We also share some of our personal experiences with depression, as well as what we’ve learnt from coming through those dark episodes.

View the episode page 

This Week’s Links

Why you should never take your life article

Dealing with suicidal thoughts video

Dealing with suicidal thoughts article

Existential depression in young men article

Taking on your inner critic article

The four stages of evolution – a video about depression

More free resources on depression

More free resources on suicidality

Our practice research

If this episode brought up any distressing feelings for you. You can reach out immediately to Lifeline on 13 11 14. Please also consider speaking with close friends or family, as well as your GP.

Episode 8 – Transcending Trauma

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of trauma. We look at some of the more common and complex ways that trauma can present in our behaviours and ways of managing trauma reactions to diffuse their intensity.
We discuss a number of specific therapy techniques for addressing trauma, as well as the link between trauma and a number of personality disorders, including dissociative identity disorder, which used to be known as multiple personality disorder.

As always, we apply an optimistic framework to the topic to hopefully get across the idea that trauma is something that can not only be overcome, but can also provide us with an opportunity to learn and eventually prosper, despite what can often be such negative circumstances.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

How to face a driving phobia using the exposure therapy technique video

Dealing with dissociative symptoms article

Addressing avoidant tendencies article

Common psychological reactions to traumatic events article

Click here for an article entitled “a silver lining” about responding to the trauma of a natural disaster

EMDR or bi-lateral stimulation video

How to deal with suicidal thoughts video

PTSD and how to treat it video

The impact of church-related sexual abuse article

An optimistic treatment model for sexual abuse article

Click here for an article about trauma entitled “turning a bigger problem into a lesser one”

If this episode brought up any distressing feelings for you. You can reach out immediately to Lifeline on 13 11 14. Please also consider speaking with close friends or family, as well as your GP.

Episode 9 – Demystifying Dissociation

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan look at what dissociative disorders are, how they develop, as well as their link to hypnosis.

We also look at ways of treating dissociative symptoms and how dissociative identity disorder developed out of what used to be known as multiple personality disorder.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms handout

Character Strengths Survey explainer article

Click here for the character strengths survey

Episode 10 – Addressing Avoidance

This week, Chris and Rowan look at the topic of avoidance and avoidant personality disorders. Avoidance is a problem that arises when one’s fears or anxieties get in the way of them either doing or not doing something, which impacts on their quality of life.
Those with avoidant personality tendencies can experience repeated periods of depression and anxiety because their avoidance is hampering them from truly processing the root cause of their distress and stopping them from tackling the problem head-on.

In this episode, you’ll learn not only how to identify avoidance in yourself and others, but also some practical tips and strategies for how to overcome avoidant tendencies.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Addressing Avoidant Tendencies handout

Using the Five-Second Rule for Behaviour Change article

Facing Core Fears video

Episode 11 – Interpreting Anger

This week, Chris and Rowan look at the topic of anger. Recognising that there are many situations that it’s ok to be angry, we focus more on ways of controlling your anger and being able to use it as a tool to serve us, rather than get us into trouble.
In these times, this following quote from Maya Angelou is as poignant as ever, however, we must use anger to our advantage and not let it rule our emotions.
“If you’re not angry, you’re either a stone or you’re too sick to be angry. You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger, yes. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. You never stop talking it.”

View the episode page 

This Week’s Links

Managing with Anger handout

Managing Anger and Aggression video

Episode 12 – Easing OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

On this week’s episode, Rowan and Chris discuss the nature of obsessive-compulsive tendencies and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
All of us are unique and have individual differences in personality functioning. Most patterns of personality can have positive and negative aspects. When people have obsessional personality characteristics they may commonly aim to draw on a sense of order, rules or standards to exercise a greater sense of control in various areas of their lives.
In this episode, we explore some of the positive aspects of an obsessive personality, where it can get us into trouble, as well as ways of managing obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Becoming Less Obsessive-Compulsive Handout

The Emotionally Intelligent Brain article – explains Dr Daniel Siegel FACES state theory (external website)

Episode 13 – Undoing the Affliction of Addictions

This week, Chris and Rowan explore the topic of undoing addictions.
Dealing with addictions involves more than just willpower. It also involves having practical strategies which can assist a person to gain a greater return from their efforts in reducing or eliminating addictive behaviour. This episode aims to provide information and outline strategies which can be helpful in dealing with addictive behaviours, as well as explore the source of many addictions and their relationship to other psychological difficulties.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Dealing with Addictions Handout

Strategies for Dealing with Addictions video

‘Shared Courage’ article

The Presenters

Rowan Mackey is a content producer and digital creative. After studying sports media and law at the University of Canberra, he found himself drawn to digital media after attending the first conference for podcasters in the southern hemisphere, We Are Podcast in 2016. He is also the principal of Easygoing Digital, where he has been involved in over 300,000 podcast downloads as a presenter and producer.

He currently produces the official Geelong Cats podcast, To the Final Bell and is a producer of the TV show Destination Happiness airing nationally in Australia on Channel 9 and Internationally with the Discovery Channel. He has also worked with notable organisations such as The Geelong Grammar School and Lyons Construction.

Rowan is the Digital Media Manager at Chris Mackey and Associates.

Chris Mackey is a clinical and counselling psychologist and Fellow of The Australian Psychological Society with 40 years’ psychotherapy experience. The second edition of Chris’s book, The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity: Enhance Your Mental Health with the Power of Coincidence, was released internationally in August 2019.

Chris is also the resident psychologist for TV show Destination Happiness, where he presents the “Happy Mind” segment, involving brief tips based on the science of positive psychology. He also writes a regular opinion column for The Geelong Advertiser and is the resident psychologist on K-Rock radio in the mornings.

Chris was the recipient of the 2019 Australian Allied Health Impact Award for his clinical research and training, media involvement and for authoring a book on positive psychology and synchronicity.

Get in touch with Chris and Rowan – podcast@chrismackey.com.au

Other Resources

List of Character Strengths

Identifying Signature Character Strengths

Helpful Websites in the COVID Era

Positive Responding to Coronavirus