Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Your Guide to Applying Positive Psychotherapy

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

Follow Psych Spiels and Silver Linings on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or continue to access the episode pages and episode players below.


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

Overcoming Pain with Mark Grant

The ABC of CBT

The Sustenance of Social Support

Psych Spiels Celebrates its 50

A Freer Future with Physics

Resilient Grieving with Dr Lucy Hone

Gaining from the Gunas

Strengthening Self-Compassion

Supporting a Sense of Agency

Demystifying DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks

Lightening the Load

The Mystery of the Mind – Beyond Conventional Healing

Employing the Power of Placebo

The Sustenance of Spiritual Experience

Separating the Psycho-spiritual from Psychosis

Discerning Our Stress Signature

Extending Our Exercise

The Hopefulness of the Hero’s Journey

The Pitfalls of Perfectionism

The Helpfulness of Hope

Gaining Gratification Through Goals

A Recipe of Resources

The Snakiness of Psychopaths

The Nastiness of Narcissism

Supporting Someone to Seek Help

Seeking a Suitable Psychologist

Positive Psychology, Science & Synchronicity

Synchronicity and Psychology

Past, Present and Future – Talking about Time

More than Mindfulness

Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems

Psych Spiels Retrospective – The Bigger Themes

Not Just Genes

Fighting the Flat Feeling

Weaning Off Worry

Facing Phobias

Mobilising Motivation

Banishing Burnout

Undoing the Affliction of Addictions

Easing OCD

Interpreting Anger

Addressing Avoidance 

Demystifying Dissociation

Transcending Trauma

Dealing with Depression

Expunging Anxiety

Speaking of Sport

Navigating the Noise of the News

Quelling Quarrels in Quarantine

Exercising in Exile

Finding Flow within Four Walls

Episode 53 – Overcoming Pain with Mark Grant

Mark Grant is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience in the treatment of stress, trauma, and pain. Mark’s main interest and experience is in the role of negative emotion (resulting from stress) as a cause and an effect of health problems.
In addition to his clinical work, Mark has studied and written about the problem of stress and pain, and his ideas have also been cited in the New York Times. Mark is the author of the book “Change Your Brain Change Your Pain” and has published several articles on the subject, including in the Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology.
We are incredibly lucky to have Mark share his expertise on the podcast to discuss how to manage and overcome pain, the relationship between pain to trauma, the role of medication in pain relief and much more.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Mark’s website – Overcoming Pain

Anxiety Release App 

View a video demonstration of Mark’s Anxiety Release App being used

Mark’s book – Change Your Brain, Change Your Pain

Mark’s Facebook Page

Mark’s Sleep Restore App

Mark’s Overcoming Pain App

Episode 52 – The ABC of CBT

After the passing of Aaron (Tim) Beck, a pioneer in the field of psychology, we decided to examine his legacy and explore some of the mechanics of cognitive behavioural therapy.
We discuss what CBT is, the story behind its development and how we can all benefit from recognising Beck’s work and influence.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

New York Times Article about Aaron (Tim) Beck

Beck Institute Handout – Coping with Depression (contains an explanation of the thought errors mentioned in the podcast)

Short interview with Beck – what is CBT?

Facing Core Fears – a short video of a technique from CBT

The Importance of Acceptance in Managing Anxiety and Depression – a short video that includes some stoic philosophy adopted by CBT

Episode 51 – The Sustenance of Social Support

Chris and Rowan discuss the importance of our social connections for our physical and mental health. We talk about some of the benefits that can come from social support and also some of the problems that can arise from loneliness and social isolation.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links 

Regaining Our Social Connections – An article about the importance of social connections to our mental health as we come out of lockdown.

Breaking Point – An article examining the work of Hugh Mackay, looking at the relationship between mental health difficulties and a breakdown in social connection.

A Silver Lining – An article about the importance of people receiving social support after natural disasters to assist their mental health as a key part of their recovery.

Podcast with Hugh Mackay “What Might a Kindness Revolution Look Like?” – ABC Conversations

The Importance of Building Your Tribe – video

Episode 50 – Psych Spiels Celebrates its 50 – A look back at the key themes

In celebration of 50 episodes of the podcast, Chris and Rowan look back at some of their favourite themes and topics that have come up on the podcast so far. Plus, we speak a bit about how we’ve best utilised the podcast material and how it’s come up after we’ve recorded the episodes.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links 

Tyson Fury Interview About Mental Health and His Recovery (not a boxing interview)

Episode 49 – A Freer Future with Physics

Chris and Rowan discuss a number of concepts from quantum physics and how they relate to psychology and our mental health.
What quantum physics teaches us is that the world is not black and white and there are some spooky notions that present themselves in the quantum world. We discuss what this means for our ability to choose our own circumstances, even if we seem stuck in a situation.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links 

Free Your Mind – article about Lynne McTaggart and the Power of 8

Synchronicity, Science and Spirituality – article

Supra Rational Thinking Worth Thought – article

Synchronicity, the Lost Soul of Psychology and Psychiatry – article

Health Services Should Be More Holistic – article

Episode 48 – Resilient Grieving with Dr Lucy Hone

Chris and Rowan are joined by grief and resilience expert Dr Lucy Hone. Lucy is an author, researcher, Co-director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience and presenter of one of the best Ted Talks on the internet.
Lucy’s best-selling book, Resilient Grieving, is seen as one of the pre-eminent books on grief and we are incredibly lucky to be joined by her today.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links 

Lucy’s Ted Talk – 3 Secrets of Resilient People

Lucy’s Interview with Judy Moscowitz – How positive emotions help us cope in life’s most stressful times

Lucy’s book – Resilient Grieving

The VIA character strengths survey

Lucy’s online courses

New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience – Lucy’s Organisation

Episode 47 – Gaining from the Gunas

Chris and Rowan discuss a topic from Hindu philosophy, the three Gunas. We discuss the three Gunas of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva in the context of benefitting our mental health. We have found these ideas to be a good way of explaining many of the concepts that relate to Western Psychology.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links 

What are the three Gunas? – Explainer video

More detailed lesson on the three Gunas 

Episode 46 – Strengthening Self-Compassion

Chris and Rowan talk about an important topic, self-compassion. We discuss some reasons why people may not be particularly self-compassionate and then talk about some strategies for boosting your own self-compassion and restoring more inner balance.

View the episode page

Episode 45 – Supporting a Sense of Agency

Chris and Rowan discuss the idea of encouraging personal agency in a mental health context. How can we gain more personal agency in order to achieve heightened wellbeing? This podcast episode was motivated by a presentation from Martin Seligman, a pioneer in positive psychology.
We talk about ideas that have been explored for thousands of years, right through to the Centre Court at the most recent Wimbledon final.

View the episode page

Episode 44 – Demystifying DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Chris and Rowan discuss dissociative identity disorder, which used to be known as multiple personality disorder. We dispel some of the myths around DID and talk about ways of treating such a complex psychological condition.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links 

Video from 1993 – Experiencing Dissociative Identity Disorder – Part 1

Video from 1993 – Experiencing Dissociative Identity Disorder – Part 2

Handwriting examples that show different styles for different parts

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks (clinical handout)

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms (clinical handout)

Demystifying Dissociation (podcast)

Transcending Trauma (podcast)

Addressing Avoidance (podcast)

Episode 43 – Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation

Chris and Rowan discuss some strategies for dealing with depersonalisation, derealisation, and other dissociative disorders. We discuss a number of cases of people developing dissociation and share some of their tips for managing their experiences.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks (clinical handout)

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms (clinical handout)

Demystifying Dissociation (podcast)

Transcending Trauma (podcast)

Addressing Avoidance (podcast)

Not Just Genes – A Recipe for Mental Health (podcast)

The Hopefulness of the Hero’s Journey (podcast)

Episode 42 – Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks

We discuss the symptoms of depersonalisation and derealisation that can occur with panic attacks. These symptoms are often under-recognised as being associated with panic and can lead people to feel as if they are losing their mind.
In this episode, we discuss why these symptoms are not inherently dangerous as well as some strategies for managing symptoms of depersonalisation and derealisation associated with panic.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks (clinical handout)

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms (clinical handout)

Demystifying Dissociation (podcast)

How to Manage Panic Attacks (video)

Dealing with Panic (clinical handout)

Expunging Anxiety (podcast)

Episode 41 – Lightening the Load

As Melbourne has recently been in a fourth lockdown of the pandemic, we thought we’d cover some ways of coping through times of prolonged stress.
We discuss the effects of prolonged stress, as well as some ways that you can assist with managing those effects.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Episode 40 – The Mystery of the Mind – Beyond Conventional Healing

Chris and Rowan build on the topic of placebo and talk about some of the stories related to the healing power of the mind.
There are many stories of people miraculously healing themselves such as when they’ve been told they will never walk again. In this episode, we explore some of why that is, and also how we can harness these seemingly mystical capacities for ourselves.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Employing the Power of Placebo (episode 39 of Psych Spiels)

Free Your Mind – Article

Enlighten Up – Article

Drawing on Synchronicity as a Heuristic in the Therapy Setting: A Potential Positive Psychology intervention – Conference Poster

Janine Shepherd – A Broken Body is Not a Broken Person TED Talk

Video about dogs who know when there owners are about to come home

Rupert Sheldrake – TED Talk

Rupert Sheldrake in Conversation with Bruce Lipton

Episode 39 – Employing the Power of the Placebo

Chris and Rowan discuss the placebo effect and how we can best use it to benefit our mental health. We also look at what the nocebo effect is and what the implications are for traditional treatments for mental health.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Health services should be more holistic – blog post

Building a Better Brain – blog post

Power of positive psychology pays off – article

Optimism needed for mental health – blog post

Episode 38 – The Sustenance of Spiritual Experience

We discuss the psychological benefits of having spiritual beliefs. We discuss some of the research that has been done into the link between wellbeing and spiritual beliefs. This includes the work of Ken Pargament and others, whose research suggests that spiritual beliefs shouldn’t be dismissed or minimised, particularly when they’re providing clear benefits for mental health.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

The Many Health Benefits of Spirituality (article)

The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Spirituality (video)

Synchronistic Experience and Spiritual Crises (article)

Previous podcast episode – Separating the Psycho-spiritual from Psychosis

Positive Psychology, Science and Synchronicity (podcast)

Synchronicity and Psychology (podcast)

A Healing Voice (article)

Episode 37 – Separating the Psycho-spiritual from Psychosis

We speak about one of Chris’s favourite topics, facing a spiritual crisis. In this episode, we discuss what a spiritual crisis is, and how other mystical experiences and trans-personal phenomena can be of immense benefit to our mental health. We also look at the difference between psychosis and satori, an irregular state of consciousness recognised by nearly all cultures across time.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Articles

Dealing with a Spirituality Crisis – Newspaper Article

That’s the Spirit – Newspaper Article

A Healing Voice

Synchronicity, Soul and Mental Health

Supra-rational Thinking Worth Thought – Newspaper Article

Synchronicity, The Lost Soul of Psychology and Psychiatry

Synchronicity, Science and Spirituality

Podcasts

Synchronicity and Psychology – Psych Spiels

Positive Psychology, Science and Synchronicity – Psych Spiels

Chris’s interview with Dr Bernard Beitman on his Connecting with Coincidence Podcast

Chris’s Book

The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity: Enhance Your Mental Health with the Power of Coincidence

The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity: Enhance Your Mental Health with the Power of Coincidence – Audible (Read by Chris)

Click for more info

Videos

The Physical and Mental Benefits of Spirituality

How to Use Synchronicity to Learn from Depression

Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion, TED Talk

Episode 36 – Discerning Our Stress Signature

Understanding our own individual response to stressful situations is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. In this episode, Chris and Rowan discuss the benefits of being able to recognise when your stress is building up and how you can find your own personal recipe for alleviating stress.

This Week’s Links

Dealing with Burnout – Clinical Handout

How to Worry Less – Clinical Handout

Stress Tips video

How to Avoid Burnout video

Banishing Burnout podcast episode

Expunging Anxiety podcast episode

Anxiety Release Therapy Technique Demonstration

Positive Case – an article about mental health vs mental illness

Episode 35 – Extending Our Exercise

As with physical health, exercise is one of the best interventions that we have available for mental health. In this episode, Chris and Rowan discuss some of the benefits of exercise to our mental health and cognitive function as well as some ways of ensuring that you’re able to follow through with an exercise routine.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Physical Exercise as a Mental Health Intervention

Episode 2 of Psych Spiels – Exercising in Exile

A Recipe for Mental Health

Building a Better Brain

Self-Compassion Bolsters Our Mental Health

How to Find and Use Your Character Strengths

Episode 34 – The Helpfulness of the Hero’s Journey

In what is one of both Chris and Rowan’s favourite topics, we discuss the hero’s journey and its relevance in psychological therapy.
We go through some of the different stages of the hero’s journey and discuss how we can all relate to them in different ways.
This episode is particularly relevant after the recent Royal Commission into Mental Health Services in Victoria and in this episode, we discuss an optimistic attitude to mental illness that addresses some of the Report’s findings.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Our Practice’s Research Emphasising the Themes in Today’s Episode

Positive Force – An article about optimism and mental health services

Optimism Needed for Mental Health – Article

What’s a Mid-Life Crisis and What’s So Good About it? – Article

Help and Support Can Help Lift the Fog of the Black Dog – Article

Health Services Should be More Holistic – Article

Pain can Be Effective Against Trauma – Article 

Positive Vibes – An article about overcoming the medical model for mental illness

Positive Power – An article about the importance of optimistic messages

The Call May be Distant but it Will Come – An article about finding and pursuing your calling

Rowan’s Individuate Podcast

Episode 33 – The Pitfalls of Perfectionism

Perfectionism, or rigid expectations, is often linked with depression. Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of perfectionism as well as some strategies for managing perfectionistic tendencies.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

When Passion Becomes an Obsession

Passion is One Thing, Obsession Another

Character Strengths Survey

Rowan’s new podcast – Individuate

Episode 32 – The Helpfulness of Hope

How can you boost hope? What is the relevance of hope? How can you tell if someone has lost hope? This week, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of hope, both from the angle of restoring hope, but also the positive side of hope as a character strength.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Identifying Signature Character Strengths Blog

Character Strengths Survey

Rowan’s new podcast – Individuate

Episode 31 – Gaining Gratification Through Goals

In the first podcast for 2021, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of goal setting. Many people will have made new year’s resolutions for 2021 and so we discuss some ways to help set goals that are most authentic to us and also some strategies for helping to fulfil those goals.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Mobilising Motivation

Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems

Finding Flow within Four Walls

Exercising in Exile

Episode 30 – A Recipe of Resources

With waiting times for appointments with psychologists growing all across Australia, Chris and Rowan discuss some of the other options that are available when we cannot get in to see a psychologist or are waiting for an appointment.

View Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Programs

MindSpot – Confidential Services For Australian Adults Struggling With Stress, Anxiety & Depression.

Mood Gym – An interactive self-help program that provides cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

OnTrack – Programs for substance abuse and depression

The BRAVE Program – An interactive, online program for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety.

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

Parent Works – A Free online program for Australian parents and caregivers of children aged 2 to 16.

My Compass – A personalised self-help tool for your mental health

E-Couch – Provides free, self-help modules for depression, general anxiety and social anxiety, as well as for divorce/separation and loss/bereavement.

The Black Dog Institute’s Recommended e-Mental Health Programs

Resources

Our Practice’s Free Resources

Our Practice’s Clinical Handouts

Helpful Links

The Centre For Clinical Interventions

The Black Dog Institute

Beyond Blue

Head to Health

Authentic Happiness (Character Strengths)

E-Mental Health in Practice – Digital Mental Health Guide

E-Mental Health in Practice

Emergency Numbers – 24 Hour Help Lines (for Australia)

Lifeline – 13 11 14 – 24 Hour crisis support

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 – Free counselling for suicide prevention & mental health via telephone, online & video for anyone affected by suicidal thoughts.

Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 – Private and confidential counselling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years.

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732 – The national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling service

MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978 – Telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns, including issues of violence.

Australian Government Department of Social Services Help Lines

Episode 29 – The Snakiness of Psychopaths

Chris and Rowan discuss what it means to be a psychopath and how they most often show up in our everyday life. It’s estimated that as much as 1% of the population are psychopaths, so it seems that they are a lot more common than the most extreme criminal type of psychopath that we most often hear about.
We look at some of the warning signs that someone might be a psychopath, as well as what we can do to best protect ourselves from harm.

View the episode page

Episode 28 – The Nastiness of Narcissism

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of narcissism. Narcissism has come into focus recently with the behaviour of a particular World Leader.
We look at how narcissistic personality tendencies develop and what we can do to manage those who have narcissistic tendencies.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Narcissism in Life and Psychological Practice Handout

Mary Trump Interview

Episode 27 – Supporting Someone to Seek Help

As a follow-up to last week’s episode about finding the right mental health professional, this week Chris and Rowan discuss approaching the subject with a family member or friend who may be in need of some support.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

How to Talk to Your Kids about Suicide

The Orange Door 

The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre

Episode 26 – Seeking a Suitable Psychologist

Chris and Rowan give their tips on finding the best mental health professional for your set of circumstances, as well as some ways that you’re able to make the most of the therapy experience.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Australian Psychological Society’s Find a Psychologist Service

Relationships Australia

Our Practice’s Research, including on the Effectiveness of Medicare’s Better Access Scheme for Psychology

Episode 25 – Positive Psychology, Science and Synchronicity

As a follow-up to last week’s introduction to the topic of synchronicity, Chris and Rowan look deeper into the wellbeing benefits of acknowledging synchronicity. We look at some stories of uncanny coincidences and how they have benefitted those involved, as well as what can be lost by ignoring our intuition. We also look at how synchronicity relates to our modern understanding of science including positive psychology and quantum physics.
In this episode, we explore some of the theory laid out in Chris’s book, The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity: Enhance Your Mental Health with the Power of Coincidence.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Synchronicity Unwrapped Blog

Chris’s Book – The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity: Enhance Your Wellbeing with the Power of Coincidence

Episode 24 – Synchronicity and Psychology

Chris and Rowan discuss synchronicity and how it relates to our wellbeing, the topic of Chris’s book. We share stories of meaningful coincidences and how they’ve helped people to form some sort of deeper understanding or meaning in their lives.

This Week’s Links

Synchronicity Unwrapped Blog

Synchronicity in a Jar – a collation of synchronicity stories

Synchronicity and Wellbeing article

Chris’s speech at the launch of The Positive Psychology of Synchronicity

Chris’s appearance on Channel 9’s Today Show speaking to Richard Wilkins and Sonia Kruger about synchronicity

Episode 23 – Past, Present and Future – Talking about Time

Chris and Rowan explore the second aspect of mindfulness to last week’s podcast on arousal management, which is living in the present moment.
We look at the idea of living in the present both from the aspect of experiencing our immediate surroundings, but also to not overwhelm ourselves by placing too much emphasis on painful memories or worries about the future.

This Week’s Links

Relaxation Tracks Recorded by Chris Mackey

Bilateral Stimulation demonstration video

Anxiety Release App (external link)

Episode 22 – More than Mindfulness

 

Chris and Rowan give some strategies for arousal management. Arousal management is one of the fundamental skills that a psychologist will help someone to bolster as hyperarousal can cause problems related to panic, anger, stress or many other mental health-related challenges.

We also look at what some of the challenges we may face if we don’t implement practices to reduce our arousal in these ways.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

Relaxation Tracks Recorded by Chris Mackey

Bilateral Stimulation demonstration video

Anxiety Release App (external link)

Dealing with Burnout clinical handout

Stress Tips video

List of Helpful Relaxation Apps

Episode 21 – Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems

Chris and Rowan look at the topic of self-compassion in the context of still aiming to achieve our goals and ambitions.
With many unforeseeable events having taken place this year, it can be an opportunity to reassess whether our own recipe for achievement is still working optimally for us.
In this episode, we consider the interplay between our different systems of behaviour, the drive, soothing and threat systems. We discuss how appreciating the interplay between these systems can help us perform at our best, including at times of greater stress.

This Week’s Links

Too Much of a Good Thing, Indeed, Mr Bouris! Article referenced in podcast

Self-Compassion Bolsters our Mental Health – Handout

Anxiety Release App – Bilateral Stimulation Relaxation Technique Demonstration Video

Take on Your Inner Critic – Handout

Episode 20 – Psych Spiels Retrospective – The Bigger Themes

After recording 20 episodes, Chris and Rowan look back at and expand on some of the recurring themes that have come out of the podcast so far.

Episode 19 – Not Just Genes – A Recipe for Mental Health

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan look at the part our genetics play in determining our mental health and how we can best use that knowledge to our advantage. In this episode, we look at some ways of boosting the more positive aspects of our genetic makeup and discuss how we can best manipulate the relationship between nature and nurture to our advantage.

This Week’s Links

Disproven chemical imbalance theory leads to worse depression outcomes article

Episode 18 – Fighting the Flat Feeling

In today’s episode, Chris and Rowan respond to recent restrictions throughout Victoria and ask what we can do on the day’s when we’re feeling flat and just not up to it.
We look to techniques and models from psychology that can help us in the face of our current situation, but can also help us in other times when we might face a setback or a lapse.

This Week’s Links

Avoid the Lapse – Geelong Advertiser article expanding on these themes

Free resources related to health anxiety

Episode 17 – Weaning Off Worry

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of worry. We explore the differences between productive and unproductive worry, find ways of recognising when our worry is unnecessary or excessive and discuss some strategies for distancing ourself from our thoughts.

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

How to Worry Less Handout

Bilateral Stimulation – Anxiety Release therapy demonstration

What is Flow State and How Can it be Accessed? video

Stress Tips video

Addressing Avoidant Tendencies handout

Episode 16 – Facing Phobias

This week, Chris and Rowan discuss how phobias develop and how they are treated.
People can have phobias for a whole range of reasons, but in this episode we look at some of the similarities between different phobias, how to stop them developing after a traumatic event and how to treat them once someone does have a phobia

View the Episode Page

This Week’s Links

How to Tame a Phobia handout

How to Face a Phobia Using Exposure Therapy video

What Drives People to Dress as Creepy Clowns article

Bilateral Stimulation – Anxiety Release therapy demonstration

Episode 15 – Mobilising Motivation

On this week’s episode, Chris and Rowan take on the topic of motivation. We explore what factors compel us to act in certain ways and try to answer the question ‘how can you get yourself to do something when it’s hard to do?’
With many of us facing the prospect of another lockdown, this episode is full of practical strategies to motivate us and get us going to ensure that we complete all the tasks that we set out to during this next period at home.
These tips and strategies are also relevant to those who just want to make a change in a certain area of their life.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Using the Five-Second Rule for Behaviour Change

Mel Robbins’ interview with Libbi Gore on the five-second rule

The questions you should ask yourself if you want to make a change…

Episode 14 – Banishing Burnout

On this week’s episode, Rowan and Chris look for some ways to prevent and treat burnout. Burnout is often thought of as being related to work stress, but in this episode, we explore the idea that burnout is when our demands outstrip our resources. This relates to more than work stress and is particularly relevant to those in caring roles through the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Dealing with Burnout Handout

How to Avoid Burnout Video

Balancing Act – an article about work/life balance

More Burnout Resources

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 Addiction Centre Blog

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 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 

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 9 – Demystifying Dissociation

In 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 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.

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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 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 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.

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This Week’s Links

Bilateral Stimulation video

How to manage panic attacks 

Dealing with panic article

How to worry less article

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.

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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 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.

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This Week’s Links

The Happy Broadcast

Reddit’s Uplifting News Forum

The Greater Good Science Centre (UC Berkeley)

The Happiness Lab

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 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 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

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.

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 500,000 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

Chris Mackey and Associate’s Clinical Handouts

List of Character Strengths

Identifying Signature Character Strengths

Helpful Websites in the COVID Era

Positive Responding to Coronavirus