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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.