Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Your Guide to Applying Positive Psychotherapy

a website banner displaying a mug of tea and a set of headphones on a bed with the caption click this button for starter packs, Psych Spiels episodes organised by topic

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:

123. Socrates to Stoicism – Modern Meaning from Ancient Greece

122. Stoicism: The Seeds of Psychological Therapy

121. Snippets About Stoicism and Psychology

120. Christmas – A Season of Suffering for Some

119. Bolstering Wellbeing – Three Tips from Top Psychologists

118. Learning How to Sting

117. Temporary to Transformative – Types of Change

116. Creative Approaches to Mental Health Support

115. Your Active Approach to Mental Health

114. Becoming Unstuck – Change it,Accept it, or Leave

113. Demystifying Adult ADHD with Dr Ozgur Yalcin

112. Undoing Resentment with Gratitude

111. Treating PTSD with EMDR

110. Addressing Trauma Memories with Exposure Therapy

109. Navigating Neurodivergence with Bianca Tassone

108. Strengthening Our Resilience to Stress and Strain

107. Cultivating Positive Networks with Dr Juliet Trail

106. Contrasting Character Strengths with Schema

105. Curbing Unrelenting Standards

104. Expressing Ourselves Freely: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

103. Developing Your Self & Your Self-Control: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

102. Feeling Disconnected & Rejected: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

101. Supporting Change with Chair Work

100. The Significance of Taking the Next Step

99. Belief in Ghosts – Is it Irrational?

98. Benefits of Sharing Sacred Stories

97. The Satisfaction of Spectator Sport

96. Monitoring and Measuring To Promote Positive Change

95. Heeding the Need to Ask For Help

94. Promoting Synchronicity in Ten Steps

93. Soaring with Synchronicity – feat. Lisa Buksbaum

92. Relationships: Typical Traps to Avoid

91. Enriching Our Relationships

90. Enhancing Mental Health In Groups

89. Applying Positive Psychology on the Big Screen

88. Practical Progress in Personality Change

87. Some Basics of Schema Therapy

86. A Fellowship of Famous Failures

85. Reflecting on Failure as Feedback

84. Dealing with a Driving Phobia

83. Developing a Perspective on Panic

82. The Benefits Beyond the Barriers

81. Exploring the Evolution of Exercise – Let’s Get Physical

80. Ease Agitation with Bilateral Stimulation

79. A Rewarding Release: Autobiographical Writing

78. Mentors and Our Mental Health

77. What Makes Effective Therapy?

76. More Mentalising – Some Therapy Strategies

75. Effective Empathising with Mentalising

74. Encouraging Emotional Intelligence in Kids

73. Illuminating Emotional Intelligence

72. Is it Time to Cut Out Complaining?

71. Metanoia: A Model for Breakdown and Growth

70. Late Midlife and Other Life Crises

69. The Meaning of a Midlife Crisis

68. Beginnings, Middles and Endings – When the Timing is Telling

67. Leveraging Our Levels of Energy

66. Reducing Our Screen Time with David Cherry

65. Building Better Habits (and Overcoming Bad Ones)

64. Fortifying Our Focus in the Age of Distraction

63. Increasing Our Creativity

62. Calling On Our Creativity

61. Synchronicity Supporting Life Choices

60. When Too Much Choice is a Challenge

59. Flow, Friendships and Families

58. Flourishing with Flow

57. Revisiting Our Strengths

56. Dealing with Uncertainty and Omicron

55. Regulating Responses to Threat

54. The Intolerance of Irrational Ideas

53. Overcoming Pain with Mark Grant

52. The ABC of CBT

51. The Sustenance of Social Support

50. Psych Spiels Celebrates its 50

49. A Freer Future with Physics

48. Resilient Grieving with Dr Lucy Hone

47. Gaining from the Gunas

46. Strengthening Self-Compassion

45. Supporting a Sense of Agency

44. Demystifying DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

43. Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation

42. Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks

41. Lightening the Load

40. The Mystery of the Mind – Beyond Conventional Healing

39. Employing the Power of Placebo

38. The Sustenance of Spiritual Experience

37. Separating the Psycho-spiritual from Psychosis

36. Discerning Our Stress Signature

35. Extending Our Exercise

34. The Hopefulness of the Hero’s Journey

33. The Pitfalls of Perfectionism

32. The Helpfulness of Hope

31. Gaining Gratification Through Goals

30. A Recipe of Resources

29. The Snakiness of Psychopaths

28. The Nastiness of Narcissism

27. Supporting Someone to Seek Help

26. Seeking a Suitable Psychologist

25. Positive Psychology, Science & Synchronicity

24. Synchronicity and Psychology

23. Past, Present and Future – Talking about Time

22. More than Mindfulness

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

20. Psych Spiels Retrospective – The Bigger Themes

19. Not Just Genes

18. Fighting the Flat Feeling

17. Weaning Off Worry

16. Facing Phobias

15. Mobilising Motivation

14. Banishing Burnout

13. Undoing the Affliction of Addictions

12. Easing OCD

11. Interpreting Anger

10. Addressing Avoidance 

9. Demystifying Dissociation

8. Transcending Trauma

7. Dealing with Depression

6. Expunging Anxiety

5. Speaking of Sport

4. Navigating the Noise of the News

3. Quelling Quarrels in Quarantine

2. Exercising in Exile

1. Finding Flow within Four Walls

 

Episode 123 – Socrates to Stoicism – Modern Meaning from Ancient Greece

Chris and Rowan look back at some of the philosophers from Ancient Greece and how their ideas relate to modern psychology. In this episode, the first part of a two-part series, we look at the ideas of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus and relate their ideas to modern psychology, which has translated many of these ancient ideas into a modern context.

Awakening From the Meaning Crisis Lecture Series by John Vervaeke – Episodes 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14 and 15 formed much of the background material for this podcast, but explore these ideas in more depth.

Episode 122 – Stoicism: The Seeds of Psychological Therapy

Chris and Rowan discuss how stoic philosophy is related to modern psychology principles and how we can benefit from drawing upon stoic philosophy as we face different challenges in our lives. This is the first of several episodes on stoic philosophy and how it relates to modern psychology.

Episode 121 – Snippets About Stoicism and Psychology

Chris is away for the first podcast of the year and so Rowan will be taking you back through some of our previous episodes on stoic philosophy as an introduction for the next few episodes, which will also cover the topic of stoic philosophy.
These snippets will look at how Tim Beck and Albert Ellis used stoic principles to inform their therapy approaches, which went on to become modern cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
The first two clips are from episode 52 of Psych Spiels, The ABC of CBT and the final clip, discussing one of Ellis’s principles that is a distillation of stoic philosophy, is from episode 54, The Intolerance of Irrational Ideas.

Episode 120 – Christmas – A Season of Suffering for Some

For many of us, Christmas is a joyful time of the year when we catch up with family and friends, but for some people who’ve experienced childhood abuse or neglect, Christmas doesn’t represent the merry, joyful time of the year that it does for many others.
In this special Christmas podcast, Chris and Rowan discuss how people can navigate some of the difficulties associated with Christmas if they’ve experienced childhood trauma or abuse and may be seeing their family members or avoiding their families altogether.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Family Foibles – A Geelong Advertiser article written by Chris on a similar theme

Not Season for Suffering – A Geelong Advertiser article written by Chris on a similar theme

Bilateral Stimulation Demonstration Video

Episode 119 – Bolstering Wellbeing – Three Tips from Top Psychologists

This week, after Chris spoke to a number of his friends who are also psychologists, we discuss three things that can bolster well-being if they’re included in a recipe for mental health. Those three things are: play, belonging and volunteering.

Episode 118 – Learning How to Sting

Chris and Rowan discuss the idea of learning how to sting. Stinging is when we go through a negative experience, and we let ourselves experience some of the negative emotions to motivate ourselves to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. We discuss how we can leverage a negative experience and turn it into a more positive outcome in the future.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Temporary to Transformative: Types of Change – Episode 117 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings that relates to this episode

Episode 117 – Temporary to Transformative – Types of Change

Chris and Rowan discuss the three different types of change and how we can bring about meaningful, long-lasting change in our lives. The three types of change are incremental change, where we might eliminate or introduce a behaviour bit by bit, pendulum change, where we may act differently for a period of time and later revert back to our original way of doing things, such as undertaking a fad diet, or paradigm change, which represents a more meaningful change in our underlying beliefs and cognition.

View the episode page

Related Podcast Episodes 

Incremental Change

Building Better Habits (and Overcoming Bad Ones) – Episode 65 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Monitoring and Measuring to Promote Positive Change – Episode 96 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

The Significance of Taking the Next Step – Episode 100 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Paradigm Change

Synchronicity and Psychology – Episode 24 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Positive Psychology, Science & Synchronicity – Episode 25 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Separating the Psycho-spiritual from Psychosis – Episode 37 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Synchronicity Supporting Life Choices – Episode 61 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

The Meaning of a Midlife Crisis – Episode 69 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Late Midlife and Other Life Crises – Episode 70 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Metanoia: A Model for Breakdown and Growth – Episode 71 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Practical Progress in Personality Change – Episode 88 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Soaring with Synchronicity – feat. Lisa Buksbaum – Episode 93 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Promoting Synchronicity in Ten Steps – Episode 94 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Supporting Change with Chair Work – Episode 101 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Becoming Unstuck – Change it, Accept it, or Leave – Episode 114 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Episode 116 – Creative Approaches to Mental Health Support

In a slightly different podcast this week, Chris and Rowan share a recording from a webinar that we did for the Art of the Minds festival in Geelong. The theme of the presentation was creative approaches to mental health support. As so much of psychology has traditionally been one-to-one therapy we look at some different ways of accessing mental health information, as well as how to discern between some of the less reliable info that’s out there.

Episode 115 – Your Active Approach to Mental Health

Chris and Rowan discuss the idea that we will each have our own unique recipe for mental health and we will each need to find an authentic and effective way of maintaining our mental well-being that works best for us.
In this episode, we discuss how you can go about finding your own unique recipe for mental health, even when you’re not feeling the best.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Below are some resources on different things that might make up part of your recipe for mental health.

A Recipe for Mental Health – An article written by Chris on the different elements that can make up your recipe for mental health

Not Just Genes – A Recipe for Mental Health – Episode 19 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Discerning Our Stress Signature – Episode 36 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems – Episode 21 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Boost Your Well-Being with Acts of Kindness – An article written by Chris on the mental health benefits of performing kind acts

How Pets Can Boost Our Well-Being – An article written by Chris on zooeiya, or the positive health benefits that can come from interacting with pets

The Many Health Benefits of Spirituality – An article written by Chris on the scientific case for the benefits of having spiritual beliefs

Episode 114 – Becoming Unstuck – Change it, Accept it, or Leave

Chris and Rowan discuss the three coping alternatives for problem situations. If we come across a prolonged difficult situation, we are faced with three choices, to change it, to accept it or to leave. This seems like a simple notion on the surface, but it comes up in around 10% of therapy sessions. We discuss how we can apply these ideas as well as some of the complications that can come up when we face a difficult situation.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Supporting a Sense of Agency – Episode 45 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Change, Accept or Leave – Chris’s newspaper article on a similar topic

The Gottman’s Relationship Information referenced by Chris in the episode

Episode 113 – Demystifying Adult ADHD with Dr Ozgur Yalcin

Chris and Rowan are joined by Dr Ozgur Yalcin to discuss some of the benefits and challenges of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADDitude Magazine

A qualitative and quantitative study of self-reported positive characteristics of individuals with ADHD – LM Schippers and Colleagues (PDF Download)

Bluey Season 2 Episode 15 Army – The children’s show with a more positive portrayal of ADHD

Other ADHD material that created by Chris

Episode 112 – Undoing Resentment with Gratitude

Chris and Rowan discuss an idea put forward by Dr Kerry Howells, which is that you can’t feel the emotions of resentment and gratitude at the same time.
We talk about some of the issues that come up if we let our resentment grow and how we can cultivate more gratitude in order to taper our levels of resentment towards a situation over time.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Untangling You: How can I be grateful when I feel so resentful? – Book by Dr Kerry Howells

The Power of Gratitude – article by Chris on a similar topic

Boost Your Well-being with Gratitude – article by Chris on gratitude and its well-being benefits

Episode 111 – Treating PTSD with EMDR

Following on from the previous episode on treating trauma exposure therapy, Chris and Rowan discuss another therapy tool for treating trauma, EMDR.
EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) can help create profound, transformative change for those who’ve experienced trauma and are still dealing with its impact.
In this episode, we discuss how EMDR has helped many of Chris’s clients better integrate their traumatic experiences to the point that around 50% of people would not change the trauma event itself because of the profound post-traumatic growth that EMDR can help them attain.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Podcasts

Addressing Trauma Memories with Exposure Therapy – Episode 110 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings and an Introduction to this episode

Transcending Trauma – Episode 8 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Demystifying Dissociation – Episode 9 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks – Episode 42 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation – Episode 43 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Demystifying DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) – Episode 44 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Overcoming Pain with Mark Grant – Episode 53 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Videos

Bilateral Stimulation Video Demonstration

Articles/Blogs

Clinical Handout on Exposure-based Therapy

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms

Addressing Avoidant Tendencies

After Witnessing a Traumatic Event

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks

Depersonalisation and Dissociative Disorders

Episode 110 – Addressing Trauma Memories with Exposure Therapy

Chris and Rowan discuss trauma memories and how they can be treated with exposure therapy. This is a two-part series on trauma, with the next episode being on EMDR, another treatment for trauma.
In today’s episode, we talk about the nature of trauma memories and how they’re formed, their impact, and how we can treat trauma memories with a therapy technique called exposure.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Podcasts

Transcending Trauma – Episode 8 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Demystifying Dissociation – Episode 9 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks – Episode 42 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation – Episode 43 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Demystifying DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) – Episode 44 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Overcoming Pain with Mark Grant – Episode 53 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Articles/Blogs

Dealing with Dissociative Symptoms

Addressing Avoidant Tendencies

After Witnessing a Traumatic Event

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks

Depersonalisation and Dissociative Disorders

Episode 109 – Navigating Neurodivergence with Bianca Tassone

Rowan is joined by Bianca Tassone to discuss the topic of neurodivergence and neurodiversity. Neurodivergence can include ADHD and autism, as well as a range of other conditions, and much has been learned about neurodivergence in recent years.
We discuss what neurodivergence is and how our understanding of it is developing with the latest research.

Episode 108 – Strengthening Our Resilience to Stress and Strain

Chris and Rowan discuss some insights that can be gained from exploring the different meanings of engineering terms such as “stress” and “strain” and applying them to psychology and our mental health.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Discerning Our Stress Signature – Episode 36 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings that’s referenced in this episode

Supporting Change with Chair Work – Episode 101 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings that’s referenced in this episode

Feeling Disconnected & Rejected: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 102 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings that’s referenced in this episode

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

More than Mindfulness – Episode 22 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Stress Tips Video

 

Episode 107 – Cultivating Positive Networks with Dr Juliet Trail

Chris and Rowan are joined by Dr Juliet Trail, who has done extensive research on networks and how networks can optimally function.
We discuss the different types of networks we may be involved in, plus what we can do to ensure that we’re getting the most out of our networks and the relationships associated with them.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

The Coincidence Project Website

About Dr Juliet Trail 

Juliet’s PhD Research

Episode 106 – Contrasting Character Strengths with Schema

Chris and Rowan discuss how we can look at the schemas through a more positive lens, our character strengths. In recent episodes, we’ve looked at some of the more negative patterns that we can develop within our personality, but this week, we will look at a more optimistic way of thinking about our personality patterns.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Revisiting Our Strengths – Episode 57 of Psych Spiels, related to the topics in this episode

Finding Flow within Four Walls – Episode 1 of Psych Spiels, related to the topics in this episode

Feeling Disconnected & Rejected: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 102 of Psych Spiels and the first episode in this series.

Developing Your Self & Your Self-Control: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 103 of Psych Spiels and the second episode in this series

Expressing Ourselves Freely: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 104 of Psych Spiels and the third episode in this series

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels

Enhancing the Power of Therapy with Chair Work – Blog by Chris on chair work, a therapy technique related to schema therapy.

Time to Face Inner Selves – Geelong Advertiser article by Chris on a similar topic related to schema therapy

Episode 105 – Curbing Unrelenting Standards

In the final episode of our series on schemas and schema therapy, Chris and Rowan discuss unrelenting standards. Unrelenting standards or hypercriticalness is the final of the 18 schemas we will discuss and relates to rigid internal expectations for our behaviour and performance. Unrelenting standards are a significant contributor to depression and anxiety.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Feeling Disconnected & Rejected: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 102 of Psych Spiels and the first episode in this series.

Developing Your Self & Your Self-Control: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 103 of Psych Spiels and the second episode in this series

Expressing Ourselves Freely: The Essentials of Schema Therapy – Episode 104 of Psych Spiels and the third episode in this series

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels

Enhancing the Power of Therapy with Chair Work – Blog by Chris on chair work, a therapy technique related to schema therapy.

Time to Face Inner Selves – Geelong Advertiser article by Chris on a similar topic related to schema therapy

Episode 104 – Expressing Ourselves Freely: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

Chris and Rowan continue our series on schema therapy with the schemas relating to over-vigilance and other-directedness, which means being overly focused on the thoughts of others. These schemas include negativity/pessimism, emotional inhibition, punitiveness, approval seeking/recognition seeking, subjugation and self-sacrifice.

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels

Episode 103 – Developing Your Self & Your Self-Control: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

Chris and Rowan continue their series on schema therapy with the second episode, related to developing your sense of self and self-control. These schemes are from the family of schemas relating to impaired autonomy and performance, or your sense of self, and impaired limits, or your self-control.

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels

 

Episode 102 – Feeling Disconnected & Rejected: The Essentials of Schema Therapy

Chris and Rowan discuss 5 of the 18 schemas Jeff Young outlined when creating schema therapy. We discuss the schemas related to a lack of positive attachment during childhood that can make people feel disconnected and rejected in later life.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Some Basics of Schema Therapy – Episode 87 of Psych Spiels

 

Episode 101 – Supporting Change with Chair Work

Chris and Rowan discuss a therapy technique called chair work that comes from Gestalt therapy and involves acting out different parts of ourselves.
We discuss some of the principles behind chair work and the benefits of acknowledging and expressing different parts of ourselves.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Enhancing the Power of Therapy with Chair Work – article by Chris on a similar topic

Autobiographical Therapy – Writing as a Therapy Exercise – article by Chris on autobiographical therapy

A Rewarding Release: Biographical Writing – Psych Spiels podcast episode on autobiographical writing

Episode 100 – The Significance of Taking the Next Step

For our 100th podcast episode, Chris and Rowan talk about a fundamental aspect of psychological therapy, helping someone to take the next step.
It can seem simplistic on the surface, but the next step can often be difficult, uninteresting or uninspiring. In this episode, we discuss some ways of taking the next step, look at the benefits of mobilising ourselves in whatever way we can and talk about some situations where people have really benefitted from taking the next step.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Starts with the Small Steps – Chris’s article on a similar theme

Other Related Psych Spiels Episodes

Practical Progress in Personality Change

Monitoring and Measuring to Promote Positive Change

Building Better Habits (and overcoming bad ones)

Episode 99 – Belief in Ghosts – Is it Irrational?

Chris and Rowan share stories of people who’ve had encounters with the deceased and ask what meaning or benefit can come from such experiences?
Sometimes, when someone has an experience with the spirit of a loved one, they will hide it through fear of being intellectually weak or using magical thinking. However, many healthy people believe in encounters with a spirit or someone who’s passed away. Many of Chris’s clients’ well-being has improved greatly after they experienced some spiritual encounter.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Video about Gary’s story with his encounter with his infant daughter

Powerful Connection – Geelong Advertiser article about the benefits of acknowledging a connection with a deceased love one

A Healing Voice – Article by Chris about Mary’s story and the message from her mother

Synchronistic Experiences and Spiritual Crises – article by Chris

Episode 98 – Benefits of Sharing Sacred Stories

Chris and Rowan discuss how we can benefit our well-being by sharing our most meaningful experiences, even if they can’t be explained rationally.
Over many years, Chris has heard clients sharing their personal stories and seen how they’ve gained personal meaning from those experiences. This is despite, at times, wondering if they are psychotic due to the strange nature of these stories. In this episode, we discuss what we can get from acknowledging and sharing these experiences.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

The Coincidence Project Website

The Coincidence Project – Launch Party Information/Registration

Jim Carrey’s Story About The Law of Attraction – Video

Awakening From the Meaning Crisis – Video Playlist (starting with trailer)

Episode 97 – The Satisfaction of Spectator Sport

In a slightly different episode this week, Rowan and Chris discuss what you can get from watching spectator sport that can benefit our mental health.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Speaking of Sport – Psych Spiels episode 5, the other episode we’ve done about sport

Passion is One Thing, Obsession Another – Article about harmonious vs obsessive passion

Episode 96 – Monitoring and Measuring To Promote Positive Change

Chris and Rowan discuss the idea that ‘what we monitor will change’ and how this relates to therapy and performance.
We look at how we can use different measurements in therapy to get a more objective sense of how therapy works. Plus, we look at how we can use these ideas to boost performance in other areas of our life.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Our Practice Research on the effectiveness of psychological therapy beyond 10 sessions. – Presented at the 2016 WCBCT (World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies) in Melbourne.

Cut Not Right Move – Chris’s article in the Geelong Advertiser detailing why he believes the Government should have continued to offer 20 rebated sessions a year, instead of ten, as they’ve now changed it to.

Our Practice’s Research Library

Our Practice’s Research on the Better Access Scheme (2016)

Episode 95 – Heeding the Need to Ask For Help

Chris and Rowan discuss how we can make mental health more of a collective issue.
It follows an experience Chris had hiking where someone broke their ankle and felt a burden to those assisting, even though this person clearly needed the help.
We discuss how this relates to mental health and how we can get into the trap of not asking for help when we need support with our mental health.
Plus, we look at some things we can do to set up more of a support structure around us so that we may not even need to ask for help as often.

View the episode Page

This Week’s Links

Vital to Ask For Help – Article by Chris with a similar theme

These three Psych Spiels Episodes also relate to the theme of social support

The Sustenance of Social Support

Supporting Someone to Seek Help

Seeking a Suitable Psychologist

Episode 94 – Promoting Synchronicity in Ten Steps

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of how to cultivate more synchronicity for ourselves. We discuss how to be more open to synchronicity, and Chris shares his ten steps for cultivating more synchronicity. Plus, we share some stories that highlight the benefits of experiencing more synchronicity.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Chris’s article about cultivating synchronicity in 10 steps

The Coincidence Project, an International Organisation to promote synchronicity that Chris sits on the board of.

Episode 93 – Soaring with Synchronicity – feat. Lisa Buksbaum

Chris and Rowan speak with Lisa Buxbaum to discuss a range of topics related to spirituality and well-being.
We talk about the idea behind Lisa’s organisation Soaringwords, which helps sick children and other marginalised community members write their life stories. We discuss the contents of her book Soaring Into Strength: Love Transcends Pain, which is a practical guide for how Lisa has used synchronicity in her own life to enhance her well-being.
Plus, Lisa and Chris talk about The Coincidence Project, an international organisation that promotes synchronicity as a tool for well-being. Tune in for all this and much more.
Lisa Buxbaum is President-Elect of the International Positive Psychology Association’s (IPPA) Health & Wellbeing Division. Prior to her election, she developed an organisation, Soaringwords, a not-for-profit organization devoted to inspiring children, families, adults, seniors, and health care professionals to take active roles in self-healing – it has impacted over 500,000 people since the year 2000.
Lisa is the author of the recently released book SOARING into Strength: Love Transcends Pain, and is an expert in positive psychology. Having completed a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from The University of Pennsylvania (with Martin Seligman as one of her teachers), she also has an MBA in Marketing from Columbia University Graduate School of Business Her other qualifications include a certificate in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a certificate from the American Institute for Mental Imagery.
Lisa has presented at numerous scientific conferences including the International Positive Psychology Association has led professional development workshops at dozens of Fortune 500 companies and has been featured as an expert on numerous media platforms including ABC News, USA Today, Delta Sky Magazine and she was a columnist for Inc. Magazine.
She also serves on the Board of the Coincidence Project, an international organisation that promotes synchronicity as a tool for well-being, with Chris.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Soaringwords website – Lisa’s Organisation website

Lisa’s Book Soaring into Strength: Love Transcends Pain

Episode 92 – Relationships: Typical Traps to Avoid

Chris and Rowan talk about how to enrich and improve our intimate relationships. We discuss the work of John and Julie Gottman, who are world leaders in the field of relationship therapy.
Much of today’s episode also applies to our relationships beyond just our intimate partner as we discuss how to foster connection with those that we care about.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Enriching Our Relationships – Last week’s podcast on a similar theme to this topic

Enhancing Marital Relationships – article by Chris that covers this topic and goes into more depth in some other areas
Enhancing Our Relationships – Podcast with the Gottmans and Brené Brown

How to Improve Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages – Video from Destination Happiness with Chris that’s mentioned in the podcast

Conflict Busters – An article by Chris about managing conflict with those we love

Be Supportive – An article by Chris examining the work of Dr Esther Perel

Episode 91 – Enriching Our Relationships

Chris and Rowan talk about how to enrich and improve our intimate relationships. We discuss the work of John and Julie Gottman, who are world leaders in the field of relationship therapy.
Much of today’s episode also applies to our relationships beyond just our intimate partner as we discuss how to foster connection with those that we care about

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Enhancing Marital Relationships – article by Chris that covers this topic and goes into more depth in some other areas
Enhancing Our Relationships – Podcast with the Gottmans and Brené Brown

How to Improve Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages – Video from Destination Happiness with Chris that’s mentioned in the podcast

Conflict Busters – An article by Chris about managing conflict with those we love

Be Supportive – An article by Chris examining the work of Dr Esther Perel

Episode 90 – Enhancing Mental Health in Groups

Chris and Rowan discuss how we can get the most out of the groups that we’re a part of. This is in the context of group therapy, which is an often underlooked aspect of psychological therapy, as well as the other groups like clubs or sports teams.
Western psychology has traditionally placed a lot of emphasis on treating the individual in therapy, but this has perhaps overlooked some of the benefits that we can get from being involved in a group therapy process.

Episode 89 – Applying Positive Psychology on the Big Screen

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of applying positive psychology interventions in a group.
It follows the release of a documentary that Chris is involved in called How to Thrive. The documentary follows the progress of seven people with significant mental health challenges participating in a positive psychology program during the pandemic.
In this episode, we discuss how positive psychology can be applied in a group and what we can learn from the experiment that took place during the documentary.

View the episode page

Episode 88 – Practical Progress in Personality Change

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of addressing personality patterns that have caused us difficulty over time. These patterns are often related to our core beliefs about ourselves.
In this episode, we look at how to address some of these longer-term personality patterns like avoidance, perfectionism, lack of trust in relationships and entitlement.

Episode 87 – Some Basics of Schema Therapy

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of schema therapy. Schema therapy looks at the persistent thinking patterns that can cause underlying personality difficulties. These often relate to our experiences in childhood and contribute to patterns of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with others.
They relate to the self-limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and the patterns of thinking that can stand in the way of expressing ourselves more fully.

Episode 86 – A Fellowship of Famous Failures

Chris and Rowan look at some famous examples of people who’ve succeeded after perceiving to have failed at something. We explore the idea that the line between success and failure can be quite thin.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

29 famous People Who Failed Before They Succeeded – Business Insider Article

Episode 85 – Reflecting on Failures as Feedback

Episode 85 – Reflecting on Failure as Feedback

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of failure and how we can look at our failures in the best possible light. When you look at some of the most “successful” people in life, it seems a large part of their success is how they’ve dealt with failure.
Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
We look at this idea and ask what the good things about failure are.

View the episode page

Episode 84 – Dealing with a Driving Phobia

Chris and Rowan discuss dealing with a driving phobia, a common phobia related to anxiety and panic. We speak about the principles of a phobia and exposure therapy, which is related to the treatment of phobias.
Most of what is spoken about in this episode can also be applied to other phobias and panic reactions.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Video on How to Face a Driving Phobia that was mentioned in the podcast

Developing a Perspective on Panic – Last podcast episode related to this topic

Dealing with Panic – Clinical handout written by Chris on panic

How to Manage Panic Attacks – video with Chris

Expunging Anxiety – Episode 6 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Episode 83 – Developing a Perspective on Panic

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of panic attacks and panic disorder. We talk about what panic attacks are in a psychological sense, why they are caused and what we can do to help reduce their impact.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Dealing with Panic – Clinical handout written by Chris on panic

How to Manage Panic Attacks – video with Chris

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks Podcast – Episode 42 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Depersonalisation in Panic Attacks – Clinical handout written by Chris

Dealing with the Disruption of Depersonalisation – Episode 43 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Expunging Anxiety – Episode 6 of Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

Episode 82 – The Benefits Beyond the Barriers

Chris and Rowan discuss how to overcome some of the main barriers to exercise in the context of cold-water swimming, an activity that Chris has started recently. We speak about some ways of getting past the barriers to exercise and accessing the many benefits that it brings to exercise regularly.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

HeartMath Resources – resources about heart-rate variability

An Unexpected Mood Booster – Geelong Advertiser article about cold-water swimming and its benefits.

Episode 81 – Exploring the Evolution of Exercise – Let’s Get Physical

Chris and Rowan look back at the history of physical exercise to see how the ideas around exercise developed over time. We look at how cultural attitudes and perceptions towards exercise changed in the past and how that has influenced our attitudes towards exercise today. In understanding this, we can hopefully learn more about our exercise habits, including some of the barriers that stand in the way of exercising more.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

An Unexpected Mood Booster – Geelong Advertiser article about cold-water swimming and its benefits.

Episode 80 – Ease Agitation with Bilateral Stimulation

Chris and Rowan discuss a very handy therapy technique called bilateral stimulation. It can be used to manage stress, anxiety or pain and is an easy-to-use, accessible tool that is worth having up our sleeve as a strategy to reduce arousal.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Anxiety Release App Demonstration Video that was mentioned in the podcast.

Anxiety Release App Website

Change Your Brain, Change Your Pain – Mark Grant’s Book

Overcoming Pain Website

Episode 79 – A Rewarding Release: Autobiographical Writing

Chris and Rowan discuss the benefits of autobiographical writing, which can help us further develop our thoughts and process our emotions about events that have been important to us in our life. We talk about the importance of the stories that we tell ourselves and how important it is to the way that we frame those internal narratives.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Autobiographical writing for mental health

Journal article about the benefits of autobiographical writing

Episode 78 – Mentors and Our Mental Health

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of mentors and how having a mentor can benefit our mental health. This episode begins a short series of episodes that focus on the theme of what we can do for our mental health outside of therapy.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Regaining Social Connections – article about the importance of social connection for mental health

Episode 77 – What Makes Effective Therapy?

Chris and Rowan look at the topic of effective therapy and try and unpack exactly what makes effective therapy. What makes a therapist a good therapist and what responsibility does the client have in the relationship?

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

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

Episode 76 – More Mentalising – Some Therapy Strategies

Chris and Rowan continue the topic of mentalisation and cover some of the top exercises from therapy that can help us improve our ability to mentalise and get along better with those around us.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Effective Empathising with Mentalising – last week’s podcast is an introduction to these ideas

What is mentalisation?

Episode 75 – Effective Empathising with Mentalising

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of mentalisation, which is about how we can best empathise with others. It supports healthy relationships, leads to greater wellbeing and is a process central to psychological therapies.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

What is mentalisation?

Episode 74 – Encouraging Emotional Intelligence in Kids

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of emotional intelligence in the context of children. It can be helpful to speak about emotional intelligence in the simplified terms we do with children. This episode is packed full of strategies for parents to help their children manage their emotions and adults who want to understand emotional intelligence better.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Emotional Intelligence is Key – Geelong Advertiser Article

How to identify and use your signature character strengths – video

Episode 73 – Illuminating Emotional Intelligence

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of emotional intelligence and how improving our emotional intelligence can improve many aspects of our life. Plus, we talk about some strategies for improving our emotional intelligence.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Emotional Intelligence is Key – Geelong Advertiser Article
How to identify and use your signature character strengths – video

Episode 72 – Is it Time to Cut Out Complaining?

Chris and Rowan ask whether there is any psychological benefit from complaining. We look at how to find the balance between the positive benefits that come from expressing our grievances and the harm it can do to our mental health if we get stuck with negative thinking.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Complaining in 2022 Comes with a Side of Guilt – Is it Time We Stopped? – Sydney Morning Herald article on this topic that Chris is quoted in

Episode 71 – Metanoia: A Model for Breakdown and Growth

 

Chris and Rowan discuss the idea of a breakdown and how we can use this seemingly negative opportunity to grow.
We look at metanoia, a Greek term that has been written about for thousands of years including by Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung who connected the ancient philosophical idea to modern psychology.
Metanoia relates to the distress that can come from having our deeper beliefs challenged, but also the opportunity that can come from recognising a need for change.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Metanoia (Psychology)

Metanoia (Theology)

What is a Midlife Crisis and What’s So Good About it? – Article

 

Episode 70 – Late Midlife and Other Life Crises

 

Following on from last week’s episode about the midlife crisis, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of a late midlife crisis, where these feelings can reemerge in our 50’s. We also look at other life stages that can involve a sense of discomfort relating to a sense of time running out and what we can do if we confront these feelings.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

What is a Midlife Crisis and What’s So Good About it? – Article

Episode 69 – The Meaning of a Midlife Crisis

 

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of a midlife crisis. We look at what a midlife crisis is, why it happens, what we can do if we find ourselves experiencing these feelings and the positive side of dealing with a midlife crisis.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

What is a Midlife Crisis and What’s So Good About it? – Article

Episode 68 – Beginnings, Middles and Endings – When Timing is Telling

 

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of timing and how it relates to change. Whether it be starting a new job, starting therapy, changing a habit or completing a project, some common patterns appear around the beginning, the middle and the end of something.
If we can understand these patterns, we can better overcome the obstacles they present and will be more likely to achieve our goals.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Daniel Pink’s website which has lots of free resources

Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems – Psych Spiels ep 21 about our behaviour systems and how an understanding of these systems can help us perform at our best.

Episode 67 – Leveraging Our Levels of Energy

 

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of energy management and how good energy management affects our productivity and well-being. We talk about how to manage the natural peaks and troughs that come throughout the day and how we can best come up with our own recipe for energy management.
Plus, we look at the daily routines of some famous people, such as Mozart and Maya Angelou and see if they can give us some tips for what might work in our own routine.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Daniel Pink’s website which has lots of free resources

Owls, Larks and Third-birds – cheat sheet

Worksheet to discover your chronotype – endorsed by Daniel Pink

Drive, Soothing and Threat – Seeking a Synergy of Systems – Psych Spiels ep 21 about our behaviour systems and how an understanding of these systems can help us perform at our best.

Episode 66 – Reducing Our Screen Time with David Cherry

 

Chris and Rowan are joined by clinical and forensic psychologist David Cherry to discuss how we can reduce our screen time and the screen time of our children. We also discuss some other ways to help build positive habits if we want to spend less time on screens and replace that time with more productive activities.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

David’s Newsletter Signup

Australian Screen Time Guidelines

Episode 65 – Building Better Habits (and Overcoming Bad Ones)

 

Chris and Rowan are joined by clinical and forensic psychologist David Cherry to discuss how we can introduce good habits into our routine. David gives lots of actionable tips and strategies for changing our behaviour, plus we look at how you can overcome a bad or unwanted habit.
David Cherry is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist who has worked as a psychologist and trainer for over 40 years.
He has a great deal of experience in working with adults who are troubled by issues relating to depression, anger and anxiety as well as working with children, adolescents and families.
As a trainer, David has run over 4000 training events, ranging from brief presentations to small groups and public speaking to groups of up to 500 people.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Catherine Price – The Power of Fun website

Jim Carrey Speech at the 2016 Golden Globes 

Willpower: Rediscovering The Greatest Human Strength – Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

David’s Newsletter Signup

About David Cherry – David’s bio

Episode 64 – Fortifying Our Focus in the Age of Distraction

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of how we can maintain our focus and attention amongst the many distractions in modern life. These include digital media, social media, advertising and others that compete for our attention and want to distract us from our broader goals. This week, we speak about how this can lead to problems for our mental health and what we can do to gain some control back over some of the forces that compete for our attention.

View the episode pagehttps://www.chrismackey.com.au/fortifying-our-focus/https://www.chrismackey.com.au/fortifying-our-focus/

This Week’s Links

Johann Hari and Steven Fry talk about Hari’s book Stolen Focus (64 minutes)

B.F. Skinner – biography

The Manipulation of the American Mind Edward Bernay’s and the Birth of Public Relations

Episode 63 – Increasing Our Creativity

PART 2 – in our second episode on creativity, Chris and Rowan discuss how we can be more creative. We talk about the process that the world’s most creative people went through to become more creative and how we can all tap into that same process.

Episode 62 – Calling On Our Creativity

PART 1 – today’s episode is the first in a two-part series on the topic of creativity. Today, we talk about how creativity benefits and encourages our well-being, as well as the elements that make up creativity. We look at the work of Hungarian American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote the book Creativity and apply that information to benefit our mental health.
Next week, we’ll look at how we can be more creative and discuss the creative process of people who are recognised as having creative genius.

View the episode page

Episode 61 – Synchronicity Supporting Life Choices

In a follow up to last week’s episode, Chris and Rowan discuss the role of synchronicity in affirming and directing our life choices. Last week’s podcast focussed on the rationality and psychology involved in making choices, but this week we discuss the more intuitive elements of making choices, of which synchronicity is an element.

Episode 60 – When Too Much Choice is a Challenge

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of decision making and how recognising the way that we make decisions can help our well-being. It seems a bit paradoxical, but when we are presented with too many options, it can stand in the way of us making a choice and sticking to it. We look at some of the ways that we make decisions and why having too many choices can sometimes be a bad thing.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

List of 10 things you can do to benefit from your choices.

  1. Choose when to choose (is it worth limiting your time spent choosing?)
  2. Be a satisficer (aim for “good enough”).
  3. Think less about opportunity costs. Focus on the positive of what a choice gives us, not what we’re missing out on.
  4. Make decisions non-reversible (commit!)
  5. Practise an attitude of gratitude
  6. Reduce regret
  7. Anticipate adaptation
  8. Manage expectations, optimal isn’t always attainable.
  9. Limit social comparisons – focus on what makes you happy
  10. Cultivate and appreciate constraints

Barry Schwartz – The Paradox of Choice TED Talk

The Paradox of Choice – explainer article

Episode 59 – Flow, Friendships and Families

As a follow-up to last week’s episode about flow, Chris and Rowan discuss the topic in the context of our relationships and friendships. Although many of the elements of flow are individual, we can tap into flow with those around us to enhance our relationships.

View the episode page

Episode 58 – Flourishing with Flow

Chris and Rowan discuss the topic of Flow, drawing from the work of renowned psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. The concept of flow can help us to optimise our well-being by identifying the activities that most engage us.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Finding our Sense of Flow – an article on this topic

What is Flow State and How can it be Accessed? – short video explaining flow state

Article about flow containing the list of 8 characteristics of flow

Last week’s podcast – Revisiting our Strengths

Episode 1 of the podcast – Finding Flow within 4 Walls

 

Episode 57 – Revisiting Our Strengths

In preparation for talking about flow in the next podcast, Chris and Rowan discuss the benefits of completing the character strengths exercise. An awareness of your character strengths can significantly improve your well-being and enhance your problem-solving capabilities.
We discuss the character strengths, particularly in the context of revisiting them, as we spoke about them right at the beginning of the pandemic.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Character Strengths Test – longer, more comprehensive version

15 Minute Character Strengths Test 

Identifying Signature Character Strengths – detailed instructions for the longer version

Finding Flow within 4 Walls – Episode 1 of our podcast

How to Find and Use Your Character Strengths – video

How to Identify and Use Your Signature Character Strengths – video

Episode 56 – Dealing with Uncertainty and Omicron

In our first podcast for the new year, Chris and Rowan discuss some ways that we can best preserve our mental health as covid becomes more prevalent in the community. We talk about some ways of minimising and dealing with the uncertainty that we’re all facing in the year ahead.

View the episode page

Episode 55 – Regulating Responses to Threat

In our final podcast for the year, Chris and Rowan discuss Polyvagal Theory, which relates to the way we respond to threatening situations.
We discuss the impacts of the freeze-submit, the fight-flight and the social engagement systems and how they are each called upon to address threat in different ways. We also talk about how things like trauma can disrupt our ability to balance these responses, as well as some things we can do to help restore that balance.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

Attitudes Shaped by Evolution – a Geelong Advertiser newspaper article on this topic, particularly in the context of different responses to the pandemic.

What is polyvagal theory – interview with Dr Stephen Porgas (4 minutes)

An explanatory video about polyvagal theory (18 minutes)

Episode 54 – The Intolerance of Irrational Ideas

Chris and Rowan discuss the work of Albert Ellis, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. Ellis, along with Aaron (Tim) Beck, who we spoke about in a previous episode, created Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
In this episode, we discuss Ellis’s Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), particularly around the core fears and irrational beliefs that Ellis identified. We discuss the 10 primary irrational beliefs that Ellis identified and how recognising their impact can benefit our mental health.

View the episode page

This Week’s Links

List of Albert Ellis’s Ten Irrational Beliefs

Interview with Albert Ellis about RET

Counselling Session with Gloria and Ellis

Short explanatory video of Ellis and his work (includes Ellis’s thoughts on psychodynamic therapy)

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.

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 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.

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 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 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 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 1,000,000 podcast downloads as a presenter and producer.

He spent five years producing the official Geelong Cats AFL and AFLW podcasts 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 Lifeline.

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 over 40 years of 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 was also the resident psychologist for TV show Destination Happiness, where he presented 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 was 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

 

Psych Spiels and Silver Linings

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