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Articles

Therapy animals: Emotional support from a parrot!?

About a month ago, my mum and I went to a local pet store. I was having a bad day, and she knew seeing animals would cheer me up. (Being a 15 year-old with Aspergers and anxiety isn’t always easy!). And although we didn’t intend to, we left with a beautiful, affectionate parrot named Ollie. This article explains why they make great support animals.

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Defensiveness is natural but being non-defensive is wise

Many people get defensive OFTEN. Righteous indignation, playing the victim, and whining can be heaps of fun; the problem is they don’t work! No one likes feeling under attack from judgement, criticism or blame. Yet, defensiveness gives rise to more defensiveness. We need to find a way out. The key lies in our response-ability. Watch this short video to find out more.

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Can’t escape the narcissist in your life? Use the Grey Rock Method

Dealing with narcissistic people (self-serving people who lack empathy and have an inflated sense of their own importance) can be maddening. It can be tempting to argue with them and scream, “What’s wrong with you?” Don’t do this. There is a much more effective way to deal with them; something known as the Grey Rock method.

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How to stop being a people-pleaser (but stay loving)

Are you a people-pleaser? What is the difference between caring about others and having empathy, and being a people-pleaser? How do you tell the difference? In this short video, Dr Rachel explains the distinction.

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The Psychology of Kissing Your Kids

Dr Rachel was recently on ABC radio speaking with Kat Feeney about the psychology of kissing kids and parent-child attachments in the wake of the Australia’s college of obstetricians (RANZCOG) suggesting doctors and midwives tell women to avoid cytomegalovirus (CMV) by not kissing their kids.

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Is self-care only for the rich? Back to basics please!

Self-care is a very misunderstood concept, and as a consequence, often comes across as blasé. People assume you need lots of money (or lots of time, or both). But self-care doesn’t have to mean yoga classes, health spas, or massages. People who live week-to-week sometimes complain that self-care is only for the rich. I disagree.

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Having Faith as a Psychologist: An interview with Nahum Kozak (NBP)

In this delightful ABC interview with Katherine (Kat) Feeney, NBP psychologist Nahum Kozak discusses how an incident over 20 years ago when he was only 19 on a church camp made him reassess his faith, and find hope for his future and personal healing through compassionate friendship.

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Healing with humour: Interview with Fiona McGary

Rachel: As a comedian, why are you interested in humour and mental health?
Fiona: I got sick in 2014. I was in bed for 4 months, my business was failing, my relationship was failing, life was bad. I had depression. I was crying in the middle of the night and stuck in bed. I’d had depression years earlier when I remembered my sexual abuse. At that time, I drank and smoked too much to cope. When I had depression in 2014, I never went back to that terrible depression like before, because I sought help. That’s when I started to use humour properly.

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Grief is the Price We Pay for Love

This blog post has been inspired by the lovely comedienne, Jordan Kadell. Six years ago, Jordan’s family suffered a devastating loss when her brother died in a terrible accident while overseas celebrating finishing high-school.

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Overcoming Childhood Suffering: A Three Stage Process

Dark moments from our childhood – divorce, emotional neglect, a parent’s mental illness, witnessing violence or addiction, being abused – can stay with us as adults, even though we ‘feel fine’ most of the time. Research shows that adverse childhood experiences produce toxic levels of stress hormones that can affect the development of the neural networks in a child’s brain. In the past 20 years, researchers have shown that high scores on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) survey are highly predictive of adult mental, social and physical health problems later in life. The effects of these ACEs may be invisible, but they can weigh upon us decades later.

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Help Me! I’m a Comedian: New show with Rachel on ABC

LAUNCH TIME: I have been working on this ABC series over summer with Ashwin Segkar where we ask a comedian to share an issue they struggle with, and I offer ideas to them and the rest of us about coping with similar situations. Laughter and storytelling plus psych tips! In Episode 1, our guest was comedian Stav Davidson from B105 radio, where he discusses his chaotic childhood. Not quite “Comedians Get Therapy”, but almost! Click to listen to our first episode. More to come. Rachel

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What Makes Us Loyal? Dr Rachel on Loyalty for ABC Radio

Trust and loyalty have at least one thing in common: I am making something I value vulnerable to another person’s actions. Whatever I choose to make vulnerable to another’s actions, I do so because I believe their actions will support it or, at least, will not harm it. In the beginning however, loyalty to a person, place or brand always begins with how that person or place makes me feel. Which is where I begin this interview I did yesterday on ABC Radio in Brisbane. Click to listen.

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Surviving Christmas

Although Christmas is meant to be a happy and joyful time, this isn’t how everyone feels at this time of the year. Christmas can be a stressful and depressing time for many people. Today, Dr Rachel was on ABC Radio Brisbane discussing tips for surviving Christmas. Click to listen.

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The “L” Word: Nearly 30% of Aussies Lonely

by Lynne Rodgers (of North Brisbane Psychologists) Lonely is a taboo word. To admit you feel lonely risks attracting pity or being perceived as a social failure. Yet loneliness is so common it is tipped to be a new public health epidemic. The UK Government has appointed a Minister for Loneliness in recognition of this […]

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Embrace Your Inner Alpaca: A Symbol of Commitment

by Robin Fraser (of North Brisbane Psychologists) Australia’s best-selling book of 2017 was “The Barefoot Investor”. In this book, author Scott Pape discusses a tragic situation where his family farm was burned to the ground in a runaway fire. As he walks around the charred remains of what used to be his home, he recalls seeing in […]

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