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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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Insomnia, Anxiety, and The Sleep Book: A Teenager’s Firsthand Experience

Our latest blog is a guest post from Alice, the 14 year-old daughter of NBP Director, Rachel Hannam. Alice just finished reading “The Sleep Book” by Dr Guy Meadows. It really helped her overcome her sleep anxiety and insomnia. This is her experience as a teenage sufferer. (She’d love some feedback in the comments 🙂

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The Superpower of Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is a superpower. Whilst I was growing up, and even now as an adult, I found the X-Men Marvel characters really appealing. I mean what teenager doesn’t know the feeling of being weird, judged or like an outsider? How awesome it was to escape into a world where I could imagine having superpowers! Now I see…

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How to Give Empathy

I want to be a more empathic person. But when I try to give empathy, I don’t really know how. I end up giving sympathy. Or I ask questions and give suggestions, leading to conflict. How do I give empathy to my partner or my children without ending up in an argument or feeling rather disconnected and helpless? I need some tips….

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How Do I Forgive Him?

“People talk about forgiveness, but I am too full of hurt and resentment. Since doing couples counselling, we are better at communicating. I want to work it out, but I haven’t forgiven him yet. How do I let go of the past and forgive?” So, start by asking yourself what happens when you don’t forgive. If it’s only good things, then don’t forgive! But, more likely, you are asking this because you want out of the mental suffering that non-forgiveness creates…

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My Trauma Story: Integration v Shame

In case you missed it or aren’t on Facebook, I posted a video yesterday about my own trauma story (see below). Actually, just one piece of my story that came back to me after 20 years. I was inspired because many survivors of trauma who I meet are still carrying around feelings of shame. Which is understandable, since shock and trauma can leave us disoriented, frozen, fearful, and ashamed. But I believe in the power of stories to…

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The Stress Myth and How Lobsters Grow

The myth that stress is bad for us still abounds. I personally think toxic shame is much worse. But stress in all forms, such as fear, worry, discomfort and anxiety, is part of life. So long as we are not ignoring high levels of chronic stress, stress is important and helpful. At any rate, stress is inevitable. So, we need to adopt a friendly attitude towards stress and to build our capacity to handle it. So how do we do that?

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Five Happiness Killers

Today I was invited onto ABC Radio in Brisbane to discuss happiness and “Happiness Killers”. A great deal of our thinking and behaviours as human beings create our suffering states, such as powerlessness, resentment, anger, exhaustion, anxiety, jealousy, depression and disappointment. This is my take on the term ‘happiness killers’. Below are the five Happiness Killers I spoke about at the ABC today.

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Lots of Nonviolent Communication Resources

Last Saturday I ran a short but successful workshop at the Solstice Festival at Northey Street City Farm on Nonviolent Communication or NVC. I got lots of messages afterwards and I was reminded that lots of people have lots of interest in this topic. So, I thought I would compile a bunch of links for you for future reference to NVC courses and resources (online + face-to-face).

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Workshop with Rachel on Nonviolent Communication June 23, 2018

If you have no plans this Saturday June 23, come down to Northey Street City Farm in Windsor to the Winter Solstice Festival and join this free workshop with Dr Rachel Hannam from 2pm-3pm at the FairShare Tent to learn about nonviolent communication or NVC.

NVC helps us to bypass blame and judgement, and connect with feelings and needs. Here is a link to the…

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It Is Not The Critic Who Counts

For many people, lack of self-confidence comes form having a harsh inner critic. How do you manage a harsh inner critic? Or harsh critics around you? Working on your own life and mind is the key to accepting yourself as you are and letting go of those criticisms.

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Feeling Tight? Sigh Three Times

When you are tense, your breathing is tight. Three Sighs is the most time-efficient meditation you will ever do. It’s very short – maybe 30 seconds long – but you can change your state of body and mind markedly in that time.

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