When it’s hard to find your heroes

A few weeks ago I got asked to give a guest lecture on addiction to a psychology undergraduate class at the University of Auckland.  To be fair, I was asked to fill in for the person who usually gives the lecture, who couldn’t make it. But I still felt just a little bit chuffed to be asked at all, given that I’m still really early in my career.  And nervous of course, giving a lecture to 150 students is no walk in the park when you’re not the biggest fan of public speaking!

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The science of imagination

I have a confession to make (but it’s not such a bad one). TED, a worldwide organisation which brings together speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity, has a Youtube channel entirely devoted to short educational videos on a wide range of topics.  My confession is that I’ve been slightly addicted to watching them lately, finding myself lost in a spiral of absorbing information on everything from how you digest food to how people lived in ancient Rome. They’re fascinating, and I strongly suggest you try them out.

When generosity doesn’t work

I have a strong value around generosity in my life.  I like to give to others, whether it be time, energy, or money/resources (when I can afford it).  I try to be a giving and generous friend, partner, family member and employee. I’ve based my whole career as a therapist around being generous – giving freely of my emotional energy and support to others.  This isn’t always a good thing.

Understanding addiction

What do you think of when I talk about addiction?  Maybe wild parties, immoral people without boundaries, illicit drug use, a debaucherous lifestyle?  Perhaps you imagine the popular idea of an “addict” – someone who either can’t control themselves or makes a choice to take drugs to the detriment of their own wellbeing.

Receiving compassion

I suppose you could say I’ve had a bit of a rough start to the year.  Some stomach issues which started just before Christmas 2017 cumulated in finding out I had acute cholecystitis – a condition where gallstones had blocked my bile duct, causing inflammation and a host of other more serious health risks.  I had to have a cholecystectomy (surgery to have my gallbladder removed) urgently, exactly one week before going on a three week holiday in Vietnam!

Cultivating a different attitude

Early last year I talked about my newly developed anxiety around flying.  In an effort to help me manage the problem better, later in the year I attended a “Flying without fear” course held out at Auckland Airport.  Today I thought I’d share a few of the things that I learned in the hopes that it might help other people with a fear of flying.

The course contained a lot of information – some of it I already knew, some I knew about but had forgotten, and some was entirely new (and very helpful).