Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

Reach for help after a season of trauma

By Natalie-Mai Holmes,

reach for help after a season of trauma

As Australia counts the toll from the bushfires that have seared so much of the country this summer, one insidious consequence is likely to evade our attention. The loss of life, destruction of houses, schools, farm buildings, entire streets of shops and business premises are starkly obvious, but those cultural and economic losses are only one part of the story.


Bushfires and mental health

Edited by Jill Wright,

bushfires and mental health

Having lived for many years with a young family in isolated bushland on the NSW South Coast near Cobargo, and with members of my family still living around Bermagui and Eden, even now at a distance from the events I've been deeply affected by the ongoing bushfire emergency.

Several friends and acquaintances have lost their homes in this most recent...

Overwhelmed? Here's some coping strategies

overwhelmed? here's some coping strategies

Radio National's Life Matters hosts Hilary Harper and Michael Mackenzie had an interesting talk-back session last week on what these days is an increasingly common phenomenon: feeling overwhelmed. As bushfires swept the northern States,...

Worrying link between stress and depression

Edited by Jill Wright,

worrying link between stress and depression

To a psychologist in Melbourne tracking developments in mental health around the world, there seems to be an all but unbroken stream of mass media reports highlighting the dangers of depression and stories of its victims.

In the past week, for instance,...

A talk on Talking Therapy

a talk on talking therapy

The latest All in the Mind program on ABC Radio National is an interview the ABC's Lynne Malcolm conducted with two clinical psychologists, Professor Gillian Straker and Dr Jacqui Winship, co-authors of the recently published The Talking CureIt's definitely worth listening to. The link also provides a transcript.

That title was the description one of Sigmund Freud's early patients...

Advice for activists: Get therapy

Edited by Jill Wright,

advice for activists: get therapy

Patrisse Cullors, founder of Black Lives Matter, has some good advice for those of us who live in what The Guardian calls "impossible political times": get professional help from a mental health therapist.

She is one of 17 activists the newspaper interviewed for an article on strategies activists use to say motivated, and dare one say...

Australian psychiatrists should heed antidepressant withdrawal warning

Edited by Jill Wright,

australian psychiatrists should heed antidepressant withdrawal warning

Last week, British psychiatrists acknowledged that they had been too optimistic about the dangers of withdrawal from antidepressants. Having told patients for years that most people would be able to withdraw safely from the drugs within four weeks, they now acknowledge that some patients taking the pills long-term can experience serious side effects that can last much longer. 

The Royal College...

Prevent burn-out ... do nothing

Edited by Jill Wright,

prevent burn-out ... do nothing

I am becoming ever more fond of the New York Times' Smarter Living section, which bills itself as offering "stories that help you understand the world - and make the most of it".

Recently, for instance, its contribution to increasing its readers' understanding of the world extended to an article advocating doing nothing

A couple of years ago, it...

Some facts about phobias

Edited by Jill Wright,

some facts about phobias

This post is from one of Psychology Melbourne's psychologists, Natalie-Mai Holmes.

Phobias are much more common than you probably think. No fewer than 11 per cent of Australians are thought to suffer from an extreme, irrational and frequently debilitating fear of something that most people consider harmless.

Fear is a natural response to real danger, stopping us from doing risky things...

Is Social Media a Cause for Unhappiness?

Edited by Jill Wright,

is social media a cause for unhappiness?

Since the earliest social networking websites appeared in 1994, the world has seen an enormous surge of participation in social media. Sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are the most popular, with a combined five billion active users every month. Their influence on society has been immense and it is likely to increase.

There are both positive and negative aspects....