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What Understanding ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ Has Taught Me

By | ACT, Confidence, Shame | No Comments

What Understanding ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ Has Taught Me We’ve all heard the saying ‘nobody’s perfect’. I think we can all agree that this is true. The funny thing is that so many people don’t really understand the power that is contained within these words and how a bit of reflection on them could have a more meaningful relationship with them. How it is often used. When we hear people say ‘nobody’s perfect’, it is generally used more as an excuse and often as a request to cut some slack. “You didn’t do what I asked you to do last night.” “I’m sorry. Nobody’s perfect!” Or it can often be used as a consolation for things that are often something that we don’t like about ourselves and that we are often unable (or unwilling) to change. “I do smoke but nobody’s perfect and everyone has at least one flaw…” This is where it gets a bit murky. While it is true that we should often show self-compassion, we shouldn’t be using something like this to excuse behaviour that is unacceptable or that could be changed. Unfortunately, this is often where this saying is potentially abused. You’re not perfect. No one is perfect….

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2017: A Year In Review

By | LGBTQI, Uncategorized | No Comments

2017: A Year In Review Whereas 2016 was most certainly a year of change, 2017 has been harder to pinpoint exactly what it has come to represent. We’ve seen a movement throughout the year, which began with fear, move to strength and resilience, and has seemingly ended up acceptance. Nothing to fear but fear itself… The year began with a reaction out of fear. Consider this; we have three possible reactions to the things that we fear that are hard-wired into us. These three reactions are ‘fight, flight or freeze’. In 2016, we saw a massive amount of change and this change was often brought about through a manipulative use of fear. We saw the UK decide that it would leave Brexit. We saw the US push back against ‘the establishment’ and elect an unlikely President. We were still reeling from the after-shocks that come from the terrorist actions of the previous years and showed no signs of slowing down as we moved into 2017. All of these were often a reaction to our own internalized fear that people were out to get us and that we had to ‘protect our tribe’, often blown out of proportion by the media…

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OUTthink Will Be Back In 2018

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OUTthink Will Be Back In 2018 A little over a year ago, the first episode of the podcast OUTthink was published to the world. The aim of OUTthink was simple; to create more discussion and awareness around the LGBTQIA community and mental health issues. Over the course of the first ‘season’, our topics ranged from discussions on transgender, sexual fluidity, anxiety, shifting friendships, HIV acceptance, the impact of shame, and even a look at how we use comedy as a form of defense mechanism. In each episode, the aim was to have a casual conversation that held no objective other than to explore the topic openly and to consider what advice or insight our guests could offer based on their own experiences. What next for OUTthink? I’d really love to hear from people as to what kinds of topics and guests they would like the podcast to explore next. Our guests tend to fall into two categories; people who are specialists in their area and who can offer us advice or people who have experienced challenges and difficulties and who has a resilience that is inspiring and insightful. If there is one aim I have with OUTthink, it is to…

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Book Review: ACT Made Simple

By | ACT, Mindfulness | No Comments

Book Review: ACT Made Simple Dr Russ Harris I remember a few years ago when I was first introduced to ACT. I have to admit, I struggled with it initially. All this stuff about fusion and observing your self and rich, full and meaningful lives; it all felt a bit much. Fast forward a few years and several training sessions later and I have to say that ACT is transformative in its approach and has continued to be a source of revelation for many of the clients that I’ve worked with as well. ‘ACT Made Simple’ might be slightly deceptive in its title. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT to its friends) might come across as quite straight forward, however, putting ACT into practice can sometimes highlight some of the subtle yet challenging skills that come into play during the average session. With that, Dr. Russ Harris does have a remarkable knack for writing content that is both easy to read and to understand. The beauty of ‘ACT Made Simple’ is in the beautifully playful way in which Dr. Harris can easily engage the reader and offer them insight. ACT itself is often built on experiential exercises so even the…

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OUTthink Now Has a Home On Facebook

By | LGBTQI, OUTthink, Podcast | No Comments

OUTthink Now Has a Home On Facebook You mean it hasn’t been there all along? I know! Right! So we’ve fixed that and you can now OUTthink has it’s very own page on Facebook along with the Release Hypnosis Facebook page. You now have the option to like one or the other, or both! Each podcast will also be uploaded against the Facebook page to make it easier for you to find. Of course, if you enjoy the podcasts, why not feel free to share the Facebook page with your friends and encourage them to give it a LIKE so they can be informed when each new fortnightly podcast is published. We’ve covered a wide range of topics already since starting in November last year and our commitment is to making the podcast even more diverse and even controversial topics. Having said that, if you have a story that you think is worth sharing and that may help others within the LGBT community, then why not drop me a line so that we can chat further and see if we can get your story out there with OUTthink.

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OUTthink – Matthew Cooksey – A Discussion on ‘The Velvet Rage’

By | LGBTQI, OUTthink, Podcast, Shame | No Comments

OUTthink – Matthew Cooksey – A Discussion on ‘The Velvet Rage’ It was around the middle of last year that my supervisor recommended that I read ‘The Velvet Rage’. I had mentioned how my focus was working with the LGBT community and he had reached over to his very large, very full bookcase and pulled out a copy like it had been sitting there waiting for me to arrive. I immediately went out and purchased a copy so that I could immerse myself in a book that had become a foundation of my past year. Since then, I’ve recommended the book many times to clients who have come in to see me as well as writing my own review on my blog. I first contacted Matthew because of ‘The Velvet Rage’. I noticed that he was running free workshops based on ‘The Velvet Rage’ and the concept fascinated me. I had been putting the plans in place to start OUTthink by that point and thought that Matthew could be a great guest to talk about this book that we were both so passionate about. And so, it finally happened. In a decision not to cut the conversation down into two…

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OUTthink Podcast Hits 10 Episodes!

By | LGBTQI, OUTthink, Shame | No Comments

OUTthink Podcast Hits 10 Episodes! So, let’s be honest… hitting 10 episodes of a fortnightly podcast isn’t really that big of a deal however it felt like it was time to begin speaking a little bit more about this podcast that I’ve been investing some time and energy into. OUTthink is a podcast aiming to shine a light into some of the mental health and psychological issues that impact on the LGBT community. In my previous posting ‘Why I Created OUTthink‘, I outlined that LGBT folk have a unique relationship with shame during our childhood development. As kids, we knew we were different. We weren’t sure exactly in what way. We definitely couldn’t put a label on it, yet we could feel it and we knew the other kids knew too. As a result, we often allow the toxic effects of shame take impact; creation of the false self, rage, people pleasing, addiction – all common ways to deal with this feeling underneath that we were inescapably flawed and unlovable. As we find out place in ‘the community’, we begin to move more towards dismantling these shame messages and becoming more authentic. OUTthink really aims to both bring topics that…

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OUTthink – An Exploration of Transgender – Sally Goldner

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OUTthink – Episode 7 – An Exploration of Transgender (Part 1) About Sally Goldner Our guest this podcast is the incredible Sally Goldner. Sally is the Executive Director of Transgender Victoria, Treasurer of Bisexual Alliance Victoria, Co-Facilitator of TransFamily Victoria and was awarded the GLBTI Person of the Year Award as part of the annual GLOBE (Gay Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise) Community Awards in 2015 for her 17 years of advocacy for transgender people. Sally talks openly about her experience of growing up, struggling to connect with others and to make sense of who she really was. She talks about the turning point just prior to her 30th birthday where she began to come out as a transgender person and began her journey of discovering who she authentically is and reaching self-acceptance as both transgender and bisexual. Sally also talks about the main challenges facing the transgender community nowadays ranging from issues around documentation, anti-discrimination laws, funding (particularly for education) as well as health and medical care issues, exploring a little around the ‘guinea pig syndrome’ that exists in dealing with health and medical professionals. This is a conversation that is incredibly insightful and presented in such a…

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OUTthink Podcast: Living with Disability – Part 2

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OUTthink Podcast: Living with Disability – Part 2 In the latest OUTthink Podcast, we continue our discussion with Joe who talks about what it is like to find himself becoming disabled after years of excellent health. In this open and frank discussion, Joe talks about the impact the illness had on his life as well as the learnings that the experience has offered him. He discusses how he now retrospectively noticed ‘the signs’ that was leading to this crisis and offers up solid advice for those who might be experiencing the same. He discusses his own exhausting struggle, caught between the behaviours that he had in perfect health and the challenge of allowing himself to be vulnerable and asking for help. It is an insightful conversation that offers up food for thought for those who believe that they can ignore the signs that the body offers up without the risk of unexpected and unwelcome change. Joe discusses how surrendering to the situation has helped him, allowing the reality of the situation to aid him in finding solutions. He talks about society’s need to want everything now and, in his opinion, gay men even quicker, and talks about how learning to…

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Midsumma Carnival: Time To Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride

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Midsumma Carnival: Time To Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride   Tomorrow will see the 30th Midsumma Festival open with the annual Carnival in Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne. Each Midsumma is a great opportunity for the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian community to get together, to connect and to show pride for who they are. But why is pride so important? The opposite of pride When you ask someone what the opposite of pride is, they’ll often tell you that it is shame. Most people within the LGBT community know what it is like to grow up feeling shame. As young kids, we innately know that there was something different about us to the other boys and girls although we found it hard to put our finger on what it exactly was. Worst of all, the other boys and girls seem to know too. As we got older and the hormones began to do their thing, we began to realise that our own sexual awakening was different to our peers as well. In some cases, we may find this experience so uncomfortable that we disconnect with our sexual identity, almost becoming non-sexual. I can recall my own awkward years of not really feeling ‘anything much’…

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