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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

By | LGBTQI, OUTthink, Shame | No Comments

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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Can’t Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions – Try Being Kind To Yourself

By | Habits, Motivation | No Comments

Can’t keep your New Year’s resolutions – try being kind to yourself Kristin Neff, University of Texas at Austin Many of us will start out the New Year by making a list of resolutions – changes we want to make to be happier such as eating better, volunteering more often, being a more attentive spouse, and so on. But, as we know, we will often fail. After a few failures we will typically give up and go back to our old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to resolutions that require us to make effective or lasting changes? I would argue the problem isn’t that we try and we fail –– the problem is how we treat ourselves when we fail. I study self-compassion, and my research and that of others show that how we relate to personal failure – with kindness or harsh self-judgment – is incredibly important for building resilience. From early childhood, we are taught how we must succeed at all costs. What most of us aren’t taught is how to fail successfully so we can change and grow. One of the best ways to deal with failure is to have self-compassion. What exactly is…

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Carrie Fisher – Champion for Mental Health Discussion

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The end of 2016 is going to be remembered as a period where each day brought a new celebrity passing for us to mourn. One day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away, Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke while planning her funeral and sadly left us as well. In what can only be described as a tragic state of affairs, it is an extremely sad ending to two incredibly gifted and talented women. The loss of Carrie Fisher is made even more sad from the fact that she was such an advocate of discussion on mental health. She truly epitomized what it meant to be a mental health advocate, taking any opportunity that she could to bring mental illness issues into the light for discussion and to help to remove the stigma that is attached to it. As mentioned in the opening quote on the Rolling Stones feature, Fisher understood that the power in talking about mental illness was to remove the shame that surrounds it. Shame cannot exist one it is spoken aloud and greeted with acceptance. After her passing on the 28th December, many of her fans took to Twitter and did the unexpected; they came out about…

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A Very Honest, Very Raw Reflection On My 2016

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As I get towards the end of the year, I inevitably start to reflect on the year and to consider what I’ve learned from the past 12 months. Time to consider what has been some of the key messages my experiences have offered me. What is it that I need to take on board and to help me better understand myself as I get older. While a New Year is simply a passing of time, there is something about leaving one year and entering a next that can allow us to feel like we’re starting ‘fresh’ – I guess that is why New Year’s Resolutions have always been so popular. With that in mind, and in my usual self-indulgent way, I tend to like to share what some of those learnings have been. I always like reading what others have learned too – so I do hope you’ll share. They offer insights into how we can take situations and events outside of our control and to offer them meaning and value in our own life – and that process is important in being able to deal with them effectively, especially when the experiences have been negative. My learnings this year…

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