Smile First, Ask Questions Later: Beat the Social Isolation Schema

The Social Isolation Schema Maurice was lonely and angry. “No matter where I go, I’m on the outer of groups. People can just sense that I’m a weirdo, a loner”. He had reached the point of exasperation. “I just can’t be bothered with socialising. Most people are just small-mined, small-talking, dimwits!” Some people, like Maurice, have had significant childhood experiences...[ read more ]

Coping with First World Problems: Epictetus or Epicurus

How do you solve a First World Problem? Some see First World Problems as problems that are laughably trivial. But I prefer to see them as those problems in which the Enemy is internal rather than external. External Enemies are Hunger, Cold, Savage Beasts, Rival Groups intent on murdering or enslaving us. And we conquered each of our External Enemies...[ read more ]

Breaking Procrastination: Part III, Dinner before Desert, Always

Read Part I and Part II of this series.   Its sometime in the late 90’s. Justin arrives home on a Saturday afternoon, heavy with dread. The major assignment is due on Monday. He sits in his room, the clutter of his desk feels intolerable: Work simply can’t be started until its clean! However once cleared away, the pressure has...[ read more ]

Present and Future Selves at War

I never get enough sleep. I stay up late at night, because I'm Night Guy. Night Guy wants to stay up late. 'What about getting up after five hours sleep?' Oh, that's Morning Guy's problem. That's not my problem, I'm Night Guy. I stay up as late as I want. So, you get up in the morning, the alarm rings,...[ read more ]

The Dependence / Incompetence Schema

This is the last of my series on the 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas. Coming in much later than the other articles in this series – I have to admit I hadn’t realised I had omitted this one. Schema theory is transdiagnostic model of psychotherapy/psychology was developed by Jeff Young in the 1980’s. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series!   “I...[ read more ]

Limitless and Limited: Micro-dosing and Schemas

Limitless In 2011, Bradley Cooper started taking a drug that allowed him to use the full awesome power of his brain. With his innate cognitive capacities unlocked, he is able to attain superlative levels of motivation, power, wealth and sex. In recent years, several of my clients have disclosed to me their use of psychedelic micro-dosing. Psychedelic drugs are those...[ read more ]

The Adult Drudgery Years

Martin* and his wife are tired and at each other’s throats. “Every chore becomes a tense standoff, its like she thinks I have this hidden extra time that I’m not telling her about, but I’m busy too!”. The couple have two small children and both work. “I know she needs some time off; I’m just too stretched myself to give...[ read more ]

And for now for Balance: Social Media is Good

Its true that I don’t value of social media very highly. In a nutshell, I believe that most internet-based applications serve to draw us further into the Experience Machine. Philosopher Robert Nozik described the hypothetical Experience Machine in a thought experiment in his 1974 book Anarchy State and Utopia. I write about the Experience Machine here. Nozik describes it to...[ read more ]

Alcohol Use Disorder

This is the last in my series of the most common psychological disorders in Australia. The list of common disorders had three entries for substance use – alcohol harmful use, alcohol dependence and drug use disorder. I have decided to collapse these entries into one disorder – alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is just one of many drugs that can be...[ read more ]

Facebook bans the Confirmation Bias

Being a long-time sceptic of the influence social media, I was happy to hear last week that Facebook had banned news.  It’s not that I necessarily support the government’s efforts; I don’t understand the offending policy well enough to have an opinion about whether it is good or bad. I wouldn’t even hazard a guess about whether any policy is...[ read more ]

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