Get Better at Talking to Yourself

It’s the hallmark of crazy – talking to yourself! Culture feds us the image of the highly disturbed loner, erratically uttering conspiratorial syllables to beings unseen. And we certainly don’t want to emulate that! So, we think that the opposite, never talking to ourselves, neither internally nor externally, is a sign of psychological health. But it’s not. We humans are...[ read more ]

Approval Seeking Schema

“I’m tying myself in knots. Diana is killing me!” A personal assistant, Paige, had recently started to work under Diana, who was aloof and seemed indifferent to efforts to impress her. Paige’s well-honed people pleasing skills just didn’t seem to work with Diana. “I feel like I’m running on adrenaline from the moment I walk into work”. Getting along with...[ read more ]

Name it to Tame it

“Then she accused me of being the bully!” Sandro was beginning to rant. His face was red and his eyes were moist. His ex-partner had just denied him access to their 6-year-old son. I asked him how he felt. “Sh*t!” He replied. “But what kind of sh*t”, I queried. He looked at me with blank confusion. Lisa Starr and her...[ read more ]

The Vulnerability Schema

Katia came to see me after a work team-building weekend. She was “encouraged” to partake in some fear-inducing and physically challenging exercises. She refused. “There was no way I was going on that rope bridge, that thing could fall at any time”. This refusal lead to a conversation with her boss who suggested she attend therapy. “He opened my eyes...[ read more ]

Happy First Anniversary!

Today the Justin Hendriks Psychology blog turns a big one! This blog has been a labour of love for me, I really enjoy sharing thoughts, ideas, research etc. I have been trying very hard to maintain weekly positing, and hopefully I can maintain this throughout Year 2! To celebrate this milestone, here are the top 5 blog posts from the...[ read more ]

Be Antifragile not Resilient

  What does not kill me makes me stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche In case you haven’t heard, resilience is one of the great psychological buzzwords of the day. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. My clients often tell me that their schools and workplaces champion the idea of psychological resilience. Isn’t it great that institutions are concerned...[ read more ]

Negative Automatic Thoughts

Inner Radio All the body’s organs work. The heart beats. The lungs breathe. The brain thinks. Only a dead brain is free of thoughts. The conscious mind is endlessly active. If we become aware enough, we can listen to these thoughts. They are usually like a constant stream of dialogue, an inner radio. This radio has different channels. Some channels...[ read more ]

Smiling: Fake it till you make it, not till you hate it

Patrick* was a relentlessly chipper chap. His cheerfulness was infectious, he was great to be around. He was going through a tortuous, spiteful divorce. Despite the lack of contact with his kids, the financial shock and constant hostile interactions, Patrick always greeted with a smile and a joke. Patrick was depressed, but no one around him knew – his sadness...[ read more ]


Tuesday 09 April: I exit work and enter the lift alone. I reflexively pull out my mobile phone (rarely used for making actual phone calls) and open a news site. Scanning headlines, I see nothing of interest and, in frustration, check a different site before the elevator doors open on the ground floor. As I walk to my car, I...[ read more ]

Youth, Devices & Mental Health

Elsewhere I’ve pondered the question of whether our mental health, as a society, is deteriorating. Certainly, most people with whom I speak seem to think that there are more people with mental health problems. Whether this is due to greater attention on mental health, or and increase in diagnoses is not always clear. A recent study in the Journal of...[ read more ]

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