Aaron’s news, reviews and posts

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Motivational Interviewing training video, featuring me as a slightly more rotund than i see myself cartoon character.

Hard to judge, but had a great time doing this with the medical educators at RVTS and UTAS. Thanks for asking me 🙂

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcllUo9RqJo
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It is hard to capture the feelings of sadness that came from 4-corners last night. The captivity and abuse of children in the NT is as disgusting as it is predictable. If we all learned nothing from the Zimbardo experiments, it is that deprivation of liberty becomes abuse remarkably quickly.

This was demonstrated in the bowels of Stanford University 50 years ago, it was demonstrated in Guantanamo bay and a range of other rendition bases 10 years ago, and it is currently being demonstrated in Nauru and Manus island.

Removal of freedom is the second most serious sanction any society can impose on an individual, and is certainly the most serious sanction imposed by any society that any of us want to be a part of. However, there must be strict rules, strict procedures, and strict oversight or these things will happen over and over again.
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My book chapter "Principles of Behaviourism" is coming out shortly. Congratulations to Jennifer Fizgerald and Gerard Byrne for navigating this project to completion.

www.ipcommunications.com.au/title_psychosocial_dim_med.html
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I normally don't let the idiotic musings of our political class bother me too much. I know that most of the time they are just blowing hot air in the desperate hope that a microphone will be shoved in front of them for 15 seconds in amongst the hurricane of hot air from their colleagues.

However, on Monday one politician managed to be so offensive that it is worth comment. It is especially worth comment given that she is the current Minister for Health and as such responsible for the administration of both the health and mental health budgets.

In the national press club, Susan Ley MP said ...

“My frustration with the system that I have observed is that you get the same level of care if you present because your cat has died, or if you have developed a server psychiatric disorder,”

Firstly, and obviously let me state that in 15 years as a psychologist I have never yet met a client presenting because their cat died.

Secondly, it is extremely offensive to categorise all of those who see help with anything less that psychosis as having trivial concerns. This is the equivalent of telling 5 million Australians that they need to "harden up".

Finally, for government that espouses a commitment to early intervention and prevention, to be trivialising less serious mental health problems is absurd. Early intervention means treating the problem while it is small.

We can all be guilty of off the cuff remarks, but for a Minister of the Commonwealth to be so glib a to be both offensive and internally inconsistent in the one breath does raise concerns that she is in charge of a major overhaul of mental health policy.
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Musical Suicides

I have been a clinical psychologist for almost 20 years, but I’ve been a fan of metal music for closer to 30.  I grew up on a diet rich in double-kick bass drums, shredding guitar solos, and a mix of growled and screeched vocals.  When I was at uni and struggling to...

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Buying more stuff won’t make you happier

As national psychology week unfolds, most of us will have already been bombarded with plenty of feel good stories about mental health awareness and how a psychologist can help.  However, the story we don't hear so often is the one about how psychologist contributed to...

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How to become an evidence based therapist

Across healthcare there has been a move toward greater accountability. Funding bodies are no longer interested in funding activity, and are demanding outcomes. The recent review of mental health services by the National Mental Health Commission was explicit in saying...

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Internet Therapy: A Hollow Revolution ?

oOne of the major barriers to effective service delivery in Australia is distance. It costs more to connect a telephone wire to a house in Biloela than it does in Brisbane. Unsuprisingly, rural Australians are often at the short end of what governments like to refer...

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The Mental Health Dividend

As budget time looms, the horse trading gets more furious.  Once again, the mental health sector is facing uncertainty, cuts or restructure. Mental health typically fares poorly in these negotiations at least in part due to the fact that the government views mental...

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When is it ok to write a report for a client ?

Supervision Question - I have been asked to write a report to my clients employer saying they are psychologically fit for work.  Is it ok to do it ? This is a really common dilemma for psychologists.  Whether it is insurance companies, schools, centrelink, or a host...

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Report Card 2014

How effective is your psychologist ? In 1956 an English psychology professor named Hans Eysenck threw the cat amongst the pigeons amongst psychology circles by publishing an article that effectively stated “there is no evidence that psychological therapy works”....

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Siege Survivor Trauma Risk Increased by Media

Usually I take reality TV with a grain of salt; just because I am not interested in seeing adults get drunk and compete in egg and spoon races it doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for it, and that some people find great pleasure in watching. I feel the same about that...

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Improving Drop-out rate in therapy

Benchmark Psychology was established as a data driven practice. Not only are all of our psychologists trained in evidence-based practice techniques, we also measure their outcomes with all of their clients to identify areas in which improvements can be made. We then...

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