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4 months ago

Dr Aaron Frost

Beautiful readOn July 31, 1968, a young, black man was reading the newspaper when he saw something that he had never seen before. With tears in his eyes, he started running and screaming throughout the house, calling for his mom. He would show his mom, and, she would gasp, seeing something she thought she would never see in her lifetime. Throughout the nation, there were similar reactions.

What they saw was Franklin Armstrong's first appearance on the iconic comic strip "Peanuts." Franklin would be 50 years old this year.

Franklin was "born" after a school teacher, Harriet Glickman, had written a letter to creator Charles M. Schulz after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot to death outside his Memphis hotel room.

Glickman, who had kids of her own and having worked with kids, was especially aware of the power of comics among the young. “And my feeling at the time was that I realized that black kids and white kids never saw themselves [depicted] together in the classroom,” she would say.

She would write, “Since the death of Martin Luther King, 'I’ve been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence.'”

Glickman asked Schulz if he could consider adding a black character to his popular comic strip, which she hoped would bring the country together and show people of color that they are not excluded from American society.

She had written to others as well, but the others feared it was too soon, that it may be costly to their careers, that the syndicate would drop them if they dared do something like that.

Charles Schulz did not have to respond to her letter, he could have just completely ignored it, and everyone would have forgotten about it. But, Schulz did take the time to respond, saying he was intrigued with the idea, but wasn't sure whether it would be right, coming from him, he didn't want to make matters worse, he felt that it may sound condescending to people of color.

Glickman did not give up, and continued communicating with Schulz, with Schulz surprisingly responding each time. She would even have black friends write to Schulz and explain to him what it would mean to them and gave him some suggestions on how to introduce such a character without offending anyone. This conversation would continue until one day, Schulz would tell Glickman to check her newspaper on July 31, 1968.

On that date, the cartoon, as created by Schulz, shows Charlie Brown meeting a new character, named Franklin. Other than his color, Franklin was just an ordinary kid who befriends and helps Charlie Brown. Franklin also mentions that his father was "over at Vietnam." At the end of the series, which lasted three strips, Charlie invites Franklin to spend the night one day so they can continue their friendship. [The original comic strip of Charlie Brown meeting Franklin is attached in the initial comments below, the picture attached here is Franklin meeting the rest of the Peanuts, including Linus. I just thought this was a good re-introduction of Franklin to the rest of the world - "I'm very glad to know you."

There was no big announcement, there was no big deal, it was just a natural conversation between two kids, whose obvious differences did not matter to them. And, the fact that Franklin's father was fighting for this country was also a very strong statement by Schulz.

Although Schulz never made a big deal over the inclusion of Franklin, there were many fans, especially in the South, who were very upset by it and that made national news. One Southern editor even said, “I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.”

It would eventually lead to a conversation between Schulz and the president of the comic's distribution company, who was concerned about the introduction of Franklin and how it might affect Schulz' popularity. Many newspapers during that time had threatened to cut the strip.

Schulz' response: "I remember telling Larry at the time about Franklin -- he wanted me to change it, and we talked about it for a long while on the phone, and I finally sighed and said, "Well, Larry, let's put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How's that?"

Eventually, Franklin became a regular character in the comic strips, and, despite complaints, Franklin would be shown sitting in front of Peppermint Patty at school and playing center field on her baseball team.

More recently, Franklin is brought up on social media around Thanksgiving time, when the animated 1973 special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" appears. Some people have blamed Schulz for showing Franklin sitting alone on the Thanksgiving table, while the other characters sit across him. But, Schulz did not have the same control over the animated cartoon on a television network that he did on his own comic strip in the newspapers.

But, he did have control over his own comic strip, and, he courageously decided to make a statement because of one brave school teacher who decided to ask a simple question.

Glickman would explain later that her parents were "concerned about others, and the values that they instilled in us about caring for and appreciating everyone of all colors and backgrounds — this is what we knew when we were growing up, that you cared about other people . . . And so, during the years, we were very aware of the issues of racism and civil rights in this country [when] black people had to sit at the back of the bus, black people couldn’t sit in the same seats in the restaurants that you could sit . . . Every day I would see, or read, about black children trying to get into school and seeing crowds of white people standing around spitting at them or yelling at them . . . and the beatings and the dogs and the hosings and the courage of so many people in that time."

Because of Glickman, because of Schulz, people around the world were introduced to a little boy named Franklin.
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7 months ago

Dr Aaron Frost

Great News From AHPRA

My supervision renewal status just came through today.

Thanks to Prof Analise O'Donovan for her very inspiring master-class on resistance in supervision, and to AHPRA for processing this application in less than 3 days.
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Fascinating look at why we need metrics in psychotherapy

TED
The psychology behind why incompetent people are usually unaware of their weaknesses (via TED-Ed):
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9 months ago

Dr Aaron Frost

Excellence in private practice workshop with me, Kaye Francom and Daryl Chow is in Melbourne this week.

Brisbane and Sydney still to come ... 🙂

www.psychology.org.au/Event/19279?view=true
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10 months ago

Dr Aaron Frost

www.aaronfrost.com.au/the-psychology-of-shooting-back/

Does America want an army of "weaponised" teachers ?
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1 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

Have you ever stopped to consider how important mindset is in order to be able to do great work from a feedback informed point of view.

Thanks to the school psychologists association of WA for inviting me over last week to talk about this important topic as a keynote to their annual conference.
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1 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

Not quite sure what this is all about, but who doesnt like a bit of recognition ... See MoreSee Less

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1 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

One of the great privileges of my careeer is that I get to spend time working with passionate clinicians who genuinely care about delivering the best help for their clients ... See MoreSee Less

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1 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

A full day ahead working with the lovely people here on getting the best outcomes for their clients ... See MoreSee Less

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1 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

34 soon to be #psychology supervisors. Doing their final deliberative practice exercise of two day intensive STAP training. Only video left. Good luck guys 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less

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2 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

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=PcllUo9RqJoMany thanks to Dr Natalie Burch at RVTS, who turned my day long workshops into this neat little package.
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2 years ago

Dr Aaron Frost

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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Therapy Myths

  I was recently asked to respond to the question of whether or not it has been “proven” than “General Psychologists” get the same outcomes as “Clinical Psychologists” and that there is in fact no value to Master’s training.   I have been of the opinion for some time...

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Psychotherapy: Waiting for a paradigm shift

What is a paradigm shift?   The idea of a paradigm shift has been hijacked by advertising agencies and used to describe everything from a new smartphone, to a lower fat cheese.  But in science, the idea of a paradigm shift has a slightly more nuanced meaning.  ...

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The Psychology of Shooting Back

  You hear the rush of footsteps outside your classroom door, bodies jostling, crying and shouting.  The sound you had been trying to dismiss as a car engine misfiring has gotten closer and is now unmistakable as small arms fire. It is at that moment you realise this...

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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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