Month: February 2015

The dark sciences: psychological experiments even Dr. Frankenstein wouldn’t approve of

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by Grant J Everett

Thousands of ethical psychological experiments have enabled modern researchers to better understand the workings of the human mind. Sadly, some ideas have backfired horribly, ruining lives and bringing the entire profession of psychology into disrepute. Here are some horror stories from the darkest of dark sciences…

The Stanford Prison experiment

In 1971, social psychologist Philip Zimbardo wanted to understand the ways that people conform to their established place in the world. He did this by using a group of college students to take part in a two-week-long experiment where they would live either as prisoners or guards in a pretend prison. The results may ruin what little hope you have left in humanity.

Having selected the test subjects, Zimbardo assigned each of them their roles without bothering to pass on this knowledge in advance, and arranged to have the “prisoners” arrested outside of their own homes (yep, in front of all their neighbours).

Documentaries, books and even big-budget Hollywood movies have told the story of what happened next. Spoiler: the results were beyond disturbing.

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Moving forward: aqua aerobics

Jeanette AquarobicsJeanette Rodriguez is one of our peer workers at RichmondPRA. Here she gives a personal account of overcoming fear and taking a plunge in the right direction:

“So much has changed in my life now and I find myself wanting to do the things I’ve always loved, but had become fearful of doing. One of the things I decided to do was to start Aqua Aerobics at my local swimming pool.

“I love it so much! It makes me feel relaxed. My fitness is also improving, and it helps with the pain in my back. But most of all, I feel like me again! I feel like the old Jeanette, before all the anxiety problems. This has brought so much joy and self-confidence back into my life.

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Spare me your medical mumbo-jumbo!

bacon-337529_1920Wish you knew exactly what you were eating? You’re not alone…

By Grant J Everett

How many kilojoules are there in a Mars bar? How many kilojoules make up a calorie? And how much running would you have to do to work that Mars bar off your butt again? After putting up with years of confusing, misleading and sometimes flat-out dodgy nutritional information on foods that we eat every day, there is now a major push to simplify what those lovely, bright packets are saying to us (besides “EAT ME,” of course).

Imagine if you picked up a Cadbury family block and were instantly able to know how much exercise it would take to burn off all those calories. Would this affect your dietary choices? If you were simply after a rare treat then maybe not, but this whole idea suddenly gets a lot more important when you consider that many of the “healthier” options we have to choose from may not be as good for us as we’ve been lead to believe.

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Spinnaker on Spinnaker: rest, recharge and recover

“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” -Ralph Marston

Sharon keenan having a cuppa Spinnaker storyAbove: Sharon Keenan having a well-deserved cuppa while taking time out

Friday the 31st of January 2014 was a very important and successful milestone for all of those great people involved with RichmondPRA Peer Operated Service (POS) in Hervey Bay, as we held an information day about the “Spinnaker on Spinnaker” program at our resource centre. We received plenty of enthusiasm.

Once chosen, a total of 5 people stayed at Spinnaker for a trial period of 4 weeks over January and all the feedback was universally positive. One guest commented, “I had quality time to myself which gave me a clearer head to think about my future plans.”

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Some recovery principles

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by Warren Heggarty

A possible definition of “recovery” is “a journey of healing and transformation that enables a person to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice and achieve their full potential. Having the following ten elements as a part of your journey will contribute to achieving a true recovery process.

1. Hope

I once heard a support worker say, “Sometimes when people lose all hope, we can give them a lend of our own.” The implication is that hope is like respect and trust: it is both given and received.

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The mental health directory

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Every contact you need to know…

by Grant J Everett

As an Australian, you have access to a level of free medical care that is simply unheard of in most countries. Sure, our system isn’t perfect, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be forced to choose between death or crippling, insurmountable debt like in certain places we could mention (cough, America, cough). This care also extends beyond physical issues and into mental, psychological and psychosocial assistance, and there are thousands of people and dozens of organisations out there who are devoted to taking care of your essential needs.

A big part of getting the help you need, however, is knowing exactly where to go. For this purpose we’ve collected together information about some of the best services, charities and non-govenment organisations in New South Wales and what they can do for you into one big directory.

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