Making teams work: Increasing cooperation and productivity by removing primate politics…

Any of you who’ve spent time working in a large organisation will be familiar with the seeming need for (what feels like) endless meetings. In fact, working with and in groups is an inescapable fact of pretty much all organised work. Occasionally, this experience can Read More …

Being professional: Ethics and practice…

We all remember the Suarez biting incident a few weeks back. Given my background in sport psychology, I found it particularly interesting and even thought about writing a blog about it. At the same time, I had several requests (from the media) to speculate on Read More …

How not to be miserable: Challenge, mastery, and flow as panacea…

There’s a pervasive theme among my clients. Time and again, they report having pretty OK lives; they have a comfortable home, supportive relationships, a decent job, and plenty of stuff. But they’re unhappy, or preoccupied, or stressed, or overwhelmed by their emotions (usually anxiety and, Read More …

Riding the hard stuff: An instruction manual for your brain…

First up, my apologies for the lack of a post in the last few weeks – busy times. I’ll get back to a normal publishing schedule in a fortnight. In the meantime – below is an article that I recently wrote for Flow mountain bike and which should Read More …

There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute…

Today’s blog will be a little different, but touches on human credulity, especially in the modern world of mass distribution of (mis)information. As a person trained in science, it pains me to see the amount of crap being pumped through social media, and the remarkable Read More …

The value of human life…

It seems I’m on an ethics and actions binge; all my currently planned posts (I’ve normally got about five drafts ready at any time) appear to have a human rights theme, but I’d actually planned to write this blog about six months ago. You might Read More …

Actions speak louder than words…

I, for one, am fed up with watching inequity, stupidity and bigotry, and walking by because it’s ‘uncomfortable’ to say or do anything. So today, I’m going to write about why it’s not OK to let politicians, organisations, and individuals get away with actions that Read More …

Neuroscience vs. psychology: Why we need to understand the hardware and software…

Last time, I wrote about the sometimes bridge between psychological research and practise. I pointed out that many psychologists practise based on nonscientific beliefs, instead of sound, evidence-based protocols. Again, last week, I pointed out that many psychologists practise in almost complete ignorance of neuroscience. Few Read More …

Psychologists vs. psychology: It’s time we started practising science…

This week, I’m going to rant. Actually I’m going to rant about my own profession. As you probably know, I’m a psychologist. I first became involved with psychology as a student 25 years ago. Since then, I’ve spent 11 years at university studying it, and Read More …

Guilty, anxious? You’re not alone…

In my practice, the most common ‘ailment’ I see is anxiety. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll be aware of my views on anxiety as a mental disorder: that it isn’t one. Instead, it’s a normal, human system that has gone wrong. In fact, Read More …

The Biggest Exploitation…

Most of my readers will be familiar with the television show “The Biggest Loser” – there are ‘homegrown’ versions of it in Australia, the UK and the US. Today I want to write not only about why they do immense harm (and no good), but Read More …

Building a better self: Using cognitive hacking to modify your fuck-ups…

Over the last 18 months, I’ve written a fair bit on the concept of self, and the various issues with being human that get in the way of our mental wellbeing. Today, I’d like to revisit that theme, tying together a few of the various Read More …

Your mind’s been hacked: Now what?

Happy New Year to everyone. Apologies for the radio silence over the Xmas break. I took a well needed  rest – fortnightly blogs will continue from today onwards. I’ve written a fair bit in the past about the idea that humans are hackable based on Read More …

Understanding intelligence: You’re not as smart as you think you are (and neither am I)…

A lot of the things you learnt about the brain whilst growing up were probably wrong. In fact, over the last decade or so, most of the things neuroscientists knew (or thought they did) about the brain have been shown to be either incomplete or Read More …

How well would you cope in a disaster? Performance in extreme situations…

You probably think you’d cope well in a disaster right? In fact, whether it’s their imagined reaction to a car accident, a bushfire, or a medical emergency, most people think they’d deal with it pretty well. Actually, most people think they’d deal with it better Read More …

Performing under pressure: What you need to know…

Some of you probably know that I’m trained as a sport psychologist, and spent four years running a Masters’ degree in Sport and Performance Psychology in London. During that time, I designed what I believed to be a cutting-edge course, had it ratified and accredited Read More …

Why ties are evil: The dangers of tradition and social conditioning…

These days I keep a bank of blog ideas (hopefully at least five at any given time) so that when I sit down on a Monday morning, one of the ideas will present itself. I came up with this idea a while back and have Read More …

How to exercise properly: Making sure you get what you need…

I’m on holiday this week – four days in and I’m feeling relaxed – perfect time for a blog. I’ve had this idea sitting in my drafts folder for ages – and given I’m taking a week off exercising it’s probably the right time to Read More …

The power of purposeless activity: Fun (or why I mountain bike)…

When was the last time you had fun? I don’t mean the sort of things that, as adults, we often confuse for fun, like getting pissed or washing the new car. I mean something that was frivolous, purposeless, even pointless, and yet resulted in feelings Read More …

The International Anti-Dick Police…

Today I was going to continue writing my series on wellbeing, but a news headline I heard over the weekend has (to my mind) made it important I write this post. So, the headline was that, recently, a farmer in Egypt was arrested because he Read More …

Wellbeing at work (Part 3): Helping your employer be less of an arsehole…

OK, looks like life has conspired to answer my own question – a blog every two weeks seems to be doable, so from now on (unless I get extra excited), expect fortnightly entries. Today, I want to finish the trilogy of wellbeing at work articles. Read More …

Wellbeing at work (Part 2): Taking control…

I’m still not quite decided whether I’ll continue this blog on a weekly or a fortnightly basis – recently I’ve come up with quite a few new ideas, so we’ll see how things go. You can help though! Let me know whether you’d really like Read More …

Wellbeing at work: Cutting through the bullshit…

Apologies for the break last week – turns out that coming up with a new topic every week is actually pretty hard – and there have now been over 65 blogs (stretching over a 14 months). Hits are steadily increasing too – the site just Read More …

You can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter…

I started this blog post a while back when I first heard the expression “you can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter”. It got me thinking about all the ways (as human beings) we delude ourselves and others, so much so Read More …

Why I’m choosing to go vegetarian…

I’m back. Apologies for the lack of entry last week – a combination of jet lag and a cold made sure that didn’t happen. Today, I wanted to write about something that’s been on my mind for a while. Before travelling for a month, my Read More …

The science and practice of Meditation (cultivating your inner daily llama)…

Today’s post comes to you from onboard a train to London – normal service should resume next week on my return home to Melbourne. I realised recently that I’ve spent a lot of time in my posts talking about the importance of meditation, including how Read More …

The perils of self-esteem (or why self-confidence is bad for you)…

This week’s blog comes to you from Paris. Last week – I wrote about how believing in a particular identity can screw you up. I was writing about how buying into the notion of what comprises an ‘adult’ can lead to all sorts of feelings Read More …

Am I a grown-up yet?

Today’s post comes to you from a coffee shop in downtown Edinburgh… (for those of you wondering where to get really good coffee in Edinburgh, try the Brew Lab in South College Street.) So, I’ve been travelling for 10 days or so, and one thing Read More …

The Zen of butt-sniffing: What we can learn about psychological wellbeing from dogs…

First up, I’m on holidays at the moment but am going to try to update the blog as often as possible (it might not be quite weekly) – will do my best! Today, I wanted to write about a topic near to my heart: dogs. Read More …

The biggest tragedy of our times (and why it really matters)…

Apologies for the lack of blog last week – it was my birthday and I decided to take the day off… This week, I want to write about something that’s quite dear to me, but that’s a little off topic from my usual theme. And, Read More …