Flourish and Thrive with Us

Interrupting the sound of silence

Sometimes it’s not the things that are said that hurt our relationships the most, but rather the silence. It can be difficult to articulate our hurt or needs to friends, family, and spouses. We shy away from communicating because we’re scared of what honesty might do to the relationship. That it’ll be easier just to hold it in until we get over it. That we’re making too big of a deal of how we feel. Or, that they simply won’t understand. But how often does this help us? 

Worry Beliefs Checklist

Have you ever thought about why you worry? Most of us believe that worry is helping us somehow, even if we would like to worry less. We start to believe that hypothetical outcomes are real and that by doing mental heavy-lifting, we can protect ourselves. Worry has been described as an elaboration of negative future potential outcomes as well as a mental attempt at problem solving.

Stop, Slow Down, and Smell the Roses

“Why are they walking so slowly?!!” “Get out of the way!” “How long does it take to make a latte?!”

We find slowness tough to tolerate in most contexts: slow drivers, slow service at a restaurant, slow internet, slow responses to an important text or email. Yet back In 2006, the average online shopper was happy to wait 4 seconds for a website to load (Akamai Technologies and Jupiter Research, 2006). Now, we’re frustrated if it isn’t instantaneous.”

Giving Importance To Mothers, By Mothers

One of the most difficult tasks in the world—if not the hardest—is being a mother. A mother's love is one of the most natural and most unconditional forms of love. It is without a doubt that mothers tend to think of their family first before themselves. Yet, all mothers are human, too, and need to look after themselves as well. Some may think that the top priority is the nurturing for their family, which is not wrong, but mothers also need time for themselves.

Childhood Challenges

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on Australia’s Children (2020) indicated that in 2013-2014 almost 14% of 4-11-year-olds experienced mental illness, and in 2015 7.4% of 0-14-year-olds had some level of disability.

It is no surprise then that many enquiries are made for children with Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Anxiety. These children face additional challenges as they develop and grow, which often impacts their wellbeing. Understandably causing concern for caregivers.

Online resources to support teenage development

Everyone needs some form of support, but teenagers are one of the demographics that need it the most. Teenagers need both support and knowledge as they learn to engage with the world, and parents are a vital source of information for teens for areas they are not familiar with.

Here at the Centre for Effective Living, we have put together some recommended online resources that are perfect for parents to engage with to feel better equipped to support their teen. What is more, these sites can spark opportunities to share and discuss valuable information, as teens live their lives in both the real world and the virtual world.

Will I ever be ‘cured’ of my anxiety?

For those who experience persistent, disabling or overwhelming anxiety it is normal to wonder if it will ever fully go away. However, while there are excellent, evidence-based treatments available to help manage anxiety, it wouldn’t be right to say that we could absolutely ‘cure’ it.

Taking a stand against fat talk

Fat talk – negative words we say to put down our own bodies – is sadly an all too common conversation topic today. An overwhelming number of both men and women report regularly engaging in fat talk with their friends and family. Once you start noticing it, you will hear it everywhere - women in the bathroom or a dressing room trying on clothes, men at the gym wanting to gain more muscle, high schoolers scrolling through heavily filtered, staged and Photoshopped pictures on Instagram, and on TV, on the radio or in magazines.

Tolerating the uncertainty

Uncertainty is a feeling that makes many people uncomfortable and that many people struggle to tolerate. People who struggle with tolerating uncertainty often perceive uncertainty, unpredictability and doubt as awful and unbearable experiences. They often describe feeling like they cannot cope with not knowing. 

Uncertainty can lead to worrying, as one tries to reduce the uncertainty through attempts to plan and prepare for possible negative events. Unfortunately, this rarely leads to feeling better or feeling more control. Rather it can lead to more worrying, along with heightened anxiety and stress. 

Looking out for Future You

Often our default is to think about making our lives easier now, to the detriment of our future selves. We find what is convenient now, and leave our future self to get things done. In the moment, putting off exercise, difficult work tasks, and household chores can feel really good!

But later that day or week, our future self is left to pick up the pieces and is usually pretty unhappy about it. So why is it so hard to learn from this?

Practicing what we teach – how psychology impacts psychologists

No one lives a life without some level of stress, conflict, or difficulty. The same is true for psychologists – and fortunately, the very techniques and skills that form the body of evidence-based practices that we use with our clients – also work for us!

When asked about how the psychologists on our team manage stress and difficult situations – these were some of the tips and strategies we identified as most helpful (you might recognise a few!)

Next time you feel stressed, don’t have bubble bath. Go deeper. Self-audit your needs instead.

For many of us, the first time we reflect on needs is when we become parents, grappling with what our children require from us to thrive in the world. Others reach their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s without realising that they have actually have underlying needs, or that effectively meeting them will lead to psychological health. The idea that needs are neither mysterious, enigmatic or abstract but rather universal is certainly not mainstream knowledge.

Why should we prioritise sleep?

Most people would agree that they feel better after getting a good night’s sleep and not so good when they haven’t slept well. However, many would also agree that in today’s fast-paced world sleep seems to be one thing that can be expendable. If we are going to prioritise sleep above the many other things that are fighting for our time and attention it is important to understand what exactly sleep does for us.

Sleep: Getting back to basics

Sleep can be as frustrating as it is necessary. We go to bed early and then lay awake for hours. We roll from one side to another. We put on some headphones and listen to a podcast. We try falling asleep to a tv show...nothing seems to help.

We can’t always think away the worries that keep us awake, or the nagging sensation that we’ll never get to sleep. But there are some tools we can use to rediscover better sleep.


Experiencing shame can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant. Shame is that feeling that comes up when we feel unworthy, not good enough or inadequate. Shame is that feeling that tells us we are bad or wrong or silly.  

Experiencing shame can impact on relationships and work. It can make it difficult to connect with people and achieve goals. Not only that, unresolved shame can lead to other feelings- depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Experiencing shame can be deeply damaging.  

What is OCD, and a glimpse into what it is like to experience OCD

Have you ever heard someone say “That’s so OCD” when someone is cleaning or arranging things carefully? Although OCD has become a common term used to refer to being neat or precise in a quirky way, this can unfortunately minimize the fact that OCD is a real mental illness that can be debilitating to live with. OCD is often misunderstood, so here are some facts to understand what OCD actually is, and then an exercise that might help you step into the shoes of someone with OCD.

Year of Adventure

Finally, 2020 is over and 2021 is here! I notice in myself and in conversation with family and friends a sense of hope about what this year could bring. That it could be different to 2020.

Last year was full of change, uncertainty, and stress; so, I have spent some time over the past few weeks reflecting. I asked myself a number of questions. How was this year for me? What went well? What was hard? Is there anything I want for this year without falling into the New Year’s resolutions/goals trap? Yes, even though I am a Psychologist, I find change hard too.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

Mixed Berry Smoothie
Serves 1-2

1 cup Mixed Berries, frozen
1 banana, frozen
½ cup vanilla or plain yoghurt
½ cup milk of choice
½ tbsp. chia seeds

1. Add frozen berries, banana, yoghurt, milk, and chia seeds to a blender.
2. Cover and blend until thick and smooth.
3. Adjust with more milk to achieve desired consistency.

For a sweeter smoothie, add some honey or maple syrup until desired sweetness is achieved.

Facing “Impossible Tasks”

Do you have an ‘Impossible Task’? Coined by M. Molly Backes on Twitter, an ‘Impossible Task’ can be anything – starting an assignment, going grocery shopping, or making a phone call. The task may seem simple enough, but for you it’s overwhelming and all too much. Even if the task weighs on your mind every day and you spend significant time and effort willing yourself to ‘just do it’, for some reason you just can’t.

Why is it so hard to keep my goals?

Do you find it hard to set goals? Or, when you do set goals, do you find it hard to keep them?

A quick search online suggests that the majority of people who set New Years’ Resolutions each year don’t manage to keep them for even a month - so if you struggle to keep the goals you set you are not alone!

What sense do you find calms you the most?

Touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight. These are our five senses that we use every day. Whether it is appreciating the sight of the morning sunrise, savouring the taste of our morning coffee, listening to music whilst on public transport to work, or snuggling into the soft touch of the doona as we go to bed at night. Our five senses help us enjoy and appreciate the fullness of the world.

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As a parent, it can feel like you are being pulled in different directions. You want to do what is best for your child, to be the best parent you can be. Pretty much every parent can remember a time where they wish they hadn’t yelled, nagged, or just handled a situation in a more helpful way.Click the link for some questions to help you think through your parenting values.bit.ly/3qPrfPP #Parenting #Psychology #children ... See MoreSee Less
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On this blog, Michelle Nortje talks about moving through the stages of processing grief in the time of COVID.Click the link to read more as she shares a few tips to help you manage COVID-related grief.bit.ly/3ClmqmW#grief #COVID19 ... See MoreSee Less
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We shy away from communicating because we’re scared of what honesty might do to the relationship, that it’ll be easier just to hold it in until we get over it, that we’re making too big of a deal of how we feel, or that they simply won’t understand. But how often does this help us? #Silence #Communication ... See MoreSee Less
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On this blog, Sarah Hindle talks about adjusting to the lockdown as a mother and balancing work & home life. Click the link to read more on coping with change and overcoming the challenges.bit.ly/3C5VzLv #Lockdown #Women #Stress #Mothers ... See MoreSee Less
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As much as possible, try to get out of the house for some fresh air. Shaking off tension and gaining some vitamin D can also offer some relief. #excersie #selfcare ... See MoreSee Less
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