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No Shame in the Psychology Game: Rethinking Help-Seeking as a Superpower.

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

Society is making strides towards enlightenment but the stigma around getting mental health help sadly still lurks in some corners. Sometimes it can still feel shameful to admit that we’re struggling or receiving professional help. We even use that word in discussing the stigma… ‘admit’… as if confessing some clandestine act!

How openly we feel we can discuss mental well-being is influenced by factors like workplace dynamics (does your office resemble a cutthroat reality show?), our age and gender, and the wisdom imparted during our formative years (did your parents teach you to "man up" or "don’t make a fuss"?).

Firstly, when you consult a psychologist, you're tapping into the knowledge of someone who's dedicated a whopping 8+ years to unravel the labyrinth of human brains, emotions, and behaviours. Of course, empathy plays a crucial role, but this is no ordinary coffee chat with your pal.

Now, here’s the ironic twist in the tale. Despite residual stigma around seeking psychological help to feel your best, psychology has already sneaked into numerous other aspects of our lives. Buckle up, while I take you on a whistlestop tour with just a few examples of psychological wizardry at play in our daily lives:

1. Educational and Child Psychologists are shaping how our kiddies are nurtured and educated. If you have a child at school, maybe you’ve been encouraged to help them develop a ‘growth mindset’? This is about praising your child’s effort (‘you’ve worked really hard on that, well done!’) over the end results (‘what a great drawing!’). That’s because science tells us that this builds perseverance and resilience. And, let’s face it, even the smartest kid will hit a few speedbumps in their homework journey!

2. The Mad World of Marketing: On average, we encounter a mind-boggling 5,000 marketing messages every day. Behind these campaigns, there are cunning consumer psychologists pulling the strings. So, what's probably the best lager in the world? Which adorable furry critter helps us navigate insurance quotes? Admit it, you know the answers!

3. The Government's "Nudge Unit": Yep, even the government has its own behavioural psychologists who specialize in the art of nudging us toward decisions deemed good for us. Remember how changing default settings from opt-in to opt-out led to a surge in personal pensions? It's all in a day's work for these behavioural change aficionados.

4. Giving Athletes the Performance Edge Think consulting a psychologist, executive coach or counsellor is a sign of weakness? Think again! Even the toughest athletes and football stars turn to sports psychologists to up their game and attain peak performance.

5. The Social Media Rabbit Hole Ah, the labyrinth of social media, where cat videos, political rants, and humblebrags collide! But, before you dive into that meme-filled abyss, did you know you're wading through the murky waters of social psychology? Social media platforms are specifically designed to keep you scrolling, tapping, and liking, and there's some top-tier psychology at play here. Algorithms and user interfaces are carefully crafted to exploit your dopamine receptors and build expectation, keeping you hooked like a fish on a line.

So, there you have it, a sneak peek into the everyday world of psychology. From the grocery store to your Facebook feed, from schooling to political persuasion – psychology’s stealthy influence is already at play in our everyday behaviour, whether we notice it or not!

Why wouldn't you want a piece of this psychological pie for yourself? Think of it as the icing on your training cake, the secret sauce to get ahead of the curve, the ultimate life hack!

Seeking help to optimise the complex landscape of our amazing, but sometimes tricky, brains is, in my opinion, undoubtedly the SMART, INNOVATIVE and RESOURCEFUL way forward. And, it would put you in excellent company!

Now, who's ready to unlock the incredible potential of their mind?

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Published by Dr Jill Williams

Executive Coach - Psychologist - Counsellor


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