teachingWith over five years experience running seminars and lectures in high schools, universities and with professionals around Australia, I am able to tailor these presentations and workshops to suit audiences from 15 to 1500. Enquires welcome.

Moral psychology, ethics and why we disagree.

Despite centuries of deliberation philosophers to this day come to very different conclusions about large ethical questions. A new line of research in the last decade has started to uncover the unconscious psychological processes that drive moral decision making, with surprising results!
Cognitive distortions and other ways we make decisions.

keynote address

Each day people make hundreds of decisions, big and small. From what to eat for breakfast, decisions at work, financial decisions, to who to marry. For different types of decisions we seem to use different thinking processes, some decisions seem rational and deliberate while others seem to be based on emotion and intuition.

But is our mind really that simple?

The truth is the most people are unaware of the internal thought processes that unconsciously bias decision making every day.

rational versus emotional

This talk will focus on internal patterns of thinking that lead us to make biased decisions. What leads entrepreneurs and business people to make bad decisions? Why is that person you know so closed minded?

Problematic thinking patterns will be identified that may lead to memory errors, inaccurate judgments, and faulty logic.

We can only partially inoculate ourselves against these biases. We first need to be aware that they exist, then take concrete steps to counter their influence, and finally gain insight into our own errors in judgement.

This talk is largely based on the influential research of Dr Daniel Kahnemann, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work that demonstrated the pervasive influence of psychology on so called “rational” economic decisions.

Other surprising research will be discussed. For example, a full bladder, apparently, helps us take more rational, long-term decisions!…

Body dysmorphic disorder. Assessment and treatment

This seminar is suitable for cosmetic professionals, psychologists and other mental health clinicians. Body dysmorphic disorder has 5 times the prevalence of anorexia, with around two percent of the populations experiencing clinically significantly symptoms. Alarmingly, 20 percent of patients presenting for cosmetic treatment have the disorder. Given that individuals with body dysmorphic disorder think they have a physical defect they are unlikely to disclose psychological problems. Few seek psychological treatment, however with cognitive behaviur therapy focusing on exposure and response prevention symptoms are likely to improve. This seminar runs through how to screen and diagnose patients, psychological and cognitive characteristic of body dysmorphic disorder and effective treatment.

Goal setting.

Many people feel as if they’re adrift in the world. They work hard, but they don’t seem to get anywhere worthwhile. A key reason that they feel this way is that they haven’t spent enough time thinking about what they want from life, work, school or university, and haven’t set themselves formal goals.

Stress management for students.

Suitable for high school and university students. In this seminar, participants are given practical ways that they can identify the sources of stress in their life, and what they need to do to manage it in a healthier way. Studies show that more than 1/3 of senior school students in Australia experience higher than ideal levels of stress, anxiety and depression around exam time. This stress then affects their ability to think calmly, study effectively and relate to others. For students who are not stressed about exams, almost all of them are experiencing or have experienced tough times or stress in other areas of life. This seminar teaches students how to identify early warning signs of stress, how to take control over what they do have control over, how to put in place practical stress management strategies themselves, how to lower their physiological stress levels and how to deal with difficult times calmly and effectively.

Identity and Materialism: An Inoculation Guide against Materialistic Values.

Buying stuff is widely regarded as an activity that helps us regulate our emotions, gain social status, and form an identity, however research has found that high levels of materialism is in fact linked to psychological insecurity, low levels of self-esteem and reduced well-being. This seminar helps us understand advertising, our material culture and how we can form an identity independent of consumption.