Intentions for 2023

Every year I pick a theme for Fit To Dive’s work. There are so many ways psychology can improve diving, and vice versa, it’s easy to get lost while chasing ideas. It helps to have a little bit of a path to keep coming back to. I use one word.

Since the middle of last year, I thought that I had decided the word. Yet, as I thought about writing this post, I realised that the word did not hold the same meaning as the activities/goals. It just didn’t fit, and that makes no sense when the purpose of the word is to help keep a focus on those intended actions. So I considered those:

Intentions for 2023

  • Complete and share the qualitative pilot study on experience of trauma in recreational scuba diving.
  • Create a self-help guide for psychological trauma in scuba diving, including quotes from the study so that divers know there are others with shared/similar experiences.
  • Create a course for divers to learn about psychological trauma (and how knowing this is a way to reduce risk of further problems and enjoy diving more). Include a lesson that bridges to Prevent Panic, as trauma and panic are highly connected.
  • Continue to offer the ScubaFlex: experiential learning of skills for psychological flexibility to improve performance and manage stress. (And keep collecting evaluation data).
  • (Upload the ScubaFlex manual to the ACBS resources)
  • Compile original and some unseen essays to publish along with a reflective workbook.
  • Continue to offer individual sessions to divers. A big part of this is EMDR to help people let go of the distress while holding on to the learning. One way I’d like to do this is a “rapid access psychological deco” service, because, (like physio for a muscular-skeletal trauma) it’s faster and easier to treat/prevent early.
  • Explore options for memberships and/or packages that would make access to diving psychology more affordable. Potentially space for sharing experiences with other divers.

As I reflected on these aims, the word “experience” jumped out. More specifically, how we build ourselves as divers from what we do with experience. This follows on from last year’s theme on trauma because what we do with distressing experiences shapes processes of recovery, resilience and learning.

So that’s the word, be back to this post in December to reflect on “experience”.