With Covid-19 measures being put in place in Europe and the UK in late-March, divers are not only cancelling dive plans, we are also getting used to the idea we may be staying home for a while. PADI organised a series of Facebook Live talks for landlocked divers, looking at how what we’ve learned underwater can help us get through this stressful time. This talk … Continue reading Talking about calm breathing live on PADI Facebook
There is something I do that I don’t talk about very much, (partly because I’m not allowed to!). I’ve been working with individual divers who have somehow gotten stuck with their scuba diving. For example anxiety or panic at a particular depth, fears or specific phobias and sometimes distressing experiences in diving. Often the issue is really quite frustrating for them. Usually they’ve tried various … Continue reading Some reasons you want your psychologist diving
It’s the beginning of a new year and a new decade. I’ve had the iceberg metaphor in mind since the end of December. Fueled by the excitement of what is there to explore and the frustration of communicating it sometimes. This post is simply a wander through some of that and a reflection on dive psychology. The iceberg dive How deep does it go? Where … Continue reading The Dive Psychology Iceberg
There are lots of things you can do to improve your scuba diving. Finding effective learning environments, diving to gain experience at your current level, dedicated practice, working with an instructor to develop skills and confidence …. all useful things to do. But isn’t it a bit odd that the focus is often on the outside, when so many of the problems we experience in … Continue reading Improve your scuba diving with skills no one can see.
There is something I find fundamentally terrifying about teaching this course! Although the course is about theories of human psychology, it connects deeply to people’s real experiences as divers. In writing PADI Psychological Diver, every part has some connection to my own experiences as a diver. The concepts and case studies then link to the students experiences and provide ways to understand situations they may … Continue reading Scuba Divers in North-East England completing PADI Psychological Diver
A metaphor about psychological support We can imagine that going through life is like sailing your own boat across the ocean. We all have different boats, some are faster, some slower. Some are power boats and others sail with the wind. But most importantly we all have different directions that we want to go in, and destinations that we want to visit along the way. … Continue reading Why seeking psychological services is not like calling the coastguard.
The aeroplane accelerated along the runway and as it lifted off I heard “we are going to die, we are all going to die!”. Nobody had said anything, everything was fine. The sudden appearance of this phrase in my head is what is known as an “intrusive thought”. The mind wants to protect us from danger and every so occasionally provides these unwanted and (largely … Continue reading What are psychological skills and how can they be useful in diving?
Like any extreme environment, being underwater has a profound effect on how we behave and think. Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour, often described as both an art and a science, it provides insights into why we do what we do. But what can psychology do for scuba divers? “There is magic in human behaviour and there is an artistry to understanding … Continue reading What can psychology do for divers?
What can sociological and psychological sciences do for divers? Studies of diver behaviour can reveal important factors that contribute to risk of injury and how we react to incidents involving injury and/or fatalities and can potentially inform changes to procedures that can influence social attitudes and individual attributions, and ultimately safety. Several months ago I caught a very brief radio piece referring to research on … Continue reading Social reactions to decompression illness
As a psychologist I understand post-traumatic stress as something that affects the body and mind; the mental, emotional and physical all wrapped up together. An analogy I often use to explain this when I work with people experiences the after effects of trauma is: if you had ran a marathon your body has been used hard, muscles will be sore, joints inflamed. If you go … Continue reading Diving to heal