Officially qualified as EFR Mental Health Awareness Instructor

Today this certificate arrived! The course is well within my qualification as a Clinical Psychologist so, having seen the course, I applied direct to teach it. My experience is in working with mental health in the NHS and private practice, e.g. anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, bipolar and psychosis. But I’ve tended to avoid offering services to support mental and emotional wellbeing for divers, choosing to … Continue reading Officially qualified as EFR Mental Health Awareness Instructor

Doing the PADI Psychological Diver course during lock-down

I wrote PADI Psychological Diver in 2015, and created the elearning in 2016. It’s always been that students take the elearning, and then (to receive the PADI certification) must attend in person for the classroom session or optional dives. The course can be completed “dry”. For years divers have contacted me from all over the world, asking if we can do the classroom session online. … Continue reading Doing the PADI Psychological Diver course during lock-down

Talking about calm breathing live on PADI Facebook

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

Some reasons you want your psychologist diving

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

Improve your scuba diving with skills no one can see.

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.

Scuba Divers in North-East England completing PADI Psychological Diver

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

Why seeking psychological services is not like calling the coastguard.

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.

What are psychological skills and how can they be useful in diving?

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?

What can psychology do for divers?

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?