Podcast

All In The Mind

All In The Mind is ABC RN's weekly podcast looking into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour — everything from addiction to artificial intelligence.

Episodes

  • Dissociation and coping with trauma: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 10 2021

    Warning: some listeners may find aspects of this program confronting. The compelling account of a woman who lived with dissociative identity disorder—and how she eventually became integrated.

  • A highly superior memory: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 03 2021

    If you were given a date from the last five years could you say what day of the week it was? One young woman in Australia can remember every single day of her life since she was born. We hear about her life and the research she’s involved with—as a single participant.

  • Turn on, tune in: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 27 2020

    Turn on, tune in and drop out … that was the catch cry of U.S. psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960s. By 1966 psychedelics were demonised and banned, but now—in controlled scientific settings—there's a psychedelic 'renaissance' in mental health therapy. Early research on the use of ecstasy in the treatment of stress disorders looks promising.

  • Parenting with a mental illness: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 20 2020

    Being a parent can be very rewarding, but if you are managing your own mental health you may not be able to be the parent you’d like to be. It can be sad and confusing for kids too—and they often take on a caring role.

  • Synesthesia—seeing sounds, hearing colours: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 13 2020

    For some people the number six is red and music evokes a range of colours and shapes. Seeing sounds and hearing colours is one type of synesthesia—where the senses are crossed.  Meet an 11-year-old girl who was surprised to find out that not everyone sees colourful auras around people, and who feels that numbers have colours and personalities.

  • Anxiety, and the 'worry bully': One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Dec 06 2020

    Anxiety is an essential human emotion—it kicks in to protect us from threats—but sometimes those threats are only perceived. When worries start to become overwhelming, approximately 25 per cent of us experience clinical anxiety. But it is highly treatable. A ten-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man share their anxious thoughts and their strategies to manage them.

  • Locked in: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Nov 29 2020

    At the age of 12 Martin Pistorius developed a mysterious neurological illness. He fell into a coma and was unable to move or communicate. It was assumed he had no awareness but a couple of years later he began to wake up—yet no-one knew. He was trapped inside his body for almost 10 years until he found a way to communicate. Using computer-generated voice technology he tells us about how he coped with this terrifying ordeal, and how he found the love of his life.

  • Science of self: In a series of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Nov 22 2020

    Scientists and philosophers have been perplexed by our sense of the self for millennia. Now, by investigating neurological conditions which disrupt the self—such as body identity disorder, schizophrenia, and the doppelganger effect—neuroscience is finding new clues.

  • Podcast extra: Jana Pittman extended interview

    Nov 15 2020

    As part of our program about Resilience, Lynne spoke with former Olympian - and now medical doctor - Jana Pittman. We thought you'd like to hear the full interview.

  • Resilience: What's the buzz?

    Nov 15 2020

    As Lynne Malcolm gets ready for life outside the ABC, she’s been thinking about how all of us cope with changes and challenges, and how our sense of ourselves is influenced by our surroundings. This has become even more relevant for us as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Podcast extra: The question of brain bias

    Nov 08 2020

    What happens in our brain when we make assumptions about people who don’t seem to be like us – when they may look, speak, or behave differently. And can brain science help us to override our potential prejudices? I explore some research on this topic, which specifically looks at how we perceive other people, animals, and things outside ourselves - such as technology.

  • Preventing Indigenous suicide

    Nov 08 2020

    The rate of suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is double that of non-Indigenous people in Australia, and it’s reached a crisis point – particularly amongst the young.  In this NAIDOC week 2020 we hear from researchers and practitioners, and those with lived experience about the best strategies to stem the tide of indigenous suicide

  • Playing hard to get

    Nov 01 2020

    Folk wisdom suggests that playing ‘hard to get’ can help you attract a potential partner. But many psychologists have been skeptical about whether it does have an effect in dating. Over the past few years several new studies on the effect have aimed to pin down the rare circumstances where it might actually be effective.

  • Podcast extra: Timothy Carey extended interview

    Oct 25 2020

    Lynne Malcolm's extended interview with Timothy Carey about how he applies his perspective on control to address inequality in Rwandan society.

  • Controlling behaviour

    Oct 25 2020

    We all have a natural need for a sense of control in our lives – but the over-controlling kind can get out of hand. People with a psychopathic personality disorder are highly skilled in manipulative techniques – which can wreak havoc if you’re on the receiving end. But every-day controlling behaviour may be getting an unfair bad rap – and may be essential for our wellbeing.

  • WEIRD psychology

    Oct 18 2020

    Claims about human psychology and behaviour in top international journals are largely based on the WEIRDest people in the world. People from Western Educated Industrialised Rich Democratic - or WEIRD - societies are widely used as research subjects, but the assumption that they represent a universal human population may be vastly wrong, and skew psychological research. More cultural psychology could be the answer.

  • The predictive mind

    Oct 11 2020

    The mind contains everything we think and feel – our experiences are created by the brain, mostly without our awareness. This makes it pretty much impossible to fully know the mind of others. Research shows that, to ensure our survival, the brain constantly attempts to predict what will happen next.

  • A love letter to smell

    Oct 04 2020

    When you're near coriander or parmesan cheese, do you smell fresh sweetness or vomit and soap?

  • Podcast Extra: Dr Alex Korb offers more techniques out of depression, anxiety

    Sep 27 2020

    Can you rewire your brain to recover from depression?

  • How to stay mentally healthy

    Sep 27 2020

    What small changes can we make in our daily lives to improve our mental health?

  • Trusting Strangers - Who Do We Trust and Why?

    Sep 20 2020

    When two strangers meet, how do they figure out whether to trust one another?

  • Facing The Dark to See The Light

    Sep 13 2020

    Tara Lal was engulfed by grief after the loss of her mother and brother, but found in her brother's diaries her reason to keep going.

  • Introducing... Patient Zero

    Sep 08 2020

    Even big diseases start small... PATIENT ZERO is a new podcast that tells the stories of disease outbreaks: where they begin, why they happen and how we found ourselves in the middle of a really big one. Over four episodes the team follow the aftermath of a natural disaster, reset the timeline of one of Australia's most devastating epidemics, get to the bottom of a shocking medical mystery, and do their best to keep pace with the new normal. PATIENT ZERO is a co-production of ABC Science and...more

  • Sharing dreams and social visions

    Sep 06 2020

    If you’re having particularly vivid dreams during this CoVID pandemic then you’re not alone. But your dreams may collectively say something about broader society. Across the globe from Italy to Australia, social dreamers have been meeting in Zoom matrices, to share dreams and gain insights. It’s like a megaphone from the unconscious..

  • The bizarre dreaming of COVID-19

    Aug 30 2020

    Many of us have had more vivid dreams and nightmares during this global pandemic. A multinational study is set to find out how COVID-19 is affecting our dreams, and whether changes to our inner consciousness could affect our mental health. Along the way researchers will investigate the mysteries of why we dream, why they are often so bizarre, and whether there’s really a difference between dreams during sleep and mind wandering.

  • Reflections on shame

    Aug 23 2020

    Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation caused by bad or foolish behaviour and can affect our mental health. This is seen particularly in the rise of anxiety and of self-harm. But public shame - especially in our digital age - can be a strong tool to regulate our social behaviour.

  • Podcast extra: Sam Bloom

    Aug 16 2020

    An extra to our recent episode about spinal cord injury research where we heard from surfer Sam Bloom. Sam's beautiful and lively personality made us want to share the whole interview.

  • Spinal cord injury: research and resilience

    Aug 16 2020

    Around 350 Australians are affected by spinal cord injury each year. Sam leant against a balcony railing and fell six meters; James had a rare injury while learning to surf. Both were left paraplegic. But cutting-edge research may bring back sensation, and even assist people like them walk again.  A baby magpie and a commitment to investigation help to bring hope.

  • Podcast extra: Culture Dose views Flowers and Fruit

    Aug 09 2020

    As mentioned in yesterday's program, here’s a taste of one of the Culture Dose sessions called 'Joy in everyday life'. Head to our program webapge for a brief meditative exercise with Katherine Boydell from the Black Dog Institute, then Access Programs Producer at the Art Gallery of NSW, Danielle Gullotta, guides the viewer through the painting.

  • Prescribing art for mental health

    Aug 09 2020

    In this time of social isolation, many of us have turned to getting creative...baking bread, picking up a paintbrush, or checking out online theatre performances and virtual gallery tours. Now there’s research on whether prescribing art could help with mental health conditions, such as depression. Take a dose of culture for your wellbeing.

  • Seeing when you're blind

    Aug 02 2020

    Charles Bonnet Syndrome is sometimes called the ‘plaything of the brain’ for the blind and visually impaired. The syndrome isn’t associated with mental illness or dementia, yet people with it are able to ‘see’ things — like little wriggling children in pink and white pyjamas, or a goat riding on a bike through their lounge room.

  • Kindness, and Longevity

    Jul 26 2020

    We could never have guessed the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic would have on us. We’re all affected in different ways but the need to stay physically distant from one another has highlighted the importance of human connection, empathy, and kindness. We hear about the research showing that strong social networks will keep us living longer than any fitness tracker or superfood. And one man’s determination to promote kindness throughout the world after a family tragedy.

  • Electricity and the brain

    Jul 19 2020

    Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has a chequered history, but its modern iteration is nothing like the scenes depicted in films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Used to treat severe depression and psychosis, ECT's side effects include some degree of memory loss. We delve into the discussion around benefits vs side effects, and speak to three patients about their varying degrees of success with the treatment.

  • The anxious type’s guide to 2020

    Jul 12 2020

    It’s hard to know how to look after your mental health at a time like this. But what happens if that’s something you were already struggling with, before the pandemic hit?

  • The 'Grandma Benches' of Zimbabwe

    Jul 05 2020

    In Zimbabwe mental health has become a very big challenge, yet there are fewer than 20 psychiatrists in a population of over 14 million people. To help create accessible and effective care, psychiatrist Dr Dixon Chibanda began a talk-based cognitive behavioural therapy called Friendship Benches: training grandmothers to become health workers for their communities. Presenter Kim Chakanetsa hears the grandmothers are having astounding results, and recent clinical trials found they are more effecti...more

  • The psychology of nostalgia

    Jun 28 2020

    If recently you’ve been poring over old photos and reminiscing, then you’re not alone. Take heart in learning that nostalgic reminiscing may be an effective strategy to cope with isolation, and perhaps to combat anxiety. But it’s a paradoxical emotion because it can be both sad and uplifting.

  • (Repeat) Adventures in sleep

    Jun 21 2020

    At night our brain can have adventures. Even if they're fully asleep, some people end up sleep walking or sleep driving! The neuroscience of nightmares and dreaming—and what they can tell us about the workings of our brain. This program was originally broadcast in June 2019.

  • Machiavellianism, and the 'dark triad' of personality

    Jun 14 2020

    Do you consider yourself a shrewd manipulator? Are you cynical about the nature of human beings? If so, you might rank highly in Machiavellianism - a personality trait that's based on the writing and views of Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Italian political philosopher. We look at what makes a Machiavellian personality, and how it fits into the so called ‘dark triad’ of traits.

  • The anxious shrink

    Jun 07 2020

    Dr Mark Cross understands anxiety viscerally. Not only is he a psychiatrist, he’s also lived with the condition nearly all his life. And he’s made the decision to be open about his struggle – a rare move for a doctor. His latest book is called ‘Anxiety: Expert Advice from a Neurotic Shrink Who’s Lived With Anxiety All His Life’'.

  • We love Nature Track: A podcast extra

    Jun 02 2020

    All in the Mind has become a big fan of the new ABC audio series Nature Track. It's been made by ABC producer Ann Jones - who, as well as making the Radio National program Off Track, has been collecting wildlife and nature recordings from all over Australia and the world. And now you can hear these pristine sounds wherever you are ... anywhere. Nature Track comprises five soundscapes of varying durations, five chances to give yourself the space you need. No music, no voice, just nature. Sana t...more

  • Healing the trauma of the Stolen Generations

    May 31 2020

    In Australia there are an estimated 17,000 Stolen Generations survivors, and a lack of culturally relevant mental health services is a major barrier to healing for many of them. Now programs led by Indigenous communities themselves are helping people to confront and move past their trauma. We talk with Stolen Generations survivor Aunty Lorraine Peeters, whose life experience led to a pioneering healing program, and became part of a groundswell of Indigenous-led solutions to address trauma. And I...more

  • Can boredom ever be good? Part 2

    May 24 2020

    Last week we heard about the different shades of boredom that people can experience in a dull moment. Although it’s considered a broadly negative emotion, believe it or not, it seems boredom can sometimes be beneficial - especially when it lets us daydream. Some research suggests it can even promote our creativity. But do people differ in how they experience boredom? Are some more likely to be able to benefit from getting bored?

  • Can boredom ever be good? Part 1

    May 17 2020

    Many Australians have reported a higher level of boredom during the long stretch of isolation brought about by COVID-19. So, if you have felt some boredom, was it good or bad? Psychologists believe they’ve classified several different shades of the beast and not all are bad. So we check out ways to embrace the better versions.

  • (Repeat) The power of social norms—rules to make or break

    May 10 2020

    What ultimately drives human behaviour? A leading professor of psychology, Michele Gelfand, suggests that culture is one of the last uncharted frontiers. From her pioneering research into cultural and social norms she’s found an important distinction between tight and loose cultures, and their tendency to make or break rules. These social norms or informal rules of conduct determine whether we co-operate or come into conflict, at both the collective and individual levels. This program was first...more

  • The brain in isolation

    May 03 2020

    Over the past few weeks many of us have been living more isolated lives than we’re used to. We might not be in government-mandated quarantine but there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has upended our social lives. Yet isolation can be deeply troubling for humans because we’re social animals; and that’s just as true in our current circumstances as it is in very extreme forms of isolation.

  • Podcast extra: The pineapple project

    Apr 27 2020

    Sharing with you one of the ABC's other great podcasts. Join Jan Fran and friends as they take life’s prickly bits and make them sweeter and easier to deal with.

  • Seeking help for the first time in a crisis

    Apr 26 2020

    If you’ve noticed a change in your mental well-being over the past few weeks you’re not alone.  As the effects of the pandemic and the conditions of isolation begin to be take hold, many Australians are searching for support for the first time in their lives. So if you choose to ask for help, how do you take the first steps.

  • Mental health on the Covid frontline

    Apr 19 2020

    The uncertainty, isolation, and danger posed by the Coronavirus pandemic affects the mental health of many people - but for those on the frontline, all of those feelings can be heightened. We talk to health professionals who have been managing their own panic attacks and anxiety.

  • The ageing brain: it ain't all downhill

    Apr 12 2020

    Growing older is something we only get to do if we’re lucky, so why are so many of us unenthusiastic about the prospect of ageing? We speak to neuroscientist and author Dan Levitin about his new book The Changing Mind, which looks at the ways the brain actually improves as we age, and how we can help it.

  • A riff on creativity, design, and toys

    Apr 05 2020

    Design and creativity really can work together. We talk with a design critic and a product design educator who both have an interest in toys - their history, and how they’re created and assessed in the real world. Get your blocks ready to play along.

  • When your eyeballs become audible

    Mar 29 2020

    There's a condition so bizarre and rare that most doctors haven't even heard of it - it's called Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome and it causes people to hear their blood moving, bones creaking, lungs breathing and even eyeballs moving. It can have a profound impact on a person's life and mental health. So can it be fixed? We go into a hospital operating room to learn about this little-known condition. Warning: this episode contains a description of a surgical operation.

  • Brains old, new, and augmented

    Mar 22 2020

    Believe it or not … a Formula 1 car can be driven by someone just using their brain. We consider the neurogeneration: people who in the future are likely to be using some kind of brain-powered technology to do their job or to extend their knowledge. But we don’t leave the past behind, there’s also a peek into the brain collection of Cornell University.

  • Contagious behaviour

    Mar 15 2020

    We all know that certain diseases are contagious, but sometimes behaviour is contagious as well. We take a look at some historical examples—such as the Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962, and the 1518 case of uncontrollable dancing—and we consider what might drive copycat crimes. There's also the possibility of suicide contagion. Trigger warning: this episode touches on the subject of suicide, please take care while listening.

  • Habits, and making them stick

    Mar 08 2020

    Habits are notoriously hard to change—exercising more often, practising calmness, getting healthy—it all takes time and effort. So perhaps you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a way to get habits into your routine. We talk with Bernard Balleine, Director of the Decision Neuroscience Lab at UNSW; and with B J Fogg, founder of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University about his new book Tiny Habits.

  • The mind's musical ear

    Mar 01 2020

    How good are you at imagining or hearing music in your head? Can you think of the tune to ‘Happy Birthday’ and bring the notes to mind without actually singing? We consider the mind’s musical ear and what it reveals about us. And ... earworms—those pesky songs stuck in your head—where they come from and persuading them to leave.

  • Suckers for pseudoscience

    Feb 23 2020

    When it comes to pseudoscience you might consider yourself to be a sceptic But don’t give yourself too much credit because we’re all vulnerable to believing dubious claims. This is because of powerful cognitive biases in the brain—and we could actually be satisfied with quite shallow explanations for things—and for being suckers for pseudoscience.

  • Why we need more Indigenous psychologists

    Feb 16 2020

    Indigenous people in Australia are having a very difficult time finding a psychologist who understands Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. Sometimes Indigenous patients seeking treatment have been denied a voice, and the reality of their situation. There are about 800,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, but only 218 Indigenous psychologists. Australia needs more of them—and we look at what many mainstream psychologists fail to understand about In...more

  • Music and imaginary hearing

    Feb 12 2020

    Dr Rebecca Gelding is a cognitive scientist who investigates what is going on in the brain as people imagine musical pitch and rhythm. As part of the series This Sounds Like Science, you can explore music on a different level in a free lunchtime event by Dr Gelding, presented by City Recital Hall and Inspiring Australia. In an upcoming program, All in the Mind will feature an interview by Sana Qadar with Dr Gelding, so stay tuned—in the meantime, here's a short extract about some topics being d...more

  • Workplace bullies—and corporate psychopaths

    Feb 09 2020

    At some point in your career there’s a good chance that you’ll cross paths with a workplace bully. If you do, it can have a profound impact on your well-being and mental health. But why do bullies do it and what motivates them? And do corporate psychopaths fit into the picture? We take a look at the personality and organisational factors that play a role in workplace bullying.

  • Lynne Malcolm takes a short break—and hello to Sana Qadar

    Feb 03 2020

    While presenter Lynne Malcolm takes a short break, the program will be presented by Sana Qadar—looking forward to your continued company for 2020.

  • What is my child thinking?

    Feb 02 2020

    We used to believe that babies and young children had irrational and naive thinking skills. Developments in psychology and neuroscience now reveal that infants are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and have a different consciousness to adults. Children’s exploratory and creative style of thinking may even inform improved AI design.

  • Fate, and predicting the human mind

    Jan 26 2020

    Questions about whether we are masters of our own destiny and if we really have free will have puzzled philosophers and scientists for many years. Now neuroscience is challenging much of what we thought we knew about ourselves—from how much our pre-birth experience affects our later lives, to how we make decisions and form our own reality.

  • Look up and connect

    Jan 19 2020

    When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly. This program was first broadcast in June 2019.

  • On happiness—notes from prison

    Jan 12 2020

    Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness. Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language This program was first broadcast in July 2019...more

  • Facing fears and phobias

    Jan 05 2020

    Would you be comfortable with a Huntsman spider crawling on your arm, or a python slithering over your shoulder? Not many of us would, but when this discomfort causes you so much anxiety that it interferes with your daily life – it’s become a phobia. But there is treatment, and virtual reality can assist.

  • Why smart people do stupid things

    Dec 29 2019

    Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else—they may even be more susceptible to them. This idea has been dubbed the Intelligence Trap. It explains the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and how the decisions of even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire.

  • Telomeres, trauma, and mindfulness

    Dec 22 2019

    The connection between our minds and bodies determines our health and well-being, and the rate at which our cells age and die can be influenced by lifestyle choices. We hear about keeping our genes in good order by protecting our telomeres—a buffer zone at each end of our chromosomes. We'll also hear about a mindfulness-based intervention which could really help millions of extremely traumatised displaced people around the world. This program was first broadcast in August 2019

  • Dementia, sleep, and daydreaming

    Dec 15 2019

    Dementia affects around 450,000 Australians, and it comes in hundreds of forms. New research reveals that one form of dementia takes away the ability to daydream, and this has implications for improved care. Sleep disruption in middle age also emerges as another risk factor. And we hear how, after diagnosis, one person found a meaningful role in breaking down the stigma of dementia.

  • Music and the brain

    Dec 08 2019

    Music deeply affects us emotionally, and individually—and now we know that our relationship with music provides a unique opportunity to gain further insight into the workings of the brain itself. We discuss the latest in music research with one of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain. Hear about why we may prefer particular types of music, how being a musician can change the brain over time, and what happens to our musicality as we age.

  • Climate change anxiety

    Dec 01 2019

    There’s more and more scientific evidence that climate change is having a major impact on our planet. Recently more than 11,000 scientists across the world declared a climate emergency, and many of us are experiencing grief, anxiety and powerlessness about the future. We discuss the connection between climate change and mental health, and the strategies we need to maintain hope and take action.

  • Childhood trauma and the brain

    Nov 24 2019

    What we see, hear, and feel as a child affects us later in life—and our brain is changed by childhood traumas. A leading Canadian psychiatrist is working to understand how childhood harm can impair brain development and affect mental health, in the hope of effective treatment. And we hear about an intervention which can improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children.

  • Our sexy brain

    Nov 17 2019

    Even when it gets the go-ahead, research on sex and the brain is still highly stigmatised—yet there is still so much to learn. Sometimes a brain injury or disease causes hypersexuality, or a change of sexual preference; orgasm can cause a brain aneurysm to rupture, and the latter becomes more likely if it’s sex with someone other than your usual partner.

  • Refugees, sport, and mental health

    Nov 10 2019

    The trauma of war and displacement has a negative impact on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world. Australian researchers recently travelled to a large refugee camp in Bangladesh* where around 500,000 Rohingya people are living. The researchers found that sports and exercise programs make a huge difference to these refugees' physical and mental health, and to their well-being. *There are around 900,000 Rohingya refugees now living in Bangladesh

  • Untranslatable emotions

    Nov 03 2019

    In English there's no single word to describe an anxiety about how much aeroplane flight is damaging our environment. But in Swedish the word for this anxiety is 'flygskam'. And perhaps, having a word for this specific emotion may change the way we think about it  Come on our tour of culture and language to explore some strange destinations and untranslatable emotions.

  • Creating selves to survive

    Oct 27 2019

    Our guest, Rhonda Macken, tells her remarkable story—a testament to the power of human creativity and resilience in the face of unimaginable childhood trauma. Rhonda created a complex jigsaw of multiple personalities as protection against her harsh reality. Now in her 70s, and after years of intense psychotherapy, she's fully integrated and enjoying the love of her family.

  • Meditation for the collective good

    Oct 20 2019

    Is an enlightened planet possible? Co-writers of a new film and book called The Portal say it is—through the power of collective meditation. They share personal stories of inspiring individuals who have come through adversity by reflecting inwards, using meditation.  Hope for humankind may lie in the cumulative effect of individual meditation and whether mindfulness can promote empathy.

  • Empathy for mental health through the arts

    Oct 13 2019

    The Big Anxiety festival uses the arts and lived experience to re-imagine mental health. Through creativity and innovative technology, empathy replaces fear and stigma. Virtual reality worlds open up to an optimistic future and offer insight from ancient indigenous stories.

  • A roller-coaster of emotion—Borderline Personality Disorder

    Oct 06 2019

    Gabby was on an emotional roller-coaster, feeling empty and needy. After lashing out in anger, she’d regret it and say sorry over and over again. Her partner, Eliza, felt like she was walking on eggshells, always fearful of arousing Gabby’s intense emotions. Gabby was diagnosed with the highly stigmatised Borderline Personality Disorder. They share their journey together to a calmer and happier life. ** Trigger warning: please note that this interview contains references to self-harm, abuse, an...more

  • Autism and superheroes

    Sep 29 2019

    When Tim was 11 years old he created his own superhero. Laser Beak Man now appears in colourful artworks showing Tim’s unique sense of humour connected to his literal understanding of language. And when Oakley was 5 years old he drew a pirate, inspiring his mother to write a kids’ book to raise understanding about autism and difference.

  • A memoir on drugs and addiction

    Sep 22 2019

    Meet an Australian philosopher and cultural analyst who spent 20 years of his life addicted to just about every drug you could imagine. His best work was done when he was enveloped in haze of cannabis smoke, he prowled local pharmacies to score large doses of codeine, and drank until he lost consciousness. Amazingly he lives to eloquently share his insights into the thought processes of an addict.

  • Anxiety—and the 'worry bully'

    Sep 15 2019

    Anxiety is an essential human emotion—it kicks in to protect us from threats—but sometimes those threats are only perceived. When worries start to become overwhelming, approximately 25 per cent of us experience clinical anxiety. But it is highly treatable. A ten-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man share their anxious thoughts and their strategies to manage them.

  • Inside talking therapy

    Sep 08 2019

    The art of talking and listening in therapy can be powerful and transformative. The talking cure has changed since Freudian psychoanalysis, but evidence is building that the therapeutic relationship can have deep and lasting benefits. Two leading psychotherapists reveal the common dynamics that can interrupt our sense of well-being, through characters based on real-life case studies.

  • Indigenous language and perception

    Sep 01 2019

    Our perception of the world is significantly affected by the language we speak. Indigenous languages from around Australia pose a vastly different perspective of the world than that of English. We explore how these languages influence perceptions of self, kinship and the natural world.

  • Your attention, please!

    Aug 25 2019

    Are you paying attention? It’s not as simple as it sounds because our focus is constantly being pulled in different directions. Good attention skills are crucial for the development of other cognitive abilities, but a concerning number of children have difficulties to a clinical level, such as those seen in ADHD and autism. The common treatment is medication but there are training interventions which are proving effective.

  • Creativity and the A-ha moment

    Aug 18 2019

    Watson and Crick saw the structure of DNA in a spiral staircase, and Newton understood gravity in the falling of an apple—but all human beings regularly experience flashes of inspiration, seemingly out of nowhere. Insight researchers want to know more about the nature of the so-called ‘a-ha moment’, so they are setting us a citizen science challenge. Find out what they know already, and how you can contribute to the science of creativity. And we hear from a neuroscientist whose recent research s...more

  • Telomeres, trauma, and mindfulness

    Aug 11 2019

    The connection between our minds and bodies determines our health and well-being, and the rate at which our cells age and die can be influenced by lifestyle choices. We hear about keeping our genes in good order by protecting our telomeres—a buffer zone at each end of our chromosomes. We'll also hear about a mindfulness-based intervention which could really help millions of extremely traumatised displaced people around the world.

  • Tripping for depression

    Aug 04 2019

    In 1966, as a reaction to disturbing reports of people having bad trips, the psychedelic drug LSD was banned in the U.S. Now some scientists are seeing promising results from studies into the therapeutic benefits of using psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness.

  • Turn on, tune in

    Jul 28 2019

    Turn on, tune in, and drop out … that was the catchcry of U.S. psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960s. By 1966 psychedelics were demonised and banned, but now—in controlled scientific settings—there's a psychedelic 'renaissance' in mental health therapy. Early research on the use of ecstasy in the treatment of stress disorders looks promising.

  • On happiness—notes from prison

    Jul 21 2019

    Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness. Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language

  • Getting in touch with our haptic sense

    Jul 14 2019

    Do you prefer ‘vibrate on’ or ‘vibrate off’? Well, either way—heads up, as we explore the world of haptics. To get the best information from whatever you choose to touch, haptic sensing involves a lot of neural effort. We'll hear about how this sensing has been examined in the past, as well as some speculation on where haptics might go in the future.

  • Justice for Juvies

    Jul 07 2019

    Criminal lawyer Sarah Hopkins' novel The Subjects is about the overcriminalisation and overmedicalisation of young people—and her innovative ideas for youth justice. The protagonist, Daniel, is 16-years-old and has just arrived at a Juvie delinquent centre—but there’s no medication and he doesn’t have to stay. Then he gets the eerie sense that he’s part of an experiment.

  • Look up and connect

    Jun 30 2019

    When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly.

  • Psychiatry for the future

    Jun 23 2019

    It could be that the profession of psychiatry needs a revolution. A UK medical doctor with experience in mental health feels that we’re still trying to understand and come to terms with mental health issues—and how best to provide treatment. He talks with two psychiatrists, a historian, and a service user. They all can imagine a different future for psychiatry.

  • Adventures in sleep

    Jun 16 2019

    At night our brain can have adventures. Even if they're fully asleep, some people end up sleep walking or even sleep driving! The neuroscience of nightmares and dreaming—and what they can tell us about the workings of our brain.

  • The power of social norms—rules to make or break?

    Jun 09 2019

    What ultimately drives human behaviour? A leading professor of psychology, Michele Gelfand, suggests that culture is one of the last uncharted frontiers. From her pioneering research into cultural and social norms she’s found an important distinction between tight and loose cultures, and their tendency to make or break rules. These social norms or informal rules of conduct determine whether we co-operate or come into conflict, at both the collective and individual levels.

  • Mental health in Indonesia

    Jun 02 2019

    Mental health is a major and highly stigmatised problem in Indonesia. Some villages still practise ‘pasung’ where the mentally ill are kept in cages separate from the family home—because of a taboo. Indonesian PhD candidate Sandy Onie had his own lived experience of mental illness, and so did his father—but psychological help was hard to come by. Now Sandy is determined to make a change.

  • The silence around schizophrenia

    May 26 2019

    What’s the scariest word in the English language? Still highly stigmatised, schizophrenia is the illness that we dare not speak about openly, and this silence may get in the way of recovery.

  • Why smart people do stupid things

    May 19 2019

    Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else—they may even be more susceptible to them. This idea has been dubbed the Intelligence Trap. It explains the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and how the decisions of even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire.

  • Disasters and children's mental health

    May 12 2019

    Traumatic events such as mass shootings and natural disasters can cause high proportion of children to suffer mental health problems. We hear how to equip adults to minimise the impact of trauma on children.

  • Loving Lucy

    May 05 2019

    Parenting can be tough—even when your child is considered so-called ‘normal’. Nine-year-old Lucy looks like a curly haired angel, but she's often strangely manipulative and physically violent. Her mum and dad are still searching for a diagnosis which could make sense of her extreme behaviour. But their patience and love for Lucy is extraordinary.