The Psychology of Being Out of Our Depth

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

How can learning to scuba dive teach us better ways to cope with daily stresses in life?

George will reveal a few embarrassing moments from his student diving days – just a few years back – to show how being in ‘extreme’ situations can take our breath away. Learning to regulate our breathing is lesson 101 underwater – survival depends on it – but it turns out that regulating our breath is just as important on land!

What will we cover?

We will learn how to recognise some of the triggers that switch our instinct to breathe on or off, as well as how to over-ride and regulate our breath in extreme situations (think of hyperventilation and breath-holding). Then we’ll apply the ‘buddy’ system from diving (no, the Hawthorn superstar is not a guest) to extreme life-events on land.

We’ll see how psychological stress and trauma can take our breath away, both underwater and on dry land, before talking about how we can get back in the swim after our buddies rescue us. Or to put it another way, how we can re-surface after being immersed in stress, out of our comfort zones and out of our depth. We’ll also mention the relevance in neuroplasticity – just for fun!

Who will be teaching?

George Halasz is an adjunct senior lecturer at Monash University’s School of Psychology and Psychiatry. He has written many journal articles, chapters in books, most recently in ‘The Power of Witnessing’ (2012) and an editorial board member of Australasian Psychiatry. Sample publications available on his website.