Amid stage 4 restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Paradians, teachers, staff and parents have gained from the welcome advice of psychologist Steve Fahey, by way of an online forum recently convened by the Old Paradians’ Association.
At a time when everyone is having to deal with challenges never before experienced, members of the forum benefitted from Steve’s series of helpful insights and practical exercises – coping mechanisms for the wild, fluctuating feelings and anxieties triggered by isolation.
“There is no magic wand, but there are things we can do for these entirely reasonable feelings of anxiety and irritability brought on my by these overwhelming experiences none of us have gone through before or could have foreseen,” Steve said.
“In these circumstances it’s important we acknowledge our feelings and concerns, and normalise the fact that sometimes we do feel overwhelmed, and that we really try to be present in what’s happening now and break it down into the smallest possible steps.
“In a world where lots of things seem big and beyond control, it’s important to bring it back to the moment, to the very minute. In other words, ‘I can’t control the pandemic, I can’t control the government action, but I can control what I can do, how I treat myself, how I treat other people and how I treat my body through diet, exercise and lifestyle’.”
A final year student of Parade’s Class of 1979, Steve was previously involved with the corporate and tertiary education sectors, before becoming a registered psychologist in 2004. He has worked as a counsellor in community and family therapy agencies and provided coaching and counselling to employees.
In recent years, Steve has availed a broad range of psychological services (prevention, early intervention and crisis intervention) to emergency service workers, and provided consultation and coaching to managers.
A recording of Steve’s online forum can be seen here.
Steve has also availed useful resources, including the FACE COVID e-book and associated YouTube clip, and Dropping Anchor exercises - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MTy87qCcq8 and https://www.actmindfully.com.au/free-stuff/free-audio/
For further information or assistance, contact the Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1 800 512 348.