Elaine Corcoran: Pressing_Fast_Forward_on_Mental_Health_Treatment_Ep30_WASM_Alumni_Podcast


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Elaine is Perth based and holds a Masters of Science in Work and Organisational Psychology, a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. The mental health of our people has never been under so much strain as it is now this extends to our board and management teams.

Today we discuss Neurofeedback training with Elaine Corcoran - Clinical Director and Founder of Brain Training Australia.

It was a pleasure to have Elaine share some of her knowledge with us.

[1:00] 70% of issues that people raise are related to work and 30% are related to home.

[1:40] Importance in focusing on stress and anxiety because this is the number one issue that we see in FIFO mental health scenarios. There's a lot of pressure on them (miners) to perform, to continue to perform, even in situations where they may not feel a hundred percent comfortable or safe.

[2:00] Issues that were being discussed before COVID just over a quarter of the population suffered form anxiety. That number skyrocketed to 80% of their clientele after COVID. This saw a huge rise in stress and insomnia amongst clients.

[3:10] Survivor syndrome. Where you feel guilty that you have not lost your job but others have. This uncertainty was not good. As humans we need to slowly evolve into these different mindsets and to make sense of what is going on. When COVID hit – we did not have the time to change, adapt and pivot.

[3:50] We can develop PTST up to 6 weeks after an event. You need to teach your brain that everything is going to be okay.

[4:40] With COVID-19, we also have the added fear of a second wave. The second way of maybe the wave of mental health issues. Prolonged exposure to stress, because we're going to see, sleep issues, it develops into anxiety which impacts sleep, which impacts relationships. People get angry, people are snappy, people are on edge and hyper vigilant. It’s like having your house broken into – and the feeling of being on edge after it has happened. That continuous exposure to stress is not healthy. Its where your cortisol levels are elevated at all times – and it is difficult to bring it down and this is where anxiety develops.

[6:00] Focus is on stress and anxiety. As the sole breadwinner in many circumstances – it adds to the stress.

[6:50] An alternative to talk therapy, feedback brain training, which is a type of technology that you can use to retrain your brand activity. For somebody who is in a state of stress or overwhelm, you would have a high Hertz frequency. Get those brainwave activities back down, you want to feel cool, calm and collected basically. This is a wonderful alternative for somebody who wants to choose a safe, natural non-invasive approach that doesn't involve talking about your issues or work in the past, through past traumas, that kind of thing.

[7:54] With the use of EEG technology – a few sensors strapped to the patients head with some paste and the patient listens to music. Where there is a stress response the patient will hear a glitch in the music and this is unconsciously making the brain ‘aware’ of its own stress response. Effectively training the brain to know what it is doing. It is a non-medical approach. There is a medical approach available but Brain Training Australia do not work with that technology – they are focused on Brain Training.

[8:30] Clients come in for anxiety, stress, anger, insomnia, ADD or ADHD. Some clients come in for optimal performance like elite athletes.

[10:00] Let’s make mental health fun. If you do not feel good, you don’t feel good. You do not need to be ashamed of it. There is a reason your feeling that way. It’s the information your brain is receiving – so lets give it new information. When you go to a psychologist – and you bring forward positive thoughts – this is effectively giving your brain new information. When you include technology into the mix you’re effectively pressing fast forward on that button and you’re getting results a lot faster.

[10:58] It sounds too good to be true. What is the scientific research which proves this works? It was actually developed by NASA and had advanced so that the general public can access this. Neuroplasticity is the process used for change. There is lots of research which backs this up.

[12:18] Could this be a tool that we use to train the brain to stay more alert?

[13:26] If this machine was onsite would people use it? In the USA the Employee Assistance Programs have Brain Training as part of them.

[14:23] In Australia most companies have EAPs. EAPs also make psychologists available to most people. If you have a mental health issue – you can go to a GP and get up to a maximum of 10-12 sessions a year.

[16:20] Understanding the process of using the EAP to help others out is really important.

Thanks Elaine for sharing the amazing work you are doing in the FIFO landscape with Brain Training Australia. You can find more information here or can get Elaine on 1300 501 843.

35 episodes