By Richmond Stace
These chats are recorded raw and unplugged. No editing and no ads -- we just press play and go.
It's like you are there with us in the room.
The aim is to inspire and encourage you.
EncouragerJul 11, 2023
Jennifer Corns -- philosophy of pain
A brilliant and fascinating conversation about pain -- what is it?
Jennifer uses her philosophy skills to really dig down into this vital question.
Her answers may surprise you! She is radical by her own admission but I would say that her position is one that resonates with a person-first approach. We explore this and much more.
Find out more about Jennifer's work here.
And her book, The Complex Reality of Pain here.
Orla Adams -- dietician and motivational interviewing trainer (MINTY)
Orla shares her story of frustration as a dietician trained in a directive way of working with people -- telling them what to do wasn't working.
About to change career, she went on a motivational interviewing course and discovered gold! And Steve Rollnick.
This set Orla on a new, exciting and fruitful path to where she is now.
Hear all about Orla's journey and the fundamentals of MI.
This is a great episode for you if you work with, or spend time with people -- patients, clients, friends, your kids, pupils, coachees... .
So it's for all of us!
Enjoy and I'd love to hear your feedback. Please do rate the episode and podcast on your favoured platform.
The books Orla mentions are here.
Prof Manuela Ferreira -- zooming out to understand back pain
Great to have Prof Manuela Ferreira on the show to talk about her pioneering work on back pain.
Manuela is the lead author of a recent study analysing the global burden of low back pain: 'Global, regional, and national burden of low back pain, 1990–2020, its attributable risk factors, and projections to 2050: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021' (see link below).
The findings are a stark reminder of the need to deepen our understanding of pain and how to help people. The authors estimate that on the current trajectory, "...there will be over 800 million cases of low back pain in 2050, a 36 percent increase from 2020".
We get into this, the work that Manuela is doing and much more in this fascinating conversation, highlighting some of the practical ways forward.
In 2050, over 800 million people globally estimated to be living with back pain -- read here
Global, regional, and national burden of low back pain, 1990–2020, its attributable risk factors, and projections to 2050: a systematic analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021 -- read here
The global epidemic of low back pain -- read here
Dr Kirsty Bannister -- working class to neuroscience lab leader
"From a working class, first generation A-level student to recipient of the IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain) Patrick D. Wall award. I owe it all to mentorship. Love and gratitude especially to Tony, Frank & Mac for decades of support" -- Kirsty's words.
Shows the importance of having a purpose and a passion, ignited in part by people close-by.
Kirsty talks of luck. Wise people have said that the harder they worked, the luckier they got!
Kirsty has undoubtedly worked hard.
Encouraged by some of the big hitters in the pain world, Kirsty is now an encourager herself.
She talks about her career in science, the reasons why it matters, and making it important for people who are suffering.
A clear illustration of a very human scientist who cares.
Enjoy! And please do leave comments, like and share.
Irena Arslanova - is your body shaping your sense of time?
Irena posted a video on Twitter describing her recent study, Perceived time expands and contracts within each heartbeat, which I thought a brilliant way of sharing.
In this episode Irena talks about her work as a postdoctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscience at Royal Holloway, University of London -- how we experience time, why time sometimes flies by and yet other times drags by, and the role of the brain and the body as one.
We get into this, interoception, the embodied mind, predictive processing, science and intuition and much more, using examples from chronic pain, depression and anxiety.
Check it out!
I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Don't forget to leave a review and a rating. If you would like to donate to my 65k running fundraiser for Medical Aid for Palestinians, you can here.
Dr Sabrina Coninx, Dr Peter Stilwell, Professor Michael Ray -- a video game analogy for chronic pain
This time they are joined by collaborator Prof Michael Ray.
Together the three have recently put out a fascinating paper entitled, "Unpacking an affordance-based model of chronic pain: a video game analogy".
In this four-way chat (my first go at multiple guests!), we dive into the paper, the concepts and the practicalities.
This is a great way of understanding the reality of pain experience.
We need models and explanations that span the person's first person experience and the third person perspective; the subjective and the objective. They need to be brought together and understood to give meaning and a way forward.
That is what this paper does. Have a listen to the pod and read the paper here.
Tom Plender - FND champion
Tom, musician and artist, generously shares his experience of FND -- functional neurological disorder.
As Tom explains, he spent many years being told many things, often unhelpful and some utterly wrong (putting it politely).
Then he met Prof Mark Edwards and things started to change. He described his journey with FND but also with chronic pain.
At times it was incredibly and unimaginably difficult, but Tom kept going. You'll find out when you listen!
Tom now spends time raising awareness of FND and sharing the latest research to help people on their own individual journeys.
Deepak Ravindran - Pain Physician
Great to catch up with Deepak!
Deepak is a pain doctor who listens, empowers, and comes alongside the people who come to see him.
It's not a fight or a battlefield. Instead, a journey on which Deepak accompanies the person, if they wish.
He realised the biomedical model wasn't enough and so widened his approach, embracing a range of modern ways of thinking about pain, whilst keeping the person at the forefront.
And being curious.
We had a brilliant and fascinating chat about his approach, work and vision for the future of care.
Please rate and share on your platform of choice 🙏.
Showbiz! -- on continuing to follow your passion
This week an old friend joins me: musician, guitarist, songwriter, producer, Tim Shoben. Aka, Showbiz.
(If you watch the video, you'll see me wearing my guitar hat whilst Tim is suited -- we got it the wrong way round 😂).
Tim has been around music all his life, picking up the guitar at an early age. And playing it of course.
But what shines through is his passion that has kept Showbiz deeply connected with music. This connection is rooted in his family and his very being. And now he has an album under his belt that deserves to be widely heard.
Guitar playing is a great example of being on a route of mastery. There is no end point with new things to learn and practice. There are ups, downs and plateaus just as there are in life, with any learning or challenge you seek to overcome.
And if you want to learn English at Tim's school in Islington, see here.
Louise Trewern - living well with pain after opioids
Louise is a Lived Experience Advocate, Lived Experience Lead Trainer, Past Vice Chair at British Pain Society Patient Voice Committee, Ramblers Wellbeing Walks leader and a successful chronic pain self-manager.
She is certainly not being defined by her pain, instead using the experiences she has had since childhood to help others who are struggling with chronic pain.
Louise tells her story that started with pain in childhood that often was unexplained medically despite repeated appointments and investigations. Later she discovered it was fibromyalgia.
But it was the opioids that took everything to another level!
Louise talked me through what has happened in her life and how she has come through the other side of an opioid crisis to now being involved in numerous projects to help people understand and manage their pain by living life.
It's a remarkable tale of success that is greatly inspiring, and showing what is possible.
Inês Hipólito - scientist, philosopher, educator, writer, a bit of a punk
Inês is a 'bit of a punk', but one who cares deeply about her work making a difference in the world. In other words, translating it into helping people who are suffering. The essence of an encourager.
This is a brilliant conversation, especially if you are interested in some of the latest thinking and work on brain/body/behaviour and how they meet as a whole (the person), mental health (anxiety, depression, PTSD), chronic pain, addiction, how we get stuck as humans and ways we can get unstuck, wellness and much more!
Inês is doing superb work that stems back to her interest in philosophy, Buddhism and punk music as a teen.
We get into all of this. Enjoy and please do share!
Vincent Kortleve -- communication for physiotherapists...and us all
Communication is at the heart of our work with people in healthcare.
Yet the training is typically scant at undergraduate.
It appears so simple, yet it is a very complex set of skills that can be learned and practiced.
We get into the importance of communication for being an effective clinician, attitude, the different roles we take, some of the key skills and more.
Vincent shares his thoughts and insights in this very practical conversation.
Much to take away if you are starting out in your healthcare career or wanting to sharpen your communication skills.
Vincent is a very experienced physiotherapist with psychology training, and an educator, trainer and teacher, in particular in communication. Early on he realised communication was key and followed this path.
Dr Morten Hoegh -- pain scientist, pain clinician and a bit of hygge
If you're interested in pain and chronic pain, this one is for you.
Morten is doing fantastic work in the pain field, including a recent series of editorials called 'Pain Science in Practice'.
He tells his story of how he got to where he is now -- he didn't expect to be there 😊 !
Then we get into the detail of what we do with patients who are suffering, what the science says and what it does not say, the role of pain education, some of the words being used, acute and chronic pain, pain in sport, the difference between pain and injury, change as a process and more.
Come and have a listen 🎧
Connect with Morten
Petrie KJ, Weinman J. Why illness perceptions matter. Clin Med (Lond). 2006 Nov-Dec;6(6):536-9. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.6-6-536. PMID: 17228551; PMCID: PMC4952762.
Giordano R, Gerra MC, Okutani H, Lo Vecchio S, Stensballe A, Petersen KK, Arendt-Nielsen L. The temporal expression of circulating microRNAs after acute experimental pain in humans. Eur J Pain. 2022 Dec 1. doi: 10.1002/ejp.2062. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36453122.
Hoegh M, Stanton T, George S, Lyng KD, Vistrup S, Rathleff MS. Infographic. Pain or injury? Why differentiation matters in exercise and sports medicine. Br J Sports Med. 2022 Mar;56(5):299-300. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-104633. Epub 2021 Sep 16. PMID: 34531187.
Ashar YK, Gordon A, Schubiner H, Uipi C, Knight K, Anderson Z, Carlisle J, Polisky L, Geuter S, Flood TF, Kragel PA, Dimidjian S, Lumley MA, Wager TD. Effect of Pain Reprocessing Therapy vs Placebo and Usual Care for Patients With Chronic Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2022 Jan 1;79(1):13-23. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2669. PMID: 34586357; PMCID: PMC8482298.
Groin pain paper (not yet indexed on PubMed): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468781223000048
How do we explain painful chronic non-traumatic knee conditions to children and adolescents? A multiple-method study to develop credible explanations C Djurtoft, MK Bruun, H Riel, MS Hoegh, B Darlow, MS Rathleff (2022) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.12.15.22283510v1
Virginia McIntyre - President of the People in Pain Network
Virginia suffered an injury at work that resulted in surgery and subsequent chronic pain.
Her experience of not being heard, told she was fine, that the surgery was a success and that she could return to work were all out of alignment with what was really happening. And that was her pain.
Virginia hit some real low points, but despite this kept going and found a way when she found the right people. They made her feel welcome, listened and explained this for the first time. She was on the right path.
Now Virginia spends her time supporting others and driving change. She knows what it is like to be on the journey.
In this episode we explore Virginia's lived experience, what is was like, how she moved on, what she does now to fulfil a sense of purpose and to keep shaping a positive future.
I think you'll find this conversation interesting and inspiring.
You can follow Virginia on Twitter.
Charles Balcombe -- using his lived experience of pain to help others
Because Charles has his own story of chronic pain. It started with leg pain, a visit to the doctor, physio that 'did not work', an MRI and 7 months after the pain began, neurosurgery. Little was he to know that this would follow with years of pain and 'revolving door' treatments. Plus foot drop and more surgeries to boot.
Then he realised that there must be more to it. He could be in control and focus on those things that before he had dismissed: emotions, beliefs, expectations and more. He could also choose to be more active.
Charles found a way. He believes that everyone can find their way but needs the right information about pain and the right guidance. Perhaps from a Pain Coach.
Is there an ideal healthcare professional? What's going wrong in the healthcare system? What can we do? What is Charles doing?
All of this and much more in this episode of The Encourager
Nerita Lewis - chronic pain, the power of stories and connection
Nerita shares her story of being a serving officer in the Australian Air Force for 10 years before chronic pain took her on a different journey, to where she is now. Nerita is a Winston Churchill Trust Fellow.
Her mission is to 'eliminate the social isolation that is prevalent amongst the 250,000 military veterans who live with persistent pain'. She is building a community to 'empower and improve the quality of life for veterans; providing connection, validation, support and access to evidence-based information'.
Understanding the nature of the problem of chronic pain, Nerita is dedicated to helping others find their own way forward. Whilst her focus is on veterans, this is applicable to all who are suffering.
If you are suffering chronic pain or help people, I think you'll find this compelling.
For more see Nerita's website
and follow her on Instagram
We Can’t Run Away From This — Damian Hall, ultrarunner, author, planet champion
Ultrarunner, author and all-round good bloke who cares about people and the planet, Damian Hall, returns to the show.
He talks about his recent adventures at the 330k Tor des Géants, why he runs, how he prepares and keeps going over ultra distances.
Then we get into Damian’s new and very important book on the climate emergency: We Can’t Run Away From This.
"Gut-wrenchingly serious but also cleverly light-hearted. It's impossible to read this book and not make changes to your life." Beth Pascall
It’s an outstanding and much needed book, full of facts and highlighting the complexity of the debate on climate change.
Yet there are clear things we can do, which Damian describes in the episode.
Have a listen but definitely buy the book—publisher link below. And then share it around! Thanks.
The Green Runners -- make your pledge!
Rerun Clothing -- Dan Lawson
Running Poo ~ Chris Peskett
Whilst Peck has had to come to terms with his knee pain and a change in his running focus, which he talks about (blog coming soon on so-called ‘runners knees’), he certainly had a purpose yesterday. It was clearly a tough marathon and his slowest, mainly due to poo emoji costume hanging off his shoulders.
It was a superb effort and one that keeps bowel cancer on the agenda via some notable media appearances during the run and on Lorraine today.
You can donate here
Well done mate!
Being Mark Miller
If you loved our first chat, this one will blow you away!
Mark is back on the Encourager's pod. The basis of our chat today is his new paper looking at wellbeing through the predictive processing lens.
But we get into some really juicy stuff.
How do we get stuck? What is going on there?
This could be with pain, depression or some higher belief. What are the effects of this and importantly, how we reckon we can help people get unstuck.
Today was much more of a chat rather than an interview, and we set it up like that, so plenty of back and forth.
I love Mark's energy. He is a huge sharer, having realised that this way of being results in wellness and great results: together over tribal.
You will love this if you are interested in wellness, pain, depression, anxiety, mental health, coaching, being with people, a manager, a leader, the list goes on.
Mark's work informs my approach to helping people understand and overcome their pain.
And you can read the wellness paper entitled: 'The Predictive Dynamics of Happiness and Well-Being' here.
Persistent pain in the performing arts
This is a recording of an online talk -- essentially me, on my own, talking to my computer :)
Persistent pain is a problem in the performing arts. Many performers are affected, meaning that clinicians need to understand pain in order to be helpful and guide them onwards and successfully.
It starts by knowing thyself as a clinician. So you may want to grab a pen and paper (old school), as there are some important reflections upon your own starting position.
Then I go into a modern way we can think about pain -- predictive processing and enactivism. It is a very brief introduction, so resources will be made available to deepen your knowledge.
Finally, I get into some practicalities through the Pain Coaching lens -- what is the Pain Coach approach to caring for and helping people achieve their picture of success.
Glenn Hinds - motivational interviewing
There was so much that had me gripped in this conversation with Glenn.
I recommend a pen, paper, maybe a coffee and a readiness to pause and listen again.
This is for you is you want to be a better helper as a therapist, clinician, parent, teacher, friend, whatever!
The bulk of the chat focuses on the spirit of motivational interviewing (MI). Glenn describes what MI is at the end. It seems to work -- you can let me know!
Glenn Hinds is an accredited counsellor and independent training consultant trained in person centred and psychodynamic counselling, motivational interviewing and emotional intelligence (EQ).
Alan Wick - business coach
It was great to catch up with Alan and hear his rock n roll story that led to the creation of a business -- he saw the need and took action.
We follow Alan's journey from his early rebel years through to the person-focused business coach that he is now, having had a transformational experience -- he calls it 'a stroke of luck'.
Alan guides, helps and encourages people who want to be successful transforming their purpose-led ideas into businesses that make a difference -- entrepreneurs. I know because I was fortunate enough to work with Alan.
There are some golden tips to look out for in our conversation.
Listen in, and let me know what you think.
You can read more about Alan's work on his website: https://www.alanwick.com
Stuart Robertson ~ physio & yoga teacher
Stuart kicks off Season 3 by sharing his stories of becoming a physio, being curious, and exploring different ways of helping people.
I met Stuart some years ago on a retreat he was running in Somerset. It was the most stunning location, perfect for the work we did on ourselves and others.
He followed traditional training as a mature student, having already trained and worked as a PE teacher. Then onto a Masters, working for Sussex Cricket Club and beyond into complementary therapies. Now he loves helping older people be active with yoga and movement.
Stuart entertains with stories throughout. Much to learn from his approach.
He is walking the SW Coastal Path for Motor Neurone Disease Association inspired by his friend Barry. You can read about his adventure and donate here.
**There is the odd swear word
Alex Staniforth - adventurer & mental health charity co-founder
A hill walk on a family holiday became two attempts to climb Everest just a few years later for Alex. The second attempt could have been fatal -- it was for some.
What did Alex take from this and all his training? He tells me in this fascinating episode.
Then, in 2020 he ran 452 miles, not only climbing the 3 Peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon), but also running between them. It took 9 days and 12 hours.
Last year Alex co-founded the charity Mind Over Mountains: 'We offer immediate and accessible support by bringing together the healing power of nature, the practice of mindfulness and time to talk with experienced coaches and counsellors in an unpressured, unhurried setting'. That setting is nature, where Alex has found his strength and inspiration.
Alex has achieved all this and much more aged 26. He is a motivational speaker and a published author, whilst continuing to be an ultra-athlete and build the charity. He is busy! But mindful that he needs to self-care.
Barrie Thomson - Mr Fables from Feasts & Fables
This is a great story packed with purpose, adventure, uncertainty, authenticity and of course encouragement. We delve into their value-led business, choosing to sell up, quality leadership and the importance of having someone that sees the light in us and then supports our development.
Barrie talks about the Encouragement Manifesto and the Ripple Effect in particular. I love this idea and how it plays out in life. We get into that.
Need a part 2 to hear JoJo's side of the story.
PS/ Another one stemming from the Do Lectures.... :)
You can follow Barrie and JoJo's adventures on Twitter, Instagram and the website, where you will find the Encouragement Manifesto.
Dan Kieran -- Do Sch-peel-zoyg
I recently heard Dan's Do Lecture and was struck by his storytelling, humour and the concept of sch-peel-zoyg.
That was in 2015, so it was great to catch up with Dan and see how his thinking has unfolded over the past 6 years.
So, we get into sch-peel-zoyg, the feeling, what it is and how it can be used.
And much more in this very open and candid chat, from Dan's car (he was parked!).
Dan is a writer and the co-founder and CEO of unbound.com, the award-winning crowdfunding publishing platform that brings authors and readers together. He was described as "a true disruptor" by Richard Branson.
** please note that there is some swearing in this episode
Andy Williams - exclusion to inclusion
Andy Williams was excluded when he was at school.
But he became an educator. Then focused on wellbeing and relationships in the school.
Andy understood that the punishment/reward system did not work -- there is something better.
Now he specialises in helping schools develop a way that embraces and accepts the individual, understanding the self, community, engagement and opportunity.
This is with a backing of the spirt of motivational interviewing, Zen Buddhism, neuroscience and the best of education.
Andy is doing superb and much needed work.
Grab a coffee, listen in and enjoy. I hope there will be a part 2.
You'll know what I mean.
Contact Andy on: firstname.lastname@example.org -- he has no website (love that!)
Caroline Williams - Move!
Why is movement so important? We explore the answers to this question and how people can be encouraged to move from a young age, when many beliefs and habits are born.
Plus becoming a science writer, writing habits and meeting some cool people along the way -- including Eric Kandel!
Great for anyone who loves to move (understand why it feels so good), who is thinking about moving more, who encourages others to move (physios, yoga teachers, Pilates instructors, school teachers and more).
Enjoy and please share.
Sabrina Coninx - a passionate pain philosopher
Recently Sabrina published a terrific paper (see below*) describing an enactive approach to acute and chronic pain. Her co-author is Peter Stilwell (see his episode here). This is a must read if you are interested in pain.
In this chat we get into Sabrina's thinking on enactivism and pain as a philosopher. Sabrina has been spending time with clinicians and people who experience pain so that she can gain their perspectives.
It was fascinating to hear Sabrina, who is making a great contribution to our understanding of pain through her work.
* Pain and the field of affordances: an enactive approach to acute and chronic pain - read here.
Dr Alastair Santhouse ~ Head First
He has been working as a Consultant Psychiatrist, for the last 17 years working at both Guy’s Hospital and The Maudsley Hospital, London. He treats a range of mental health problems, including those that present to a general hospital, such as the mental health consequences of physical disease and persistent physical symptoms and more typical mental health presentations, such as depression, anxiety disorders, OCD and adjustment disorders.
We talk about writing, the new book, clinic letter writing (how this respects the person/patient and the receiving clinician), the art and science of medicine, the challenge of psychiatry, medical training, medically unexplained symptoms, communication, the person first approach and more. As ever, we squeeze a lot into an hour!
Enjoy, please share and let me know what you think.
Dr Peter Stilwell - pain punk
Peter has noticed a significant shift in the student's interests towards people, communication skills and the biopsychosocial model over techniques and practices. Great! He also sees some issues around the BPS model that we discuss.
We uncovered part of Peter's philosophy that emerges from being a skateboarder: punk rock, swimming against the tide, thinking differently.
He looks at pain through the enactive lens, describing this and the other E's: embodied, embedded, emotive and extended. Plus some ecology.
Fascinating chat. It appears that we might be two pain geeks. Or perhaps people first geeks?
Anyway, enjoy and let me know what you think.
You can read Peter's work here and follow him on Twitter.
Dr Glenn Wallis ~ on coaching, business & people
Glenn is one of the few people in the world with a Doctorate in coaching, so it was fascinating to dig into his story, thinking and approach.
Glenn started his journey as a PE teacher, which he loved. Wanting to progress, he saw an opportunity in leadership coaching and took the plunge. Having delivered programmes, Glenn wanted to formalise his work. He studied coaching and mentoring at the highest level, resulting in a doctorate.
Now Glenn largely spends his time on his business, which delivers AI coaching programmes. This is an exciting and pioneering project as Glenn seeks to make high quality coaching scalable using technology. He also remains active as a coach, working with individuals 1:1.
I love Glenn's approach, which is certainly person-first. He is an encourager, completely authentic and clearly wants to help people succeed.
This is a fascinating conversation for all types of coach or if you are interested in a career in coaching. And who doesn't do some coaching at some point in their lives?
Richard Askwith ~ author of the fell running classic ‘Feet in the Clouds’
Richard generously shares his journey as a journalist, writer and runner. Turns out that running was rather transformative for Richard, influencing his writing and career. May well have started with an appearance in Chariots of Fire... (read here).
We met when Richard was co-host of a running/writing retreat in 2019 with Adharanand Finn. It was a terrific weekend with the group remaining in touch. I was really excited to ask Richard to join me on the podcast.
What is it about running that makes it such an important part of our lives?
Different running philosophies ~ results v the process... and longevity
A southerner who tries and tries to do the Bob Graham Round (BGR) and the succeeds - what is this ultra running challenge all about?
On writing -- maybe start by calling yourself a writer and other useful insights into the art
Emil Zátopek - heading off to the Czech Republic to write a book and learning the language
Jen Hamer ~ on overcoming anorexia and pain
Jen shares her remarkable journey having battled with anorexia for 16 years. She describes her lived experience from being diagnosed aged 12 through to the present day, now studying for her PhD In Australia, with a specialist interest in eating disorders and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDS).
This is a real insight into how an eating disorder can emerge and take hold of someone's life. In 2015, it was critical but something changed whilst she was an in-patient, essentially saving her.
On her path of recovery, we met because Jen was suffering with recurring and persistent pain. It was great to hear that she continues to use some of the skills and tools that we practiced together, and how they can just be useful for living well.
Jen has made enormous progress but is not there yet. However, she has the self-awareness and skills that she uses when noticing certain feelings, to get back on track, together with incredible support from her loving family. Moving to Australia just before lockdown was an example.
Jen talks openly about her life and experiences with the hope that she can inspire others -- I am sure she will. Before recording, I asked if anything was off limits. No, she said.
Jen epitomises the name of this podcast, together with a huge dose of courage and determination. Just listen to how she conquered the waves!
In her own words: "It is now my mission to to help others believe that they too can recover and there is a life out there for them away from their eating disorder not matter how faint that glimmer of hope may be, it is always possible."
Mark Miller ~ philosopher of cognition
In this fascinating conversation, we talked about the lived experiences of persistent pain, addiction, depression and anxiety, through the lens of predictive processing. We get into horror films and why we seem to love them, having uncomfortable experiences like ultrarunning and the concept of being frozen with a certain stuck belief that is holding us back in different ways. And so much more! I will need to listen to this again :)
Mark's purpose is to make the science real. In other words, be useful for individuals and society to encourage thriving and flourishing.
He so clearly explains the model and how it may be working and applicable. We also see his openness to possibilities and a willingness to learn.
I loved listening and hope you do too. This is great for clinicians, therapists, teachers, coaches, scientists, philosophers, and psychologists. Or anyone who is interested in being human.
Mark Miller is a philosopher of cognition. His research explores what recent advances in neuroscience can tell us about happiness and well-being, and what it means to live well in our increasingly technologically-mediated world. He is an assistant professor at Hokkaido University’s Center for Human Nature, Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience.
Art and Affect in the Predictive Mind Conference (I will be talk about horror)
Embodying addiction: A predictive processing account
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278262619304063Losing Ourselves: Active Inference, Depersonalization, and Meditation
How mood tunes prediction: a neurophenomenological account of mood and its disturbance in major depression
Andrew Brownhill ~ the modern rugby coach
Andrew is Player Pathway Coach at Gloucester Rugby Club and U16 Age Grade Coach/Talent ID for Scotland rugby. He also coaches at an independent school in Malvern.
I first heard Andrew talk about coaching when he appeared as a guest on a webinar with Prof Steve Rollnick, co-founder of motivational interviewing. I was struck by what he said.
Andrew describes his approach and philosophy. He is all about helping the individual develop as a person and a player. Communication and building relationships using empathy and listening are at the heart of what he does.
This is brilliant for all coaches!
Chris Jenkins ~ Head Physio Russian Men's Rugby
Great to have Chris on the pod to catch up and delve into his career and thinking as a physio in the world of rugby. His underlying philosophy is to be helpful and useful.
In this chat we get into the importance of pain education, communication, and building relationships in the sporting world. We explore tendinopathy as an example of a common persisting problem.
Having worked in the team environment for many years, Chris shares his experiences, thoughts and knowledge. So great for aspiring physios and other clinicians who want to work in sport.
Chris is a great example of someone who has followed his passion, carving out his career. This is something that we can do as physiotherapists and a message I like to share with undergraduates and newly qualified physios.
I hope you enjoy the episode. Please do like and share.
Sarah Mottram ~ physiotherapist & movement coach
Sarah believes that movement provides individuals with possibilities, be it independence, interacting with family, gardening and social activities, work, interests, exercise or amateur and elite sport. Increasing and maintaining physical activity is a key factor for a healthy life.
She has recently finished her PhD: The Health of Movement - Recognising Movement Choices in Individuals for Long-Term Health.
We chat about this, Sarah's work and how she has evolved as a physiotherapist over the past 25 years.
We also discuss coaching, the whole person approach and the different perspectives of patients and clinicians.
Sandy Hilton PT - pain, sex, & pelvic PT for women & men
** warning, sexual content :)
Terrific to catch up with Sandy in Chicago.
Sandy is a superb physical therapist who primarily works with men and women suffering pelvic pain.
We get into all sorts of stuff around this, including intimacy, aka sex.
What else? The person-first approach, the importance of listening, creating a safe environment, being 'pain-informed' (have we just created a new thing?), menopause, lifting the taboos, recognising period pain as a possible source of sensitisation and addressing it early, covid, online PT and more.
Enjoy and spread!!
Dan Abrahams - sport psychologist: people, players and performers
Dan helps people of all ages and at all levels to perform, in particular in football and golf.
Here we explore the different ways players coped with lockdown and how Dan helped them.
Dan then gets into the role of sport psychology in professional football -- I reckon much of this can equally be applied to life, amateur sport and school sport. He talks about the 3 Ps approach: people, players and performers.
Dan feels strongly that sport psychology should be an integrated part of the professional club, and explains why with his traffic light system: performance, wellbeing & mental health.
This was a fascinating conversation that begs for a part 2. Lots to take away, think about and apply.
Great for coaches, psychologists, people interested in achieving their own peak performance in life, footballers and more. I hope you enjoy.
You can read more about Dan and his work on his website. On social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus, The Sport Psych Podcast on Apple and Spotify, which is well worth a listen. You can listen to us chatting about pain here.
Professor Andy Lane - sport psychologist
Andy Lane is a Professor of Sport Psychology and works with athletes trying to achieve goals. He is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), Health Professional Council registered and a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist.
-- Great for runners, coaches, teachers and anyone who encourages others to be active.
In a typically relaxed conversation, Andy talks about training and running in lockdown before getting into a range of different strategies and techniques that we can all use to get the most out of our activities.
The tools that peak performers use are equally applicable to amateur athletes and exercisers. We should be encouraging the use of these tools and practices, and most definitely teaching kids in school how to apply them to deal with stress and anxiety.
1k, 10k, marathon, ultramarathon, whatever your thing, thinking about how you train, deal with injury and look after yourself will make the difference when it comes to the longevity of your running career.
Listen in and let us know what you think -- thanks as ever.
Dai Rees - transformational coach, teacher, mentor
Dai puts the individual's wellbeing at the heart of his coaching, teaching and mentoring.
What does this look like? Dai tells me how he puts this into practice, giving some great examples and sharing stories that illustrate his learnings and approach. This includes the three C's of wellbeing that Dai co-created.
Dai has a clear purpose that comes across as we talk. He is serious about education and wants to play his part in shaping a system that is suited to the generation Z. This generation only knows the digital world. We cannot simply use the same educational methods that have been employed before. Certainly the shout and shame style of teaching and coaching has had its day -- was it ever a good idea?
With regards coaching, Dai focuses on the individual on and off the field. He gets to know them, which is the key: build trust, communicate and give them a forum where they feel safe to express themselves.
Dai started as a teacher and has seen his own transformation over the years. In that time he has travelled the world, played and coached international rugby, was the Chief Rugby Operations Officer for Hong Kong RFU and was recently head of rugby at an independent school.
This is a great chat for teachers, coaches and people interested in peak performance and leadership.
You can connect with Dai on LinkedIn.
Jackie Walumbe -- Advanced Practitioner Pain Physiotherapist & Clinical Research Fellow
I have known Jackie since the early 2000's when we were both at Kings College London, reading the Pain Science and Society MSc with Prof Mick Thacker.
Jackie has continued down an academic path as a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, currently engaged with her PhD on the self-management of pain.
What do we mean by self-management? That depends which lens you look through.
We get into that.
The rest of the time Jackie works in a multi-disciplinary pain team for in-patients. The team works with patients who are in hospital for a particular clinical reason, but also suffer chronic pain.
Jackie describes how the team works: the creative nature, the space, the support, the autonomy, the supervision and more. At the heart is an ability to listen deeply and communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals. Much can be learned from this superb service. It also demonstrates the versatility of physiotherapy, which is a profession that offers so many opportunities and can significantly contribute to other's lives in a positive way.
Miles with Michelle ~ running coach
Michelle loves running. So much so that she created a business as a running coach for humans and humans with their dogs -- a canicross trainer.
Michelle's passion is clear as she tells me about how she encourages and guides people to achieve their running goals. Fun is at the heart of it.
Her approach is truly holistic. She focuses on the person and their needs, helping them understand the things that they can do to be successful, eg/ lifestyle choices around diet, sleep and recovery.
Katie Ledger -- a trusted guide
Katie Ledger is a Senior Practitioner at Complete, coaching executives, guiding teams and hosting international conferences. For 12 years Katie worked as a journalist and TV news presenter for the BBC, ITN, Channel 5 News and TVB in Hong Kong, followed by 9 years of running her own communications business.
Katie now uses her skills in the business sector to help leaders shift from ‘turning up’ to ‘showing up’. She enables individuals to both increase their capabilities and capacity using practical tools to deliver desired results.
Katie coaches senior leaders in multiple markets and geographies. For the last 14 years, she has worked extensively with leaders and innovators in media and technology sectors in companies such as Xerox, Microsoft and Google helping them to unlock their potential and deliver results despite the pressure.
Katie is a qualified professional level coach, trained by Integral Coaching Canada in their Integral Coaching method. Ken Wilber has described this to be ‘the most complete and comprehensive coaching program available’. Katie is also a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Simon Austin -- Sports journalist and founder of Training Ground Guru
Dani Mugridge ~ Director of Sport & Coach
Dani (or Miss Mugridge if you are one of her pupils...) epitomises both the modern director of sport and the positive coach, being an overt advocate for Girl's sport. She runs the department at LEH, a girls' school in Hampton, and is the Assistant Coach of Surrey Storm netball team.
Life is full for Dani, so I was lucky to grab her for an hour during her break. It's been a busy time for all teachers over the past year or so as they have tried to help kids remain active at home and now guiding them back to school sports.
Her passion, purpose and energy shine through as Dani talks about her career, being a Director of Sport and coaching in elite sport.
We talk about Covid, encouraging participation in sports at school, women in sport, TV coverage, being an assistant coach, offering opportunities to kids, coaching style, Spurs and more.
Celine Ivari -- Wholy Me Founder
Celine started the Wholy Me business in lockdown last year, the idea coming from caring for her mum who was suffering pain from rheumatoid arthritis. Wholy Me is all about natural solutions for health and wellness with a focus on the person and importance of self care to live your best life. Celine tells me about the products, the scrutiny and transparency that are driven by her values, and her desire to keep building a community around these values.
Chronic pain is one of the largest global health burdens, affecting perhaps 20% of people, including children. Traditional medical approaches have not provided any sustainable ways forward, mainly because the treatments are passive or based on a quick fix. To overcome pain needs a proactive approach with the creation of new habits that are in line with long term improvements and wellness. We talk about this, habit formation, the need for recovery and recharge time to make a difference.
Just taking a fe moments each day for yourself can start to create a difference as you build on this day by day.
I am pleased to be an Ambassador for Wholy Me, using the products as part of my wellness routine and for recovery from ultrarunning.
Evie Martin -- founder of Online Physios
Evie Martin is a physiotherapist from Ireland, based in Norway where she lives and has her practice.
During lockdown, Evie brought people (physios) together under the banner of Physios Online that she created with her wife Christine. It was just what was needed at a time when many therapists were unsure about their next steps, particularly those with practices.
In this chat, Evie tells me about the idea of Physios Online coming to her before Covid but how it was parked for several reasons that she shares. With Covid and a boost in confidence from a conversation with a colleague, Evie took the plunge. Just shows what connections and encouragement can do!
Since then, the project has taken off with many physios on board and sharing messages about what we do to help people. We talk about the ups and downs, the challenges, measuring success, effective altruism, what is to come with Physios Online and more.
If you are doing online sessions or thinking about it, you might like to listen.
Kevin Nicholson ~ Football consultant & coach
A really energising and positive conversation with Kevin Nicholson, who has spent most of his life in the world of football, initially as a player and now as a consultant and coach. Currently he works for Double Pass, helping clubs and players optimise their talent.
Kevin steamed through the UEFA coaching badges to the top (Pro Licence), which he talks about. He is the youngest-ever English UEFA Pro Licence & FA Elite Coaching Award graduate, plus over 15 years of professional experience. Kevin talks about the importance of both qualifications and experiences -- you need both. He is obviously passionate about what he does and has clear purpose in helping others achieve success as a modern coach and consultant. Kevin's openness, thirst for learning and connecting with others come across as some of his many strengths.
As ever with these Positive Encourager chats, we get into the nuts and bolts, with plenty of examples to illustrate.
Kevin uses the person-first approach, whether he is working with players to develop their talent or coaches at different clubs. He has travelled the world plying his trade. He talks about the importance of adaptability, empathy and being present, noting that these strengths and skills are applicable in all forms of leadership.
In my mind, Kevin encapsulates all the qualities of the positive modern coach.
And as you would expect, we cover a lot more in this fantastic chat! Great for coaches, leaders, people in HR, learning and development as well as those who just love footy!