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Chimp Management; Posted on 10th October 2016

Psychological First Aid or Primary Prevention?

First aidDr. Trevor Gedeon from Chimp Management spoke at the Changing Landscapes Mental Health Conference with the Brathay Trust and Sheffield MIND on 7th October in the run up to Mental Health Awareness Day 2016 (MHAD2016 hashtag is #glitch).

Dr. Gedeon spoke on the conference’s theme of psychological first aid, drawing on the differences between his work as a Forensic Psychiatrist and his work with Chimp Management. He said:

“Perhaps we are all too quick to draw a line between those with serious mental illness and those without. The reality of my experience is that we all have a degree of psychological dysfunction and this is entirely normal.”

Prof. Steve Peters’ Chimp Model helps us to identify how and, importantly, why we might be dysfunctional, recognises that this is normal and offers strategies for managing this dysfunction. By understanding the reasons why we think, feel and behave the way we do, we can stop beating ourselves up, step back and consider what is in our control then plan the change. Remember that wherever you are starting from, that it is normal and your emotional mind – our “inner Chimp” – is doing what it does for a good reason, even if the outcome may sometimes be a poor one. Our emotional Chimps can be both our best friend and our worst enemy, and once we understand them we can start to manage our own natural dysfunction and difficulties to the point where we can flourish rather than suffer.

Practising the skills from the Chimp Model can get us to a point that is beyond psychological first aid and is more akin to primary prevention. In a similar way to how a healthy physical lifestyle helps to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, the Chimp Model can help with our psychological wellbeing – something that is all too often neglected.

Chimp Management; Posted on 18th August 2016

How ‘Successful’ are you on Results Day?

100%Picking up your A-level results today could leave you feeling delighted, disappointed or devastated. Are you really excited about what comes next or worried there are few options for you?

No matter what your results are, you have choices, but it’s important to recognise that you have two different thinking brains that will look at your results in different ways.

Your emotional mind (your inner Chimp) will interpret your results with emotional, black & white, paranoid thinking. If they are not what you were aiming for, your Chimp thoughts and feelings can be irrational and you may catastrophise, jumping to illogical conclusions about the end of your chances.

a-for-effort-paperYour logical mind (your Human) can also be disappointed. It was hoping to achieve and to fulfil your potential. However, it is fully capable of accepting your results and dealing with the consequences. But in times of heightened emotion – both elation and devastation – your emotional-thinking Chimp brain will be the one reacting first and may ‘hijack’ you, preventing you from engaging your practical, logical brain to think through the options open to you.

If you can recognise this likelihood and be ready with some well-rehearsed truths about the options you do have, then it will be easier to maintain a sense of perspective and use the most resourceful part of your brain (your logical Human) to find the answers.

Remember, if you tried your best in your exams, then you could not have done any better. Doing your best means putting in maximum effort with the aim of achieving your goals. But if the outcome falls short, you can hold your head up high and deal with the consequences, knowing you could not have done more. Doing your absolute best is your logical Human’s definition of success – not the achievement.

Whilst our Chimps tend to focus on things like grades and percentages, our Human’s view of success not only includes doing your best in the circumstances but also recognises that exams and results are only one measure (an academic measure) of our qualities as individuals. Recognising all of our wonderful qualities helps put the Chimp’s devastation, disappointment or elation in attaining a particular number or letter into the perspective that it deserves, thus maintaining our sense of self esteem and self worth.

Chimp Management; Posted on 18th March 2016

Easter Eggs Dilemma for Your Chimp and Human…

Are you one of those people who enters the supermarket just after New Year and disapprovingly frowns, tuts and mumbles about the sudden appearance of Easter Eggs? Do you pretend to contemptuously scorn some made-up chief executive for blatant commercialism and profit-seeking?

And seconds later, do you first ignore the ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘one Easter Egg for a pound’ offer before being unknowingly steered back through the confectionary aisle one more time just to be sure you got the details right? Can you hear a little voice urging you closer “go on… one won’t hurt… what a great deal… you’d be silly to miss out?”
Easter Eggs Dilemma Chimp Human
We’re fast approaching that time of year when egg-shaped chocolate armies are ready to do battle with you. In the cold light of day, you may have decided that you won’t enter such a battle this year BUT that powerful, independent thinking part of your brain may have other ideas and there’s a certain inevitability about simply trying to use willpower to manage this situation.

Our impulses in life are strong and can sometimes overwhelm us, leaving us scratching our heads and sometimes beating ourselves up. Putting plans in place to manage your unhelpful impulses, whilst not guaranteeing success, can tip the odds in your favour of you getting the results you want.

Making plans for managing your impulses and getting one step ahead of them so that you’re ready for them is about getting good, helpful thoughts programmed into your computer.

So, with Easter – and the rest of your life on the horizon – what plans can you put in place for managing your impulses?

Our up-coming public Seminar Day “Spring-clean Your Mind” on Saturday May 7th in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, may be able to help.

If you’d like to share or comment about yourself and the Chimp Model, please do feel free to use our Facebook page or contact us at for email – additionally you can find us on Twitter as @ChimpManagement. We do read all your posts, messages and tweets.

Chimp Management; Posted on 24th February 2016
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The Chinese Year of the Monkey, Your Human Plans and Your Chimp’s (counter-) Agenda…

Monday marked the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations featuring the spectacular Lantern Festival, a spectacular and moving occasion.

2016 is the Chinese Year of the Monkey, specifically the Fire Monkey. The Fire Monkey is said to be ambitious, adventurous and sometimes irritable. We could imagine what it might be like to live with such a creature and how to meet its needs – giving it things to strive for and explore, whilst anticipating and managing where it might become irritable.

This could leFireMonkey 1024px 768pxad to a well-nurtured, well-managed and well-behaved Fire Monkey.

Today (24th February 2016) marks 15% of the western calendar year 2016 having elapsed. If you made plans for the year, how far have you progressed them? 15%? How well is your chimp working with you to help you in your plans? How much is it interfering or procrastinating? How well do you really know your chimp and how well are you looking after its emotional needs? Everyone’s chimp is unique of course, and as with the Fire Monkey, a well-understood, well-nurtured and well-managed chimp is more likely to work with you than against you.

So for the next few days, how about spending a little time each day identifying and analysing your chimp’s behaviours, its drives and its ways of thinking, and work on how best to nurture it and manage it to get the very best out of it. Really getting to know your chimp and looking after it can be time very well spent to improve your chances of success and happiness in 2016 and beyond.

If you’d like to share or comment about yourself and the Chimp Model, please do feel free to use our Facebook page or contact us at for email – additionally you can find us on Twitter as @ChimpManagement. We do read all your posts, messages and tweets.