Aimee Maxwell is a practicing psychologist and a moderator of the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook group. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is witnessing the effects on her community of the massive bushfires in that country.
Aimee’s house is safe from the fires, for the moment. However, she feels in herself and in others the primal anxiety caused by such a huge, existential threat.
In this interview, Aimee provides responses which are both practical and contemplative.
She provides extensive practical advice about how to cope with anxiety in a crisis, including breathing practices and physical exercises. She discusses her own struggle with “adrenaline belly,” and gives a useful overview of how the adrenal system drives our brain to protect us.
Aimee also contemplates the meaning of the disaster – in the context of Deep Adaptation, and in the larger context of how human beings should respond to these unprecedented and unimaginable threats.
(A note on the temperatures that Aimee refers to: 42 degrees Celsius is 107 degrees Fahrenheit. 47 Celsius is 116 Fahrenheit.)
Aimee has created on her professional website a page called “Australian Bushfires: Psychological Help for Trauma,” with information about Emotional First Aid and other useful topics.