31. Mark Mathieson: the psychology of soldiers and the impact of combat

Nov 11, 2020

“To pretend that we didn’t know people were burning out, becoming dysfunctional and most likely that was collectively happening across the Command – was at the best naive and at the worst it was intentional neglect.”

Mark is a registered Psychologist and over the past 20 years has worked in some of the strangest, harshest and least ‘clinical’ environments on the globe. This includes working as a former SAS regimental psychologist who deployed to Afghanistan six times and now founder of ‘Psyched Up’ – an industry psychology leader supporting individuals, organisations and communities in extreme environments. This includes working as the psychologist on set on reality TV shows such as Survivor and SAS: Who Dares Wins.

This conversation is an inside look into the minds of combat soldiers. Mark discusses how war can fundamentally change a human. Moreso how repeated combat can impact one’s moral fabric and lead to a challenging transition when a veteran returns home from deployment.

Not exclusively we discuss:

  • the value of listening to our returning warriors
  • the consequence of a lack of purpose and clear strategy
  • The stigma of mental health in the military
  • Moral injury & the impact of heavy deployment
  • Rights of passages across the military and reality TV world.

Other areas of Mark’s work include:

  • Debriefing wintering expeditioners for the Australian Antarctic program.
  • Designing and implemented local recruitment and induction programs in Papua New Guinea for oil companied.
  • Establishing culture change programs.
  • Assessing and recruited indigenous youth into mining jobs in North Western Australia.
  • Managed cast and crew of reality TV shows (where we first met!)

You can follow Mark on instagram @markmathieson_psychologist & www.psychedup.com.au

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