81 episodes

Australian psychologists Amy & Hunter nerd out about all things psychology, from Star Wars to Social Anxiety.
Listen in for an independent pod with great chemistry between therapists working in oncology (Hunter) & child psychology (Amy). Each episode focuses on a psychological issue, therapy or simply provides an outlet to overanalyse our favourite tv & film characters.

Two Shrinks Pod Dr Hunter Mulcare & Amy Donaldson

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 44 Ratings

Australian psychologists Amy & Hunter nerd out about all things psychology, from Star Wars to Social Anxiety.
Listen in for an independent pod with great chemistry between therapists working in oncology (Hunter) & child psychology (Amy). Each episode focuses on a psychological issue, therapy or simply provides an outlet to overanalyse our favourite tv & film characters.

    74 - Do Lockdowns Cause Suicide?

    74 - Do Lockdowns Cause Suicide?

    It is late October 2021, Melbourne is emerging from a 77 day lockdown and we’ve just earned the dubious title of most locked down city in the world. Throughout, this difficult situation has been made harder by constant media and political pressure to end lockdowns, often with the argument that lockdowns cause suicide.

    We wanted to dig into this properly and find out from the data whether this actually was the case? In this episode we take a look at suicide statistics in four Western countries, talk through the factors that can lead to suicide and provide some tips for how to respond if you or someone you care about is feeling suicidal.

    Supports (for Australian listeners):
    If you are in immediate danger: 000
    For crisis support 24/7: Lifeline 13 11 14 or Suicide call back service (24 hour phone & online support): 1300 659 467or online www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
    To access local crisis team support, call your state’s contact number: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/crisis-management
    To access private psychologists: see a GP for a mental health care plan or contact local private practices. Your GP may know of local clinics with availability or shorter wait times.

    Research and data:
    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data: https://www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring/data/suspected-deaths-by-suicide/data-from-suicide-registers
    Victorian coroner’s court data: https://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-01/Coroners%20Court%20Monthly%20Suicide%20Data%20Report%20-%20December%202020.pdf
    NZ coroner: https://coronialservices.justice.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Publications/Chief-Coroner-Suicide-Stats-2020-Media-Release.pdf
    NZ symptoms: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34313158/
    UK suicide rates: https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/deathsfromsuicidethatoccurredinenglandandwalesbetweenaprilandjuly2020
    US suicide minorities: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33290944/
    US suicide data: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2775359
    America’s health rankings (data from all states): https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Suicide/state/ALL?edition-year=2020

    • 1 hr 2 min
    73 - Why do we laugh?

    73 - Why do we laugh?

    This week we’re returning to an everyday psychology topic and pondering why we laugh. In classic Two Shrinks style, we talk through four pieces of research: preschoolers laughing with their friends, personality and laughter, ridicule in family and funeral workers’ use of laughter.
    As always we finish up with things we came across: Amy freaks out about robot-human interaction and Hunter delights in a letter to the editor.

    Social Facilitation of Laughter and Smiles in Preschool Children
    Do extraverts ‘like to laugh’︁?: An analysis of the Situational Humor Response Questionnaire (SHRQ)
    An Initial Study on How Families Deal with Ridicule and Being Laughed at: Parenting Styles and Parent–Child Relations with Respect to Gelotophobia, Gelotophilia, and Katagelasticism
    I Nearly Died Laughing: Humor in Funeral Industry Operators

    Robot Humor: How Self-irony and Schadenfreude Influence People's Rating of Robot Likability
    Narratives with Robots: The Impact of Interaction Context and Individual Differences on Story Recall and Emotional Understanding
    Development and Testing of Psychological Conflict Resolution Strategies for Assertive Robots to Resolve Human–Robot Goal Conflict
    Designing Social Interactions with a Humorous Robot Photographer
    Hunter’s book recommendation: In Moonland by Miles Allinson
    Letter to the editor

    • 1 hr 10 min
    72 - Why do we cry?

    72 - Why do we cry?

    We’re back after an unexpected break with a classic Two Shrinks question, why do we cry?Why is it that something painful, emotional or even joyful makes us tear up? How does it help us communicate, share with others, process how we feel? We’ll talk through why music makes us cry, what babies expect to happen when they cry, who cries in therapy and when it helps. To wrap up, we finish with the all important play behaviours of octopuses/octopi/octopodes and some research into whether little Albert actually became scared of white rabbits.Join us next time for an episode on laughter.
    If you need to take the time for a good cryve (cry while driving), let us set the mood we have a Cryving playlist up on Spotify. Songs to Cryve to (Spotify playlist) :https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2qBqylXVS9QddK5gDR1wwF?si=75bdb78ec9c74dcc

    Crying Research:
    Feeling Like Crying When Listening to Music: Exploring Musical and Contextual Features
    Young Infants Expect an Unfamiliar Adult to Comfort a Crying Baby: Evidence from a Standard Violation-of-Expectation Task and a Novel Infant-Triggered-Video Task
    Patient Crying in Psychotherapy: Who Cries and Why?
    Patients’ Crying Experiences in Psychotherapy and Relationship with Working Alliance, Therapeutic Change and Attachment Styles
    When and for Whom does Crying Improve Mood? A Daily Diary Study of 1004 Crying Episodes
    When Do Octopuses Play? Effects of Repeated Testing, Object Type, Age, and Food Deprivation on Object Play in Octopus Vulgaris
    Did Little Albert Actually Acquire a Conditioned Fear of Furry Animals? What the Film Evidence Tells us
    Music featured in the episode:

    Ave Maria - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_5bYNqpEFU Beethoven’s 9th symphony - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdWyYn0E4Ys Skinny love - Bon IverOn my own - Samantha BanksO children - Nick CaveIt’s quiet uptown from HamiltonSomeone great - LCD SoundsystemSomewhere over the rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo’oleThanks to listeners for contributing their songs - the playlist above includes all of our favourites.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    71 - Psychs on Film 3 (Shrinks with a Vengeance)

    71 - Psychs on Film 3 (Shrinks with a Vengeance)

    In honour of our third instalment of psychs on film, we’re following the trilogy format and introducing a new character, well actually a guest - Sharon Shaw, podcaster and therapist from the School of Movies podcast. Join us for a discussion of 6 film and tv therapists - what we love, how it’s different from real life therapy and issues we can’t stop ranting about.
    The shows we talk about are:

    Top left - Right: West wing, donnie darko, fleabagBottom left - right: thomas crown affair, bones, Ozarks

    The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
    The Ozarks (2020). Season 3, episode 5. Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSWwltmJUEk 
    The West Wing (2000). Season 2, episode 10
    Donnie Darko (2001). Clip: https://youtu.be/GPOjr_z3Wn4
    Fleabag (2019). Season 2, episode 2. Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy6kbVptkRY
    Bones (2007) Season 2, episode 13
    Listen to Sharon Shaw on the School of Movies podcast: https://schoolofmovies.podbean.com/

    • 1 hr 46 min
    70 - Therapy with the Breakfast Club

    70 - Therapy with the Breakfast Club

    The Breakfast club - five teenagers in detention, each struggling and assuming everyone else has their life together. But what would happen if they were referred for therapy instead? Join us for a Two Shrinks look at Claire, Bender, Principal Vernon, Allison, Andy & Brian as we talk through how we’d make sense of these characters and what they’d need in the therapy room.The Molly Ringwald article we reference can be found at: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/what-about-the-breakfast-club-molly-ringwald-metoo-john-hughes-pretty-in-pink

    • 1 hr 38 min
    69 - Sexual Assault: How to Respond to a Disclosure

    69 - Sexual Assault: How to Respond to a Disclosure

    This episode we’re talking about an unashamedly heavy topic. Given the recent events in Australian Parliament, we wanted to talk about how psychologists, friends and family members of people who have been sexually assaulted can respond. How you can best support someone who’s beginning to share their story, even when you don’t know what to say.

    If you’d like to skip to a particular topic:9:45 Common reactions to media coverage of sexual assault & some basic coping strategies15:30 Responding to disclosures as a psychologist47:30 Responding as a friend or family member53:45 Message to survivors who are considering disclosing for the first time

    Supports in Australia
    Lifeline: 13 11 141800 Respect: 1800 7377 328ReachOut list of supports: https://au.reachout.com/articles/sexual-assault-support CASA: https://casa.org.au/ Australian Statistics
    River by Leon Bridges

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

McElhinneym ,


As a tLMFT this podcast has been an amazing information dump, while also entertaining while searching for something to engage with more knowledge and understanding for personal and clinician work. Great job guys! Also, would love for you to check out our podcast “Becoming Man. An inquiry into mans journey of becoming fully human.” Would love to hear your thoughts or collaborate in the future!

Tete9290 ,

Great for Psychology Nerds and Anyone Fascinated with the Mind

The two shrinks don’t dumb down the podcast but make the material accessible for anyone to find entertaining. Amy and Hunter are also funny so the intertwining of the material and their colorful charismatic relationship makes each episode enjoyable!

joypi11 ,


I love this show! Thank you for breaking down these topics- there’s no other podcast out there that does this so well.

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