‘Our Choices & Values That Help Us To Help Ourselves’

No year would be complete without the benefit of the wisdom of Prof. Jim Lucey on how we should never underestimate the importance of minding our own mental health in the face of the constant stresses and pressures we expose it to in our daily practices.

In this interactive session, Jim invites colleagues to set the agenda by suggesting the practical issues that are most relevant to them today, and he analyses every one of them to help us understand what we are experiencing as lawyers.

Jim’s talks always prove to be among the most enjoyable and enlightening of our annual calendar, when he takes our questions and addresses the many issues that affect us as lawyers in a culture that is stigmatic of mental health.

Topics covered by Jim include:

  • Stress, distress & strife:
    • why stress is good & bad
    • striving - how the ‘fight n’ flight’ physiological/adrenalin/dopamine-driven mechanisms actually works within us and how they dictate our daily behaviour
    • danger & reward’ responses
    • our ‘self-soothing ‘OK’ system’ & the ‘Compassionate Mind/System’
    • can we undo stress and get well again?
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Worry & anxiety
  • Work-life balance:
    • is it relevant?
    • The Whitehall Studies
    • who dies most frequently – Sir Humphreys or the postman?
    • what are the factors that greatly dictate your mortality?
  • Wellbeing:
    • time-management
    • load –v- support
    • burden –v- control
  • Burnout:
    • What is it – am I actually burning out?
      • exhaustion (loss of energy)
      • diminished performance
      • Frankly, I don’t give a damn’ - ‘depersonalisation’ due to extreme stress
    • Can it be treated?
  • Our staff and our ‘health responsibility’ to them and to ourselves:
    • what changes can we make to help ourselves?
      • what is the best exercise to do?
      • Diet, Dr. Quiet & Dr. Merryman
        • alcohol consumption:
          • am I sure I am not an alcoholic – do the ‘alcohol audit test
        • fun health things to do:
          • take the long way home
          • do it quietly (noise –v- silence)
          • embrace some darkness (light –v- dark)
        • why we sleep:
          • Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovery of ‘The Clock Genes
          • Get two sleeps
        • change ‘buts’ to ‘ands
      • CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapies
      • MBSR – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – do it !!!!
        • living in the moment –v- being stuck in the moment
      • In freefall - Our loss of faith
      • What matters to me in life…..what do I value and care about?:
        • my ‘values’, my choices, etc.……in a hostile environment
        • my ‘Value Proposition’ = Service x Quality?
        • what am I chasing and striving for, and why?


Prof. Jim Lucey is Medical Director (Master) of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Dublin, since 2008.

He has been a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of London (1993-1997) at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and at The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1998-2002) and is currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin. Prof. Lucey has more than 25 years’ experience in psychiatry, and in addition to medical management he maintains his clinical practice at St. Patrick`s where he works on the assessment, diagnosis and management of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London, as well as a member of the College of Psychiatry of Ireland. Prof. Lucey gives public lectures and is a regular broadcaster on mental health matters on RTE radio and speaks on mental health at CPD Board conferences.

Category of CPD: Category C / B / A
Duration: 1.35 Hours

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