Mental As Anyone

MAA #017: With Doug Chappel

Dec. 13, 2015

Interview with Melbourne based Comedian Doug Chappel who has been on the comedy scene for nearly 19 years and, among other gigs, MCs at the Comic’s Lounge every Monday. Doug is also passionate about studying Psychology. He has several degrees, including Youth Work, Psychology and Psychology Honours, and a Masters of Counselling. He’s also looking at further post-grad studies (maybe another Masters or a PhD).   

We discuss: Doug not planning to be in comedy but finding himself to be a natural one random day at the Espy, making mistakes and learning as he went, the psychology in comedy and reading the dynamics of a crowd, stage therapy, dealing with depression, the issues he faced growing up in Footscray, calling for more education and awareness about mental health issues, supporting a friend with anxiety, the violence of growing up in Footscray, the cycle of bullying, generational violence, how comedy and his partner changed him, Doug’s thesis on family violence, Sarah Ferguson’s Hitting Home documentary (on ABC), effects of violence on children, adults, families and the greater community, Doug’s second thesis on the role of gender in regard to violence, frustration with people who say “Why doesn’t the woman just leave?”, the impacts of gender inequality, the notions that perpetrators can be good people and that men can be victims of family violence – but the odds of the victim being female are so much higher, women being more likely to be attacked by someone they know and love (and yes men can be victims too), how victims can feel to blame, control/anger issues, the cycle of violence and how it escalates, attitudes and behaviours, benevolent sexism and the notion that gender inequality is reinforced by it, controlling behaviours leading to imbalance of power in relationships, sense of ownership and behaving in “unacceptable ways”, the Ramage case and provocation laws, Shae’s question about how best to advise/support women in counselling, assisting women to be aware of how certain controlling behaviours can escalate into violence, awareness of the warning signs, providing women with support networks, the call for society to provide more options and better fund services and laws to be changed, the call to do more to protect women, anger management for men, humans having executive function (and therefore the choice) to change attitudes, awareness of the bigger picture/other people’s perspectives, frustration re victim blaming, and providing support so people can help themselves.
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