Dr. Sarita Robinson aka “Dr Survival” is a leading academic researcher in Survival Psychology.


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Dr Sarita Robinson is Deputy Head of the School of Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Sarita is one of the world’s leading academic researcher in area of survival psychology and so is often referred to as Doctor Survival. Survival psychology focuses on how people respond in disaster situations – everything from a terrorist attack to a ship sinking.

Sarita has spent over 15 years researching people’s reactions to disasters. She focuses on trying to work out why some people are more likely to survive than others in emergency situations (and what we can do to improve our chances of survival).

Sarita is keen not to rely on dusty books to inform her academic research and so has undertaken some hands-on survival training. This means Sarita has had some hair-raising adventures, including completing training in Helicopter Underwater Escape, Fire-Fighting and Coastal Survival.

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Show notes

  • What Dr. Sarita Robinson does

  • What her childhood years were like

  • Being the daughter of 2 mental health nurses

  • Struggling throughout her school years and feeling left behind

  • Being diagnosed at 17 with dyslexia

  • Enjoying the more individual sports

  • Developing her own coping strategies

  • Doing Psychology as an A’Level

  • Going onto university

  • Being inspired by The Poseidon Adventure Movie

  • Why some people are more likely to survive than others

  • The importance of having an optimistic outlook

  • Fight - Flight - Freeze - How we respond to threats

  • Being in a survival situation

  • Spending 5 years on her PHD on Survival Psychology

  • Being in a hotel fire in Turkey

  • Needing to keep your brain in a good place - especially in longer term survival situations

  • CPU - Central Processing Unit of the brain

  • Why people do unusual things during a life threatening situation

  • Why the brain falls back on pre-learned behaviours

  • Training for emergency situations

  • The power of prepping and preparing for emergencies

  • Why trainings is important - “skills & drills”

  • How training boosts your confidence and in turn your optimism

  • The power of “What If”

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)

  • Practical steps to building resilience

  • The importance of building your body - exercise, sleep, hydration, nutrition

  • The connection between the body and the mind

  • Enhancing your optimistic thinking

  • Moving away from learned helplessness

  • The power of social support and social networks

  • What toxic positivity is and devaluating what someone else is going through

  • The poison of resilience and why resilience is not always the answer

  • Why the resilient thing ca n be to walk away

  • Coping with the pandemic and how 2020 was

  • Dr John Leach - Senior Research Fellow in survival psychology. Book: Survival Psychology (1994)

  • Is there a difference between men/women gender (social construct) / sex (biological) in survival

  • Why more girls and women died during the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami

  • Why preparation is everything

Social Media

Website: http://drsurvival.co.uk

Facebook: @drsurvival.robinson

Twitter: @DrSurvival


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