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'Bin Magic' aims to help people discard unwanted thoughts.
(Reproduced courtesy of Bayside and Northern Star, Brisbane, Australia. May 4th 2005.)

In December 2003 Zillmere resident Alan Smith met Jack, a schizophrenic, and since then, their lives have never been the same.  Mr. Smiths encounter with Jack led to the formation of  'Bin Magic', which can help people get rid of their unwanted thoughts. I started this (Bin Magic) after I met Jack, and wondered how I could help him ,Mr Smith said.  " I put myself in his position,,, how would I handle schizophrenia? With Bin Magic, If you find yourself being bomb-barded by thoughts and / or voices,try putting an imaginary  bin in your head and give unwanted thoughts the flick. In the six months after Bin Magic was established Mr Smith continued to visit Jack, talking about his different bins and how they helped him in everyday life. "Then I started talking to the children in my Zillmere community, who invented new bins," Mr Smith said. "The only rule is, there are no negative bins." Through Bin Magic, Jack has been able to better control his thoughts, and Mr Smith has been inundated with enquiries about the concept. It has been a hit with residents in the local area, with many of Mr Smith's neighbours and friends using Bin Magic. "Angel, a five year old girl, chucks the thoughts she knows will get her in trouble with Mum into her 'get away' bin.   "Peter, a 50 year old manager, chucks his work-related thoughts into the delete bin when work is over.  "Bin Magic gives people the ability to divert. People always say to me, 'it's so simple'. I'm pleased that I have been able to help people - that's why I started it."  The simplicity of the concept has seen it start to attract more widespread attention. According to Mr Smith, hospitals, politicians, correctional centres, community centres, doctors and churches have all expressed their support for Bin Magic.  Mr Smith said he hopes it is only a matter of time before the government starts trials on Bin Magic's effectiveness. I would like to see the education minister get a trial going, just to see what happens. I would also like the police and corrective
services minister to conduct trials in jails, and the health minister to conduct trials with mental health patients", Mr Smith said.   Mr Smith - who has been a cleaner, farmer, factory worker, gardener, public relations assistant, webmaster and artist, to name just a few of his past occupations - said he was happy with the success of his latest project, even though he didn't use Bin Magic himself.  I don't use the bins, but I think a lot about them. I don't think I need them... I meditate instead," he said. There are a wide range of bins to choose from, and people can create new bins to suit their needs. Examples include chill out, work, soul, private, later, miracle, love, lesson, courage, recycle, pace, personal and family.  Mr Smith said there were hundreds of potential bins, and 'anything could apply': " The possibilities are endless, They're your bins." For more information about Bin Magic, visit the website at

Rubbish Thoughts Should Go In Bin
(Reproduced courtesy of The Northside Chronicle, Brisbane, Australia. June 11t,h 2008)

A ZILLMERE man is helping sufferers of mental illness to throw their problems in the bin. Alan Smith's treatment program, Bin Magic, is available in pamphlet forms from 90 locations across Brisbane, including council libraries and offices. Mr Smith said Bin Magic was very simple: it encourages people to have different "bins" to consign thoughts to. "For example, you can put bad thoughts in the bad thoughts bin and get rid of them," Mr Smith said. Mr Smith came up with the idea in 2003 after meeting a schizophrenic man, Jack Trinity. " I thought about how I would deal with schizophrenia if I had it, how I would deal with all the voices and mess of thoughts," he said. But Bin Magic is not just for treating schizophrenia. Several psychological professionals have voiced approval for Mr Smith's system. In December 2007, Lord Mayor Campbell Newman gave Mr Smith permission to distribute Bin Magic pamphlets in council libraries and he is in talk with Queensland Health about incorporating Bin Magic into mainstream psychological treatments. A former musician, Mr Smith does not use he bins himself, but often thinks about them in day to day life.

Article by Bernard Sanft (Post Grad. Cert., Youth and Community Work)

At some stage in many teenagers lives, particularly in the age groups of eleven to seventeen in males, and nine to fifteen in females, (approximately) there comes a point in their lives where there is nowhere to go, no where to run, an insurmountable problem, seemingly the size of the solar system, a proverbial brick wall.

Any thing, any learned phrase, any song lyric, or learned rational that can take that person past that point is pure gold and at that time totally invaluable. As an active youth worker, I find many teenagers use the lyrics of the Tupak Shakur song, "And life goes on".

There is definitive research that Bin Magic techniques have been invaluable and successful at this critical alone moment that teenagers experience.

Again, as an experienced youth worker, I can assure readers of this article that any technique that works is worthwhile pursuing and taking to young vulnerable people as an additional survival mechanism.

Bin Magic clearly falls into this category and funding for further clinical test results would be advantageous at this time.

Middle aged and elderly males (a particularly high suicide group) may also benefit from those Bin Magic techniques.

Bernie Sanft December 2009.

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