Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Top Secret! New TV show

Hot off the press- I have just been commissioned by a production teams for a prime time show- great! It's always a worry between programmes with all the bills to pay but then we get recommended as 'amazing' (their words not mine) by the producers we've worked with in the past and it's full steam ahead into psych assessments, selection, filming and post filming work. Very exciting, so watch this space.....

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mobile phones have changed parenting

I am a natural observer of people, which is handy as this is a skill that is useful when working as a Psychologist. However, putting this tools down is sometimes difficult to do! I have noticed the changes that mobile phones have made to parenting in public places, and whilst parents are talking, they are talking much less to their accompanying children it seems. So whilst children are hearing their parents talking, they are hearing adult conversations and less to talk pitched at their developmental level. More worryingly, kids seem to be getting less supervision whilst some parents chatter away on the mobile. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on child development/safety - my advice :-slip your device into your bag or pocket and TALK to your kids, share the world with them and tell them how you feel.

Friday, 31 May 2013

New Show!

The last project I was involved with is now scheduled to be aired in August 2013. Unlike anything else I've done this programme involves end of life issues. Why didn't they involve a bereavement specialist? Well, there's something unique about being involved in a TV reality / documentary, and my role involves both highlighting the potential pressures to the families, and advising the Production company on how to handle individuals in order to ensure their psychological safety. I don't MAKE the programmes though! And all broadcast and editorial decisions are made by the Production team. This takes a bit of 'getting your head round' at first and a shift in your ethical stance. But more and more lives  are being documented on television, and bottom line is that adults have volunteered themselves for the experience. All I can do is advise to the best of my ability (and I LOVE it).

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Click on the link above- would you agree with the list of parenting gurus? I think there are pros and cons to each of their methods. The problem is there is no prescription for parenting children. So much is dependent on their temperament, position in the family, natural resilience, birth and life experiences. There are so many variables that each child may need an adjustment from the parent- and the phrase that frightens me most is when parents say "I parent them all the same". Children also need adjustments from parents as they move through developmental stages, and parents often get into trouble when they fail to adjust to their child's new developmental needs and demands.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Does happiness exist?

For all those interested in this question you could do worse than watching Britain's Biggest Hoarders- look out for Paul Salkovskis- what a genius of CBT (watch it for free on 4oD in the UK)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Trauma is an often missed problem in childhood. This is usually because it manifests in behavioural problems that can be mistaken for ADHD and autism in particular. The psychiatric tradition, that is fuelled by two diagnostic manuals, could be the problem. If we classify all childhood problems according to these manuals, psychological issues may be missed. Childhood trauma is very treatable using psychological therapies so it's a shame that opportunities to help children recover are being missed. Trauma does not necessarily result after a disaster/severe incident. Children can be traumatised by life events such as divorce, accidents or illness.

Friday, 10 May 2013


The Measles, Mumps Rubella vaccine is in the news again. We have a local epidemic, or 'epidemic' if sceptics are to be believed. In 1994 I had to make the decision to give my son the MMR vaccine. Andrew Wakefield's study had linked the MMR vaccine to autism, autism is more prevalent in the male population and at the time I was working with young people with autism and challenging behaviour. I had to make the choice, like many parents at the time, between prevention of a short term illness and (if Wakefield was to be believed) a lifelong developmental disorder. It was all fine in the end- it's never to late to vaccinate.