I can’t brain properly so I’ll just tell you what I’ve done this week

I just spent a good few minutes staring into the middle distance in my office, trying to work out how to theme this post and what to write at the beginning of it. Then I opened my notebook and flicked through it absently. Then I clicked on my WhatsApp window and scrolled down a couple of conversations I’ve had with friends.

Then I snapped out of it and just started to write.

Normally I open these weekly round-ups with a spiel about something that’s been on my mind over the last few days, but very little has been in my head this week except a constant spinning to-do list, rolling down into an eternal deep.  Read more

Balance And Boundaries

I’ve been thinking about balance and boundaries this week. A lot of people assume I’m bad at balance because I do so many things, but I’m actually surprisingly good at it. I know this because I used to be awful.

When I worked in advertising I used to work a 70-hour week almost every week. I also had a commute that ranged between four and seven hours per day depending on where we were living; and I worked in an industry that required me to go out almost every night drinking. It was not a healthy way to exist.  Read more

Matt McFadden on the Psychology of Child Exploitation Investigations

As most of you know by now, I’m currently training to be a psychotherapist, because I don’t have enough strings to my bow already. I know I want to practise existential psychotherapy but I’m not yet clear on whether there’s a particular group of clients I’d like to work with. I’ve recently been thinking, however, about working with law enforcement officers, particularly those who are engaged in investigating cases of child exploitation, human trafficking and counter terror. I have the advantage of understanding these industries from the inside, and hopefully with the benefit of psychotherapy training I’ll be able to make a difference to the field by helping people to deal with some of the things they’re seeing.  Read more

The Wheel of the Year

The beginning of February is marked by Imbolc, a traditional Celtic festival which heralds the start of spring. I swear winter gets later and later each year, and there are few signs of spring yet here in the UK. Personally I love the cold dark seasons, so this suits me fine, but I feel for my friends who find the dark days disheartening.

Back when I lived in Sussex as a teenager I’d go walking across the downs in February looking for Imbolc snowdrops, but now that I live in London it’s less easy to find time to head into the countryside, although I do live near several parks and a nature reserve on the river Thames.  Read more

Books of the Week: Psychotherapy, Writing, And Voodoo

This year’s reading list is mostly things I need to read for the various strands of my life, and this week’s pile was no exception. That’s not to say it’s no fun: these books are things I’d have chosen to read anyway, and sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of direction. This week’s list consisted of one book for uni, and three books that counted as research for the novel I’m writing.  Read more

A Flat, A Cat, And A Fiat

When I was seven years old, we had Circle Time at school. Circle Time was when we all sat on the floor in a circle and discussed a topic of the day. This particular day’s topic was “my dream life.” The idea was that you could choose absolutely anything – the best existence you could possibly think of, even if it had no chance of ever coming true. Read more