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

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

Books of the Week: Winter Walks, Counselling, Apéros and Voodoo

This year I have a lot to read, which is exciting. I’m starting uni this week, which I’m sure will bring its own reading list; I’m working on a couple of new papers; I’m writing a novel; and of course there’s the usual TBR pile of things I’ve found that looked interesting.

Last week I read four books, although the first one is cheating a bit; it took me a full two weeks to read because it was a textbook, so although I finished it this week even I am not quite a fast enough reader to manage fitting in a textbook around working full-time.  Read more

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

When I picked this book off the shelf in my local charity shop I thought it looked familiar. Then I read the blurb and it sounded like a storyline I recognised, but I still wasn’t sure if I’d read it before. Since it was only £1, I took it home and read it in the bath.

It turned out I had read it before, but I didn’t notice until quite far into the book, so it must have been a long time ago. And it didn’t matter that I’d read it already, because it was very good.

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Unsociability and the ethics of the unconscious

In my quest to focus more on academic work this year, I’m ploughing through papers in psychology and philosophy. Without a university email address this is unfortunately quite expensive, but them’s the breaks when you’re an independent scholar.

This week I read two papers: The Ethical Relevance of the Unconscious in Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, by Farisco & Evers; and Does It Matter When We Want To Be Alone? Exploring Developmental Timing Effects in the Implications of Unsociability in New Ideas in Psychology, by Coplan, Ooi & Baldwin.  Read more

Staying Accountable Via The Blog

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of this blog for a while. Partly it’s just a dumping ground for my general musings, partly it’s a place I can go when I’m trying to remember the name of that good book I read six months ago. Partly it’s a way to look back on the year at the end of it, work out what went well and what didn’t, and plan the following twelve months.

But one thing a lot of people use blogs for is something I haven’t done so far: a way of staying accountable.  Read more

Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter

While I am, in general, an obscenely fast reader, some books deserve to have an entire week dedicated to them. Metamagical Themas is one such book.

The book is a great philosophical work that spans many different subject areas, from language to artificial intelligence to Rubik’s cubes. It is an accumulation of Hofstadter’s columns written for Scientific American, along with a few lectures he gave on other occasions.

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