I got interested in psychology in a very round-about way. I had been to college to do an access course, because I wanted to go to university - which I eventually did! I went to Liverpool to study archaeology, because I have what is a very idiosyncratic interest in the archaeology of transport systems (mainly railways). Whilst I was there, I ran into all kinds of difficulties - for example, socialising difficulties, and academic problems. I found that I could not cope with life as a full-time student, even if I was intellectually advanced compared to other students. I left Liverpool under the same cloud as when I left work at a local further education college. Now I know that it was down to my being autistic. But, after trying to qualify from Sheffield University in archaeology, I ended up getting onto an engineering course, where I got into mathematics and decided to become an Open University undergraduate reading for a degree in mathematics with physics (it may become a MMath degree). With this notion in mind of being a physicist, I applied to do work experience at a local hospital, in the Medical Physics department. They set me on as (dig this!)... an Undergraduate Research Technician (Remediation Engineering). The work involved a lot of maths, computing, teaching and psychology... and bugger all physics!!!
Whilst there, I lived in at the hospital, and had become very involved in researching machines that use word prediction mechanisms, with a view to writing a paper on their use in dyslexia remediation (I found out about my dyslexia before then), and I had to learn about the psychology of disability. Off my own bat, I got into diagnostic and therapeutic issues regarding conditions such as cerebral palsies, organo-pathologic brain damage, and the dyslexia-dyspraxia syndrome, as well as autism and other psychopathologies. Evenually, I became an unofficial tutor in residence to some of the nursing and midwifery students... which was a hoot! From doing this, I developed a deeper interest in psychology than I thought I might, but it was only in 1996 that I decided to get a reasonable qualification in the subject. I duly went to Leeds, and signed up at the University, and - some twelve months later - here I am ... a Certificated Social Psychologist (such as we exist - in America, I'd be referred to as a psychological technician), with an ability to peer-counsel people and be consulted on elementary aspects of what I call para-clinical psychology. I can also make "concerned friend" referrals to higher professionals in clinical psychology departments where such referrals are accepted in England and Wales. My subjects were personality theory, counselling theory, theory of psychotherapeutic intervention and social psychology. When helping people, I tend to use the social psychology to explain the difficulties a client is experiencing. I am not a diagnostian, nor a clinlcian (although that is a long-term working aim, as I am contemplating work in a clinical/counselling capacity; at the moment, I do this work on a basis of promoting self-help skills in those who ask for my help. I would always refer on, usually by suggesting an apointment with a client's GP/physician. I feel that this is more appropriate, since it is (to me and a few other psychologists with whom I come into contact) society that causes the problem of mental health difficulties by not accepting that people are individuals, and that society is wrong to even consider that it has the right to insist on conformity to the extent that it does. I personally have no problem with my being autistic... but other people always did!
At present, I have a small number of clients. I do not have real space yet from which to work, so anyone wishing to get help has to be someone who knows me. I shall, however, be looking for working space in the near future. However, if anyone needs to consult me on something they're having difficulties with, my e-mail link is plastered all over this site!
Now have a look at some of my links... you might just like them!