I have always loved people's stories, their emotional colours, the way time, circumstance, chance and personality interact to spin out the tales of our lives. I began listening to stories professionally as a freelance journalist. Over time I developed an interest in science reporting. I decided to develop a second career that would bring science and stories together. I entered the doctor of philosophy (PhD) program in clinical psychology at the University of the State of New York at Buffalo, taking the law and psychology curriculum which focused on the interface between psychology, law, and social policy.
In the United States clincial psychology doctoral degrees are five or six year programs combining an academic degree with clinical training and including a one year training internship. I completed the latter at the Manhattan Psychiatric Centre, the New York State psychiatric hospital serving Manhattan. After taking the licensing examination, I did the post doctoral externship training year required for a New York State psychology license at the Veterans Administration Hospital and Narrows Research Center in Brooklyn working mostly with veterans with substance abuse problems. I subsequently worked in both inpatient and out patient settings in New York before moving to the Unite Kingdom over ten years ago. Here I have been working for a large West London NHS Trust first in a secondary psychology department, and in recent years in a psychiatric hospital. In my present post I work extensively with people with psychosis and other severe and complex mental health problems.
Throughout my career I have actively engaged in continuing training and development to further my skills. I have also continued to follow basic psychological research into mind and behaviour: I believe best practice is an art, but one which grows from science. I have never lost my fascination with trying to understand how people make sense of their world and interact with each other. I have also maintained my interest in psychology and law and am currently working with colleagues on the third edition of our law and psychology text book.