Category Archives: Psychology

Reviews of lectures or audios on psychology

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies research – University of Manchester

There is an exciting opportunity for mental health carers and those who have used Increasing Access to Psychological therapies.

Have you used Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services?

If so, you might be interested in helping shape research exploring IAPT services to improve long term benefits for those with anxiety and/or depression. A new Advisory group is forming, but there are limited places.

Please see poster below.

For more information please contact

Black Families Involvement in New E-learning (Be FINE) Project

Welcome back to another blog by former mental health carer Matthew McKenzie. I have an exciting project which black families could be interested in.

Black Families Involvement in New E-learning (Be FINE), is a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 and is led by Dr Valentina Cardi and Dr Juliana Onwumere at King’s College London.

The study has two aims. Firstly, to understand the experiences and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the carers of children and young people (6-24 years) from Black minority ethnic communities in the UK. The second aim is to explore with carers of children and young people from Black minority ethnic communities, the type of information they would find helpful to include in an online course that aims to offer carers skills to support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing. The Be FINE study will employ a mixed methods design, using both online surveys and individual and group-based interviews.

The study has two parts; an online survey and focus groups. To participate, individuals have to be parents or carer of a young person from a Black racial minority and the child has to be aged between 6 – 24 years. We then ask that the participant fills out the online survey, this should take around half an hour. The participant will receive £15 amazon voucher for participating. Following this, the participant will have the chance to also sign up to the focus groups. These will last around an hour and the participant will receive a further £15 amazon voucher for this.

Black communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. We hope the study findings will aid the development of a more in-depth understanding of the experiences of Black minority families during the pandemic, and of what type of help, delivered online, might be perceived as beneficial in empowering carers to support the psychological wellbeing of children and young adults.

Below is the Link to the survey people can take part in.

Top 100 psychotherapies


Welcome back. I have always mentioned to fellow unpaid carers who care for someone using mental health services to have an interest in psychology. In order to help develop an interest I have spent some months producing the video below.

This video lists and describes over 100 different forms of psychotherapies. Most mental health carers actually may have come into contact with at least 3 or 4 types of therapy. One being CBT, the other could be family counselling sessions and the most common would be group therapy, especially if attending a carer’s group. It is important carers have access to a therapeutic setting and are not treated as information retainers.

Carers often have to go through difficult and trumatic incidents and giving a carer a leaflet and telling them to get on with it is a lazy way of doing psychotherapy. Anyway, I am getting off my soap box and hope the video helps raise some interest of the vast world of psychology.

The video covers many therapies from Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), Drama therapy and Art therapy all the way to CBT and DBT. I would have continued on with the video and done a list of 200 psychotheraphies, but this has taken a lot of time and I felt I should just get on and release the video already.

Hope you enjoy!!

Consciousness and the end of mental life – Lecture Review and summary


Prof Daniel N Robinson

Hello again. Hope that after reading this blog, you have time to check out my site. I do more than just the awareness series on mental illness.  I also do a series of lecture reviews, mainly on psychology, psychiatry, sociology and ethics.  Why on earth should a carer spend time on humanities and psychology? Well for a start it is interesting and fairly related in the mental health area.Hello again. Hope that after reading this blog, you have time to check out my site. I do more than just the awareness series on mental illness.  I also do a series of lecture reviews, mainly on psychology, psychiatry, sociology and ethics.  Why on earth should a carer spend time on humanities and psychology? Well for a start it is interesting and fairly related in the mental health area.

This particular review looks at one of the psychological greats lecture on his course “consciousness and its implications”.  The lecturer is Daniel N Robinson who is a philosopher who is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Georgetown University and a Fellow of the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University.

Unfortunately the course can be a little challenging to get into at first, but there is nothing wrong with replaying the lecture in order to get to grips with the subject material.  The course has 12 lectures and as you can tell Prof Daniel spends time examining the mystery of what is consciousness.

As a carer, all the years I have been trying to support someone close to me struggling through mental illness, I found myself asking deep and profound questions.  The most common question i would ask myself is “Where is the person that I used to know?”.  How far has this mental illness taken from the person I used to know.

As of this blog post, the lecture I will focus on is lecture 12 titled “Consciousness and the end of mental life”.  I did have some reservations playing the final lecture, because as you may have guessed there is this overwhelming fear of deep dark questions probing me on the challenges I will have to face.

The lecture begins off looking as several startling cases of patients trapped years in a coma only to slowly come out of a coma from severe brain trauma.   One incredible story was of Terry Wallis – The man who slept for 19 years. Terry Wallis emerged from a 19 year coma and regained the power of speech.


Medical professionals were astounded and started to examine the changes in his brain, it had always been the case that neurons were non-regenerative, but in the Wallis case there seemed to be strange activity in his neurons. How!?!?
Prof Daniel starts to talk about the Coma Recovery Association and how the association offered advice on how comatose patients can recover, but it is risky.  Within the lecture we look at further cases where there was one woman who recovered from a coma only to complain that unconsciously she kept hearing the doctor by her bedside talking.

Another startling case was of was of Brian Kastler, neurosurgeon’s in this case were astounded at his slow, but gradual recover from devastating brain trauma. The lecture looks at many other cases and examples, but Daniel is quick to point out that these cases are not often the expect outcome.

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Prof Daniel reminds us that the brain is not like skin or bones, if affected by trauma then the cells more likely will die. Still the regeneration is a lot greater in childhood, depending on the damage.  However if the cerebral cortex is damaged then the greater the damage. The lecture points out that each patient case is unique and throws light into neuroscience. What was the deciding factors in each of the cases?

The lecture then moves on to the Terri Schiavo case, where a patient “Terri Schiavo” was a right-to-die legal case in the United States from 1990 to 2005, involving Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo, a woman in an irreversible persistent vegetative state. The lecture examines the problem of PVS (persistent vegetative state) cases and looks into cases where there has been misdiagnoses. This then shows the dilemma faced by doctors with several startling questions “When to turn off the life support system?”, “where are there signs of life?”, “What are the other possibilities?”.

Can you begin to see how the lecture is slowly moving into ethics?  There is no mistake why I have added a link into ethics off my blog site because when practicing medicine, you are dealing with people’s lives and if doing that then ethics is not far away.

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Prof Daniel lecture looks into more philosophical areas on American philosopher Thomas nagel’s question “what is it like to be a bat?”. Prof Daniel wants to raise the implications of consciousness.  Prof Daniel also talks about Arestole’s work on the biological studies on sensation.  Eventually the lecture gets into deeper questions on what is consciousness as he queries if someone dreaming is conscious regarding if they are aware of sensations. A good example is given on how we determine our own consciousness, which is down to epistemic justification (part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs).  If no one believes that we are conscious, then we can only hope to share our experience with that person so they experience the same thing. e.g. pointing to an object in the room as validation.

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The lecture then takes a greater step towards ethics and moral thought. With examining questions on.

  • Our duty to others, our rights to others.
  • They have a rights to be treated even though unwell, but how?
  • We have a duty not to exploit the vulnerabilities of others.
  • What are our duty to others whose rights cannot be protect by themselves?

Prof Daniel then throws up a dilemma not only for health professionals, but for carers or caretakers. Remember the question I asked myself at the beginning of this blog?  So this is why I often say to mental health carers that they should take an interest in psychology and psychiatry.  Do not be put off by its deep complex field, we all have something to contribute.

Friendly male doctor's hands holding female patient's hand

How Your Brain Works – Lecture Review and summary

Welcome back to another blog post by mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. Every so often, I run through a review from a lecture course, many lectures courses I tend to go through are based on psychology, psychiatry, ethics or even philosophy. I feel it is very important those caring for loved ones suffering mental health problems at least pay some attention to such fields, even if there are things they might not understand.

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The biology of emotions – Lecture summary and review.

Its time for another blog post summary off an audio lecture. This latest audio lecture is from Professor Jason M. Satterfield who is a Professor of Clinical Medicine and also Director of Social and Behavioural Sciences. He works at the
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Prof Jason

Professor Jason M. Satterfield

The audio lecture comes from a course called “Mind-Body Medicine The New Science of Optimal Health”. This course heavily links the biology to psychology, although it still centres quite a lot on psychology field. The particular lecture of
interest is lecture 10 – Agony and ecstasy. Unfortunately, this lecture can be very challenging, but as usual the best thing about audio lectures is that the listener can always play the lecture again and again.

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Video List of Influential Psychologists


Welcome back to another of my blog posts.  I thought for once it would be nice to raise awareness of those who have contributed to psychology.  I have created a video showing a list of famous Psychologists, although some on that list have contributed to psychiatry.

As with all lists, I expect some people to disagree with the list and to be honest the list helps to raise discussions on the field of psychology.  Some on this list are even considered controversial, but all on this list have influenced the field of psychology.

I hope you enjoy.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 – Mindfulness #mahw15

matIt is mental health awareness week as of the writing of this blog post. Mental Health Awareness week, which runs from 11th to the 17th May is run by the Mental Health Foundation. The Mental Health Foundation is a Charity that helps to improve the lives of those with mental health problems or learning disabilities. The Mental Health Foundation is involved in research, service development and providing information on mental health.

If you wish to see the video. Below is the video version of this blog post

I feel Mental Health Awareness week is important for quite a few reasons, the first reason is obviously raising the awareness of mental health and it does not have to be on mental ill health. I once had a discussion with mental health campaigner Fiona Art who specified that mental health does not have to centre itself around those who are unfortunately mentally unwell or those with live experience.

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Optimizing Brain Fitness Review – Impact of Technology

Welcome to another blog post from a carer in London. I thought to do another lecture review from one of “The Teaching Company” courses. This post focuses on the course called Optimizing Brain Fitness, which is taught by Dr. Richard Restak who is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Dr. Richard Restak

The lecture I am interested on this course is Lecture 11 – Taking Advantage of Technology. The course has 12 lectures and examines what connections in the brain creates our thoughts, what drive our emotions, and what control our behaviours.

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