Dr Lucy Maddox is a consultant clinical psychologist, lecturer and writer. She works clinically in Bristol with children, young people, carers and families and she is a visiting lecturer for the Anna Freud Centre, part of University College London. Lucy is also Senior Clinical Advisor for the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). Lucy’s writing does not express the opinion of any of the organisations she works for in her clinical or academic roles.
Lucy has written for various publications including the Guardian, Science, Prospect, the Psychologist and the Times. She was a British Science Association Media Fellow in 2013. She is the author of Blueprint: How Our Childhood Makes Us Who We Are, published in March 2018 by Little Brown.
It's hard to have a sense of perspective on our own lives, the tiniest things seem incredibly important and the important things are hard to remember. How is it possible to hang on to the big stuff and not sweat the small?
This week has seen a flurry of pro-NHS activity, in advance of the proposed second reading of the NHS Bill on Friday. The number of threats to the NHS as we know it are so great that it has become quite complex to understand what the legislation is that is being debated. What is the NHS bill and should we be bothered about it?
One month into 2016 and this is the time when New Year's Resolutions might be wobbling. How can we motivate ourselves to make a change? And then to keep making it? It's easy to make resolutions based on an abstract idea of something we'd like to do or be, but harder to remember this in the day to day reality of making a change.
The team at City University London have created an online multi-user virtual world set on an island called EVA Park that lets people with aphasia practise communicating. Each person in the virtual world is represented by an avatar.
The geotagging - which says where you are - can then be used to compare with existing mapping data to see whether you are in a deprived or affluent area, whether there are many trees or rivers nearby, and even what levels of pollution there are.
It's a challenge to represent emotions that are often private in a way that can be understood quickly, but the photos of people with their head in their hands tend to be stereotypical and fairly hopeless.
New Year's Resolutions were originally promises to the Roman God Janus, who looked both backwards and forwards in time. Of all of us who make these promises, research suggests only one in five stick to them.
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.
Psychologists and computer scientists from University College London (UCL) designed a virtual reality experiment in which, by the use of avatars, people could experience the compassion they would show to another, but directed towards themselves.
This swapping back and forth between the horrific and the mundane or even jolly, is not uncharacteristic of common ways of ways coping with chronic trauma: the black humour of a doctors' mess, for example. Humour is known to be an effective coping strategy, associated with a lower risk of post traumatic stress disorder.
Festivals might not quite lead to a dancing plague, but there is a sense that anything can happen. Laura recalled the first year of Wilderness festival: "We ended up teaching hundreds of people the conga, on stage with a bunch of naked people. That has to be a professional first! But this is what we love about Wilderness, you never really know where the experience will take you."
09/06/2014 15:16 BST
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