Archives for posts with tag: Health

Hi all:

It’s Friday, and as you know, on Fridays I bring you guest authors and new books. Today I have the pleasure to bring you an author, blogger and friend (so far we’ve only met in the blogosphere, but we keep talking about meeting in person at some point soon), Sally Cronin. Her blog is unmissable. You can find there advice on nutrition and health issues, interviews and features about authors, artists, musicians… advice on publishing and writing, special features and series (like her Christmas Grotto suggestions for Christmas presents), and her own stories. Recently she shared with her readers her magical Tales from the Garden and after much insistence from her readers she decided to publish them in book format. And here they are. When I offered Sally to feature her new book here she send me this ‘Behind the Scenes’ feature especially for you. I hope you enjoy it!

Tales From the Garden small- Cover

Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin

Tales From The Garden – Behind the scenes – by Sally Cronin

 My thanks to Olga for sharing her blog with me today so that I can cover some more behind the scenes background on the guardians from my latest book Tales from the Garden.

The gardener, who stayed on when the previous owners left the house, had obviously been following their instructions to hide Snow White and the seven dwarves on a back ledge out of sight. To be fair we did try to get rid of them to various friends over the years that had children, but without much success.

Eventually we felt sorry for them as they looked so forlorn on the windswept ledge where they were being used as target practice by the swallows. Snow white had been released from exile and was on one of the front balconies and judging by the mischievous looks on the dwarves faces it may have been out of choice.

There is a corner at the top of the garden with a stone table and bench seats. It gets shade in the hot summers and is a perfect place for children to play safely. We relocated the boys up there including one which seemed to have formed an attachment to a rather large rabbit. When I was coming up with names for the various gardens I felt that I would not get away with calling it Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, so Pearly Girl and the Stoned Band came into being.

They became an integral part of several of the stories and I have become very attached to them. Here they are in their new spot in the garden. 

05-05a_dwarf_band_tuning_up

Stoned Band in action!

About Tales from the Garden. 

Tales from the Garden is a collection of fairy stories and 80 illustrations, for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The tales reveal the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees and you will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.

The guardians who have kept this sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

The book is available at a substantial discount via my own website: http://moyhill.com/tales

Also at Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0180Q6CKM

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0180Q6CKM

Author Sally Cronin

Author Sally Cronin

About Sally Cronin.

Sally Cronin spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Radio & Television; and has taken a great deal of inspiration from each.

She has written short stories and poetry since a very young age and contributed to media in the UK and Spain. In 1996 Sally began studying nutrition to inspire her to lose 150 lbs. and her first book, Size Matters published in 2001, told the story of that journey back to health. This was followed by another seven books across a number of genres including health, humour and romance. These include Just Food For Health, Size Matters, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, Flights of Fancy anthology, Turning Back the Clock and Media Training.

All these can be found on Amazon or Smashwords.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

 

For the last two years Sally has written a daily blog covering the subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music: Smorgasbord Invitation – Variety is the Spice of Life. You can link to it from here: smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com.

 

Connect to Sally on social media.

http://moyhill.com/tales/

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
https://twitter.com/sgc58
https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
https://www.facebook.com/sallygeorginacronin
https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/about

 

Thank you again Olga for allowing me to share my guardians here today.

Thanks to Sally for bringing us her enchanting book, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Hi all:

Today is Friday and time for a guest author. I had the pleasure of meeting Sally Georgina Cronin (these days Sally Cronin, but she’ll explain) through her great blog and some common blogging friends. She asked me to visit her blog for an interview and I thought you’d love to meet her too. As she was working on two new books, it seemed the right time. But as she’s done so many things and knows about plenty of interesting stuff, I thought we’d get to know her previous work first. I promised I’ll keep updating you on her work and novelties in the future.

I usually include a short biography but when Sally directed me to her blog and I read about her I thought I should include it all, promotion and all (because I suspect many of you might be interested. I know I am!)

Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin

My name is Sally Georgina Cronin – I include the Georgina bit because a couple of my books were written back in the beginning as Georgina Cronin – it was my grandmother’s name and as a child I fancied it more than I did Sally – I announced at school age 9 and a little portly that I wished to be called that and instead I was saddled with Georgy Porgy until I went to secondary school as a very definite Sally.

However, on writing my first book I thought I would give it another go but it has reverted to Sally Georgina Cronin especially as my books have evolved into E-versions.

I am one of those people who has led an eclectic life. My father was in the Royal Navy so we lived abroad several times and I only really settled down in the UK at age 14. My education suffered a little from switching between seven schools in different countries but I now have a repertoire of swear words second to none!

I trained as a secretary as my parents felt that my dream to be an English Esther Williams was probably doomed to be waterlogged!  I started well in my first job but a pregnant chair side assistant who developed a phobia to blood meant that I had to step into the shoes of dental nurse, a career I enjoyed before moving to the hospitality industry.

This resulted in me meeting my husband (known as room 40) nine years later and we had a whirlwind courtship over five weeks and married 34 years ago. We still have the whirlwind courtship moving over several continents to reach the second to final outpost here in the mountains in Madrid.  We may possibly return to the UK at some point, if he can tear me away from the 300 days of sunshine.

I have spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, radio and television and taken a great deal from each.

I have written short stories and poetry since a very young age and when I went ‘Indie’ in 1996 I combined my retraining as a Nutritional Therapist with this love of writing.  I began with columns in the media in the UK and Spain, my own monthly newsletter and my first health book Size Matters which told the story of my journey from a very overweight 24 stone – 330lbs to a slimmish and healthier individual.

Over the last ten years this love of writing has developed into another eight titles, my blog and also into Indie Publishing in 2004.

My husband came out of the telecommunications industry at 50 and because he was already a computer wizard he retrained very quickly in graphic and book design.

I was already working in author acquisition for a large self-publishing company and we both felt that a more personal approach might be attractive to authors who wanted to be published. Moyhill Publishing was born.  In 2004 our first book, by a Spanish author, The Red Tailed Hawk won best digital print award and since then we have been quietly working away.  We had to take a break over recent years due to family commitments but we continued to work with a few authors during that time who required David’s specialist design skills.

We are delighted to be relaunching in 2014, our tenth anniversary, with new services to include digital and audio packages.

In the last few months we have converted my print titles to E-versions which has been an interesting experience.  I did not realise how my writing style had changed until I edited my first novel written in 2002 to convert but I enjoyed the process very much.

Over the last ten years I have managed to fit radio and Internet television both in front of the microphone and camera and behind in a producing and directing role.  So whilst I never became the UK Esther Williams I did get to perform without getting too waterlogged.

At 61 I don’t consider myself the new 41 and I  am happy at the age I am.  I do hope that I can continue to learn and develop over the next 30 years or so and that my typing skills do not diminish until the very last second.

My next projects are in process – a health book focused on care of the elderly at home, a humerous tale of a cross dresser with memory impairment and another about transformation and wish fulfillment.

WARNING – SELF PROMOTION COMING UP.

I hope you will forgive a little self promotion – I am the marketing director of our publishing company and will get fired by the MD or divorced if I did not mention the day job.

Our publishing company is http//:moyhill.com and we would love to talk to you about your next project.  In the last ten years we have had worked with some award winning authors and won best digital print book in 2004 in the UK.  We work with a number of printers in the UK to ensure a best price and we offer inclusive packages that still allow you to have an original design for your cover and a style that you want for the format.  There is very few things standard about us but because we are the only two overheads we can keep the costs down for our clients.  We only work with one author at a time usually and that is on a one to one basis.  A book only goes to print or into E-version when both the author and David are satisfied that it is the very best it can be.  We usually prefer manuscripts to be edited before submission so that it stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Because of my background on television and radio I am the audio department and whilst we do not market for our authors I am very happy to assist in any way with social media, press releases etc.

We are happy to convert any print versions into E-versions with the minimum of fuss and expense but be aware that a book with lots of photographs or graphs does take more work than for print.

There is a selection of the books we have designed and published over the years on the site, but we now provide a webpage with selling facilities for our authors which they manage themselves.  An example of this would be some of my own books at the following links.  We also of course make sure that our author’s books are uploaded to Amazon and if in print too available at the wholesalers.

http://www.moyhill.com/sam/

http://www.moyhill.com/sm/

http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg/

http://www.moyhill.com/ftvpmac/

If you would be interested in finding out more then pop into the website or email David on david.cronin@moyhill.com for an informal discussion – we also work with Skype during the process.

If you would like to talk to me about guest blogging or anything health related you can reach me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Thanks for reading.

And now her books:

By the way, and so I don’t forget, I leave you the links in Sally’s own website, but just in case you find yourself in Amazon, this is her page where you can find all of them:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003B7O0T6

Just and Odd Job Girl

Just and Odd Job Girl

Just an Odd Job Girl

 

Imogen was fifty!

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50.  She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy.  It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent.  She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market.  Or so she thought.

When we find ourselves in a new place and time in our lives, it is not unusual to meet others who have experienced similar traumas and also those who understand how to help you pick up the pieces.

Surprising though these events had been, nothing prepared Imogen for the realisation that she still had what it took, both in the work environment and when it came to her heart.

It was a journey into the past to rediscover who she had always been and a step forward into the future and a new adventure in life.

http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg/

Although this novel was published in 2002 Sally has decided it’s time for it to experience the digital revolution, and reading about it, I would have to agree!

Sally has also let me links to her other books, and as you’ll see (and you will have guessed from her biography) she’s a multi-talented woman.

Just Food for Health

Just Food for Health

Just Food for Health (only available in paper)

Just Food for Health is a commonsense guide to the body, and the foods we need to eat to keep it healthy. It describes how the major organs & systems work; Why you need specific nutrients and where to find them; how to design your own Healthy Eating Plan, and avoid lifestyle-related conditions like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and excess weight.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1905597231/

 

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot!

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot!

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot

This is a health and Nutrition book aimed at men – and their partners who are interested in keeping them fit and well. It provides a fundamental understanding of how to deliver essential nutrition to support all the major organs, with a focus on keeping a healthy sex life into old age.

http://www.moyhill.com/ftv – Forget the Viagra… Pass me a Carrot – A man’s health workshop manual

Size Matters

Size Matters

Size Matters Especially when you Weigh 330 lbs

Thirty years ago obesity was a rarity amongst children, and adults, and the related health problems were restricted to a small proportion of the population. Today, it is an epidemic and as we expand our waistbands we are forced into increasing our financial responsibilities for the resulting medical problems that can be life threatening.

Size Matters is the story of a woman who had an appalling lifestyle and although intelligent and successful did nothing constructive to change the situation. It took a death sentence to motivate her to making some vital decisions. The first place to start was to find out the reasons for her obesity and then learn how to fix the problem. Georgina studied nutrition and health whilst taking back control of her diet and lifestyle. Three years later, when fit and well she opened her diet advisory centre in Ireland where she worked with 1,000 clients over a five-year period.

Size Matters explores the emotional, mental and physical reasons for obesity and offers strategies that empowers any one who is overweight or suffering ill health to change their lifestyles successfully. The second part of the book details the programme that can be personalised to suit readers’ individual needs for diet and exercise including healthy food options and nutritional information.

This is not a book written by a “thin” expert, but a “fat” expert who has lived through many years of obesity and ill-health and understands the emotional and physical barriers that prevent people taking the first step and then the next, and the next until they have regained their fitness and health.

Link:

http://www.moyhill.com/sm    Size Matters especially when you weigh 330lbs

Media Training: The Manual

Media Training: The Manual

Media Training: The Manual

“Media Training: The Manual” is a quick reference manual for anyone who needs to deliver their message via “the Media”, TV, Radio, Print.

http://www.moyhill.com/mttm – Media Training – The Manual

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member.

http://www.moyhill.com/sam – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

So you don’t complain, I leave you links to the books that should be coming up our way in all formats soon, but thought you might want to check in her website:

First, Turning Back the Clock – anti-aging programme

Turning back the clock

Turning back the clock

Living forever is not an option!

However, feeling younger and looking younger is an option available to all!

The maximum lifespan a human being can currently expect today is around 120 years.

However, not many of us really want to be even 90 or 100 years old, if it means that we are going to end up filled with medication and tucked away in a corner in some nursing home, unaware of our surroundings.

Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices as early as possible will help you get as near as possible to your maximum age whilst enjoying good physical and mental vitality.

Turning Back the Clock
will show you how!

http://www.moyhill.com/tbtc/

And second, Flights of Fancy – Short story anthology and Novella The Sewing Circle

Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy

Ghosts, romance, friendship, revenge ….

A new collection of eleven short stories from Sally Cronin to enthrall and entertain.

Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living.

Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances.

As for revenge, well … never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past!

http://www.moyhill.com/fof

And if you want to follow and contact Sally (I recommend it) here are her links:

Skype Moyhill2
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Latest books available in print and E-versions
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003B7O0T6
And http://www.moyhill.com/FTV
Daily health blog – http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Thanks to Sally for her visit, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share, and CLICK!

Nordic walking in Hungary

Nordic walking in Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s no secret. Most of us aim to achieve and maintain a certain level of fitness. It’s good for your health, it helps your mood and makes you feel good, and it makes you look good. How to go about it is another story.

I must confess to being a disaster when it comes to sports. I’m not even good at watching them (truth be told I enjoy watching gymnastics and ice-skating. At some points in life I’ve been into tennis, I quite enjoy watching diving and some athletics) and as a child I was fairly big and very clumsy. I always sported bruises, grazes and all kind of injuries testimony to my lack of coordination. I was fairly good at school, except for PE.

I’ve always loved walking. Although I don’t have the stamina I had before, I quite happily go walking anywhere for hours on end. My right knee has seen better days and cycling is not a good option. I can swim (nothing fancy), but my neck is also problematic and can only do short bursts.

When I was in Medical School, one of my peers and friends, Carmen, who also lived nearby, suggested that we should join a gym. It seemed like a good idea. As it tends to happen to me very often, she ended up not joining, and I went for several years, even moving gyms when the one I was attending specialised in Kick Boxing. I’ve always preferred classes (aerobics at the time) rather than machines and your own programme, apart from the social aspect of it, because it’s easier to get motivated. Although I’m fairly stubborn, and if I decide to do something, normally I’ll keep going until I decide I’ve had enough.

Since I moved to the UK my attendance has varied as I’ve moved about a fair bit. I went to a David Lloyd Club when one open nearby the first hospital where I worked, in Eastbourne. I played badminton (no ability for that either but at least I ran around with a colleague a bit), and went to a variety of classes. Then at times I’ve joined the odd class, I’ve gone rambling, etc. For the last 10 years or so I’ve been a member of a variety of gyms. I’ve tried different classes. Step (I’m pretty bad at free step although can manage some classes if they aren’t too complicated), aerobic variety of classes, body pump (classes with weights), combat (kicking and punching a non-exiting opponent, although you’re free to imagine whoever you like), attack (high impact aerobics), aqua-aerobics (I managed to kick the pool and break a toe)… More recently and because due to my neck problems I can’t tolerate weights that much I tried some of the more dance-based lessons, like Jam, Shebam, Zumba, and I’ve been doing yoga for over a year. I prefer the more active classes (attack, combat) although probably it’s variety that I appreciate.

With my plans for the future (that would mean leaving my job and not having a regular income) I have been looking at the things I do. Membership of the gym is quite expensive and there’s the time factor, so I decided to try and explore other options. When the weather is good, more walking, even running (that I don’t like very much but enjoy when I visit my friend Iman in Paris), and thinking about checking Nordic walking (I’ve heard good things about it from Silvia, a friend I met at the first gym I joined). I discovered quite a few people sharing workouts and exercising regimes in Pinterest and there’s a wealth of different options and videos to try in You Tube (I quite like the Daily Hiit, [Hiit= high intensity interval training] although some of the workouts are scary just to watch, but I’ve recently downloaded Body Rock TV on the phone and survived to the 30 days fitness challenge, where Lisa shared real time workouts. I must say it’s a real challenge, especially considering that I was going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week and I suffered through it). Interval training is quite the thing these days and they offer short programmes for people with limited time (although you’ll need a fair amount of energy). I also read about other fitness apps and I’m now trying ‘Nike Training Club’, that has the advantage, especially if you’re travelling, of not relying much on equipment, not requiring Wi-fi connection (you’ll need it if you want to share, but not just to follow the workout), and giving you the option to use your favourite music. (Yes, and it’s FREE. The particular one I share is recommended for women but there are versions for men and others.) I’m also exploring the yoga videos and trying to find those I find suit me best. I’m alternating different things, I have a bit more time and I’m saving on fuel. But we’ll see. Nothing suits everybody but there’s a big variety of things available, of local groups, and no reason why one cannot alternate with local classes or anything else. The important thing is to keep active.

I leave you some links in case you want to check any of these:

http://www.bodyrock.tv/

http://www.dailyhiit.com/

http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/womens-training/apps/nike-training-club

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have, please like, comment (and let me know of your favourites), share and if you want to know more you can always click and see.

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses!

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses! (Photo credit: UrbaneWomenMag)

English: Instruction manual of the Nirvana Sut...

English: Instruction manual of the Nirvana Sutra (大般涅槃経集解, daihatsunehankyōshūge) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi dear readers. I’ve been talking to one of my friends (and fellow author) about this and that and the other, and we got to talking about SELF-HELP books. As many of you know, understanding Amazon algorithms is beyond mere-mortals powers. Their categories are also puzzlement to me. I guess it might work out OK if you start writing with them in mind, but trying to fit in something already in existence to these categories, other than the more general ones, is interesting to say the least. You could always try with one of your favourite books and see how far you get.

I digress, as usual. My friend and I got looking at categories in self-help world and it’s as full of the weird and the wonderful as anywhere else there.

It made me think about one of my “issues”. Yes, I have many of them. You buy a camera; it comes with an instruction manual. Your phone, the same. Even pretty basic things. Life, that’s quite complicated by most people’s standards…nothing. No manual, no video, CD, DVD, no book of instructions. Not even a leaflet. Swim or sink approach.

In one of my short stories, ‘The Novel’ one of the characters, Denver, decides that life would be much easier if we lived it as a genre novel, because we’d know where we stood, understand conventions, characters, etc, and she has a good go at it. As you might suspect things don’t go according to plan. But it was worth a try, I think.

If suddenly you were given the task of creating an instruction manual for life (it would have to be pretty general, just the basics), what would you include? What would be in your table of contents?

And if you were sent one, what would you check first? Keeping healthy? Family relationships? Love? Income and finances? Gaining perspective? Surviving?

I’m curious. Let me know what you think, please.

Thanks for reading and if you enjoy or it makes you think, please, please, please, comment and share!

Passenger oxygen mask deployment

Passenger oxygen mask deployment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Oxygen Mask

You might (or might not, I don’t believe my posts are amongst the most memorable things in everybody’s lives) remember I posted a few ideas, or rather, some advice, under the title ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ weeks (probably months) ago.

Of course, as it tends to happen with these things, shortly after publishing it I thought of something else I should have mentioned. Humour. I do think that trying to take things on your stride and being able to laugh at yourself and see the humorous side of things helps immensely when dealing with life. It is related to one of the ideas I suggested, trying to see things from a distance, and gain perspective. Humour is one of the strategies we have in our hands to achieve that. The small tragedies of life, seen through a humorous prism, can indeed be very funny. I remember I fell downstairs at home (I can’t blame it on anything in particular) and landed at the bottom of the stairs. There was nobody else in the house, but for unknown reasons the first thought that came to my head was that it would have been quite funny if anybody had been there to see it. And there I was, at the bottom of the stairs, by myself, laughing my head off. I twisted my ankle in the process and later discovered my radiator had sprung a leak (I suspect because I must have hit it during the fall) but it was a good laugh.

I was chatting (or rather exchanging e-mails) with a fellow author and good friend today. And we were talking about how sometimes, in the process of caring for others and supporting them, we can completely exhaust ourselves, both physically and mentally, and end up ill and unable to function. But if we don’t go all out in our care and support we feel guilty. I told her that I always tell my patients we can’t look after others if we don’t have a minimum of health ourselves and don’t look after our own needs. And I advised her to think about the training they forever repeat (and we hardly ever listen to) in planes, about what to do in emergencies. When they talk about an incident where the cabin gets depressurised and the Oxygen masks drop from the compartment above our heads they always, always, remind us that we must put our own mask on before we try and help others, because if we don’t, we won’t be in a fit state to help anybody else. Running ourselves to the ground will not help those we care for or ourselves in the long run. Don’t feel guilty for not being superwoman or superman. Never forget to look after yourself. That’s the only way you can carry on looking after others.

Thank you for reading and if you’ve liked it or found it useful, please share!

English: Image for mental health stubs, uses t...

English: Image for mental health stubs, uses two psych images – psychiatry (medicine) and psychology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

After weeks of talking about my book (and yes, there will be links at the end of the post, of course) I decided to try something different. I’ve just noticed that when people read my profile, in Twitter or Facebook, they are always interested in the forensic psychiatrist thing. I must explain. Forensic in this context does not have much to do with crime labs, CSI and all those thing. It is a subspecialty of psychiatry that deals with people who in their majority have a forensic (criminal history) and are felt to be too dangerous or risky for standard psychiatric services. So forensic psychiatric hospitals normally have more security measures than a standard psychiatric hospital (alarms, fences, locks…), staff numbers tend to be higher, staff members are trained in how to deal with certain risky behaviours and there is an emphasis placed on producing good risk assessments and plans to manage difficult situations.

 

There appears to be some confusion between psychiatrists and psychologists. To become a psychiatrist you have to study Medicine first, so we are doctors who then train to become psychiatrists. All doctors will study Psychiatry as one of the subjects during their degree, but like with any other specialties you will need further training if  you want to work in psychiatry (in the same way that a surgeon or a cardiologist needs to train on their branch of Medicine). Psychology is a completely different career and although we work closely together with clinical psychologists (and sometimes Forensic psychologists in my line of work) our training is different. Psychologists can work in a variety of fields, not only related to clinical matters, and I’m sure that all of you who have children are aware of psychologists attached to schools, working to assess children’s needs and help with any difficulties. They also work in recruitment for big companies, in sports…They do assessments (like IQ assessments, assessments of risk of violence, assessment of cognitive difficulties with somebody who has suffered a stroke, for instance), and also therapy and treatment, depending on their specific training. They do not prescribe medication (unless they have had other training and qualifications) and deal with how the mind works, but not from an organic point of view.

 

I work in the UK, and here people suffering from a mental disorder who come in contact with criminal justice system are subject to a different subsection of the Mental Health Act (1983 but amended in 2007). I’m not familiar with the Mental Health Law in many other countries (not even in Spain, where I come from, as I haven’t worked there for years and have no contacts with psychiatrists in the country) and can’t comment on exact details but here somebody can be detained if they are deemed to be mentally unwell and be risky to themselves or others. They can be taken to hospital and treated against their will. Issues of Human Rights come into play, but such matters are accepted, not without debate.

 

How is the work? It is not really that different from standard psychiatry. I work in a public hospital, and don’t focus on talking therapies, so I’m nothing like the psychiatrist in the Sopranos or Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting (that I love). Luckily it isn’t like in Someone Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Quills. Yes, ECT (what people used to call electroshock, now electroconvulsive therapy) is still in use, and works very well in extreme cases, with people very depressed and with risk to their lives due to not eating and drinking. Of course it is not like used to be now, and people are asleep. In summary we see people, listen to them, talk to them and prescribe them medication if they need it. We also have to prepare reports for the courts to give them our opinion about somebody’s mental health state and how their crimes might be related (or not) to their mental health. As I explained in forensic psychiatric hospitals the security measures are greater, and although sometimes we have to deal with people who are very unwell in general it does not result in the job being personally more risky than many others.

 

I work in a hospital and that means we work in a team with many other professionals who do a great job in trying to return people back to independent life in the community. We have nurses who are always by the side of the patients, occupational therapist who try to encourage them to engage in activities, look at college, work, practical skills for everyday life, psychologists who help assess specific problems and offer counselling and therapy for particular difficulties (anxiety, substance misuse, psychotic symptoms…). And housekeeping staff, administrative staff, and gardeners, maintenance…Patients have a lot of people around them, and sometimes that is a big part of the change and therapy, as unfortunately many have lived isolated lives in the community.

 

There are many sad stories, some entertaining ones, a few success stories, some less successful Who is to judge though? Now people are talking less about ‘cure’, quite difficult in some mental illnesses that are chronic and can be managed but not eradicated, and more about recovery. Recovery is about trying to bring people to their ideal level of functioning and well-being. And who could aspire to more than that?

 

Olga

 

And now, as promised, the links to my book. And TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS. This Friday, the 23rd of November, author Simon Jenner, will be talking to us about his writing and his new book, first on the series of Ethan Justice. I’ve read it and can truthfully say I can wholeheartedly recommend it!

 

Second announcement is that I’m going to feature in my friend and very successful author (The Undeparted Series) Deborah Palumbo’s blog on the 24th of November. I’ll remind  you, but I’m giving you the link now. She always has fantastic guests and her own posts are fascinating. Have a look:

 

http://deborahpalumbotheundeparted.blospot.com/

 

 

 

The link to The Man Who Never Was is:

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

 

You can access the book trailer for The Man in my author’s page in Amazon, or directly in U-tube but if you wish to use links, please use the one above:

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qvUitFG2D20

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

 

 

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