The Psychologist on Austerity, medieval tents, and Irrelevant Experience

I’m going to start blogging again. I’m doing interesting things, reading interesting stuff and would like to get some of my interesting thoughts down before I forget them. I could write a diary, but this is the age of social networking, and, who knows, maybe other people might find my ramblings vaguely amusing.

I’m recovering from a weekend spent at an Empire event, ie, camping for a long weekend in a medieval tent in an immersive film-set style environment, pretending to be someone else while everyone around me does the same. I’ll write more about that some other time, but believe me, it’s fun.

Due to the hellish back pain from four nights of sleeping on the ground and then a 10 hour life modelling stint the day after I got back, I woke up at 7am and made a cuppa without looking at the clock. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, I read bits of the latest copy of the Psychologist magazine. To my surprise, I actually like reading the Psychologist. I didn’t when I was a recent graduate, flicking through my housemate’s copy because I didn’t have the money  to join the BPS, and anyway, was planning on becoming a pro musician (which I eventually did)

The Psychologist seems to be refreshingly socially aware. There seems to be lots of articles and letters on how the psychological profession can influence society and how it could be doing a better job of it. This month, there is a austerity special feature, where the Midlands Psychology Group rip into our present governement’s policies, and explain, with citations, how they are declaring war on the most vulnerable in society. The feature goes on to highlight how, in some ways, well-meaning psychologists have been complicit in this, by going along with the idea that an individual is entirely responsible for their own circumstances, regardless of the society in which they find themselves, and expecting to reverse the effect of 30 years of government policy with a few CBT sessions to help them find jobs that do not exist.

This morning I have also started reading “Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist” given to me as a birthday present. It describes the trials and tribulations of an aspiring clinical psychologist (like me). Getting into clinical psychology is so difficult, apparently, that people have written both fictional and non fictional books about it.  I am about a sixth of the way through it so far. It seems to have some useful information in, like when application forms for the ClinPsy Doctorate forms are out.

I do not like the narrator very much though. She seems like a very conventional and boring individual that despises anyone who isn’t just like her. I much prefer her housemate, who seems based on the stereotypical art student, who has a nice line in getting rid of cold-callers and points out that psychologists are supposed to accepting and tolerant. Needless to say, the protagonist despises her housemate as well.

Two hours have now been killed, and I have just realised that I have left my car in the car park by the castle, from when T and I, unwilling to return to 2014, had a picnic in the castle grounds, complete with ic (in character) drinking vessels, and there is half an hour left on the ticket. The car park only charges until 5 pm which means that if your allotted time runs over, you get to use the time the next day. I shouldn’t really divulge that, if anyone from Monmouthshire council reads this, I’m sure that they will put a stop to it sharpish. I need to finish the second cuppa, get some clothes on and move the LARP-mobile.

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