Oliver James in Wantage
Yesterday I attended the Wantage Literary Festival at the Beacon and listened to Oliver James. It’s fascinating to listen to a psychologist who has on one hand very progressive views (supports the view that parents should have more paid time to raise their children) and at the same time is really traditional (beliefs only in the proven scientific insights, not speculative theories). I like rebels and he feels like a rebel to me, but at the end of the day as a practitioner, my job will be to learn from as many scientists and theorists as possible and apply their theory in practice to support my clients. Yes, I agree that in the nature vs nurture battle our insights were heavily focussed on genetics, and as Oliver James stated earlier, we have not much proof of genetic causes of mental illness. I completely agree with him that the early years of our lives are crucial to our mental development – and I personally think love and kindness play most important role in those years. But I also think we might be better off combining forces of both genetics and social studies to make the most of all theories for our clients. Our genes do shape us, as much as our early years, and later years of our lives too. I think we need to accept that both our background and current influences shape who we are.