The Invisible War. Understanding the human side of rape within the military.

On March 11th I’ll be speaking at the UK launch of The Invisible War, a ground breaking documentary that exposes the extent and nature of rape and sexual assault in the American military. The figures are shocking. In 2011, 3192 sexual assaults were reported. Taking into account the likely number of unreported assaults it is estimated that 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the US military. The launch of this documentary in the UK inevitably raises questions about rape and sexual assault within our own armed forces. Continue reading

Writing my symphony. Will you ever know what your best work is like?

I’ve always found it useful to borrow metaphors from the arts in my work. As a researcher, I try to avoid seeing myself as a technician and instead see myself as a craftsperson. For me there is an important distinction between the two. A technician may be able to use their tools to a high standard but the craftsperson’s relationship with their work is deeper. A craftsperson has a process, a philosophy. They don’t just know how to produce good work, they also know why. They don’t just use tools, they create them. They don’t just produce work for someone else – they produce work as an end in itself.

At the moment my work is motivated by an idea that is borrowed from music: I want to know what my symphony would sound like.Continue reading

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

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It’s the time of year for reflection. A moment to look back at the year that has gone and look forward to the year ahead. Reflection is an important piece of internal feedback – a way of learning and growing from my mistakes, noticing and celebrating my successes, and spotting whether I’ve wandered off my chosen path.Continue reading

Talking about courage and vulnerability at The Dare Conference

Being courageous is something that all of us find difficult. We want to grow, we want to become the person we aspire to be – but stepping away from our comfort zones can be  frightening. We can be afraid of getting it wrong. We can be afraid of rejection. We can be afraid of uncertainty. It’s these fears that can hold us back.  Continue reading

Behind the scenes: The bus metaphor

In chapter 3 of ‘on being me’ I illustrate one of my favourite metaphors – the bus metaphor. This metaphor is an exercise from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I use ACT both personally and professionally. For me it is the perfect combination of existentialism, mindfulness, (a bit of) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and pragmatism. My one sentence description of ACT is ‘A therapy that helps you identify and become the person you want to be’. ACT places emphasis on values, choice, and living in the present moment.Continue reading

When Ted met Death

This one is for my grandpa Ted.

My grandpa passed away yesterday. He would have loved the idea of being in one of my cartoons – and I’ve loved drawing this for him.

The amazing thing about my grandpa wasn’t that he lived to be nearly 101 – but that he was in love with life right up until the end.Continue reading