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Webchat with Professor Tanya Byron: Tuesday 8 July, 1-2pm.

(107 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 02-Jun-14 16:54:36

Professor Tanya Byron will be joining us for a webchat at 1pm on Tuesday 8 July. Tanya is a practicing consultant in child and adolescent mental health and author of several books including her latest, The Skeleton Cupboard, our June non-fiction book of the month.

The Skeleton Cupboard is Professor Tanya Byron's fascinating account of her years training as a clinical psychologist. The Skeleton Cupboard recounts the period when she found herself in the toughest placements of her career. Through the eyes of her naive and inexperienced younger self, Tanya shares remarkable stories of the people who came to her for help with a multitude of difficulties. The patients she sees suffer from loneliness, anorexia and anxiety, as well as severe cases of dementia and a psychopath with a knife.

Find out more about the book, read an extract here

Come and chat to Tanya about her experiences training and working as a psychologist, her book or tap into her expertise and ask her a question about any psychological and emotional issues that may be affecting you or your family.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 02-Jun-14 19:16:42

This sounds fascinating. Have applied - fingers crossed smile

yummum120 Mon 02-Jun-14 20:08:10

I would love to get a copy of this one. Fingers crossed

frazzledbutcalm Tue 03-Jun-14 11:27:46

Have applied, sounds fascinating!! Fingers crossed.

millililli Tue 03-Jun-14 21:19:09

Would love to read this!

GoogleyEyes Tue 03-Jun-14 21:26:33

I loved House of Tiny Tearaways - applied, and crossing fingers.

NataliaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 10-Jun-14 12:45:48

This giveaway is now closed. We will contact those selected to receive a free copy via email. Don't forget to come back and let us know your thoughts on the book.

frazzledbutcalm Fri 20-Jun-14 13:38:08

I've had an email to say I'm getting this book! Can't wait! Thank you mumsnet!!

DuchessofMalfi Sat 21-Jun-14 09:09:00

I had an email too. Itching to get started. Thank you MN smile

frazzledbutcalm Wed 25-Jun-14 18:47:26

Received my copy today, thank you mumsnet!! So excited, can't wait to read it!

DuchessofMalfi Wed 25-Jun-14 21:07:20

My copy arrived today. Thank you MN smile. Just need to finish my current book and then I can make a start.

MotherOfChickens Thu 26-Jun-14 21:13:32

Thank you MN my book arrived today. Couldn't wait to start reading it however reading about Ray the sociopath an hour before an interview with my Counselling tutor probably wasn't a great idea. "So MotherofChickens why do you want to be a counsellor?" shock confused grin

defaulttodippy Fri 27-Jun-14 19:28:51

Thank you so much for my book!
I read most of it yesterday evening and finished it off this morning.

With such a serious subject matter it feels a little uncomfortable to say I enjoyed it - but I did. Very readable.

Despite the case studies highlighted being very serious and incredibly sad, it has been written with a light touch which allows it to be an' easy read', as they say.

I probably would have liked a bit more detail , but overall I got a good flavour of Tanya Byron's early career which was certainly interesting.

I'd be really interested to hear what others thought.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 27-Jun-14 20:13:58

Just finished my current book - starting this tomorrow smile

DuchessofMalfi Sun 29-Jun-14 21:25:59

Half way now, and absolutely love it. Just want to clear the schedule and read on. So good.

LegoUniverse Mon 30-Jun-14 18:50:36

I didn't get a freebie but I did buy a copy on Kindle after seeing this on Mumsnet. I was a bit disappointed TBH. Love Prof Tanya, and especially interested in her as a psychologist who seems to take an analytic approach to family therapy (on Tiny Tearaways -- the parents weeping on the couch talking about their own childhoods). So I was a bit disappointed that this doesn't add much to the Case Study genre in analysis (Freud & Winnicott are classics; Adam Phillips does literary ones; even Stephen Grosz, The Examined life). There is a coyness here; despite the looming of Chris, the mentor, this relationship goes unanalysed apart from some brattish hitting out; lots comes down to the violent death of the grandmother, but where are Prof Tanya's own parents in here, her own experiences of childhood and family structures that inevitably inform her views of her patients? And, in the end, I'm afraid the 'composite' patients, compiled to exemplify particular problems in the day-to-day casebook of a clinical psychologist just don't convince here. I'm afraid as a fiction writer, Tanya just doesn't quite have the skill.

MotherOfChickens Tue 01-Jul-14 17:52:31

Lego you've echoed my thoughts exactly.
Whilst I found the book to be very readable I felt that it lacked depth and left me underwhelmed. Personally the approach of not quite a memoir yet not entirely fiction made it hard for me to distinguish where the boundary lay between fact and fiction. For instance I understand that the patients were not "real " however does this then make the meetings with her mentor and the discussions that take place fictional too?
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book but would have loved it to be more factual than fiction.

Shells Wed 02-Jul-14 15:46:32

Hmmm. I'm about half way through, and although its interesting, I find the style odd. The sensationalist beginning about her Grandmother is really gruesome and cold and now the bits about Chris are quite strange. All the fixating about her eating. Is that going to lead somewhere?

I would rather have her just being a Psych and giving insight into cases. Don't really like the half fictionalised approach. Makes me like her less sadly.

steamy100 Wed 02-Jul-14 15:53:06

I was having a good look through just minutes ago. As a possession the book looks well, I even had a good sniff. The text looks easy to read and psychology is a great topic. I'll post again when I get really stuck in.

ja1972 Wed 02-Jul-14 16:33:22

Well I liked the book. I read it in 2 days (well nights as thats when i get quiet time) but it was light enough to read. There were some sad parts and although they are based on true stories - we will never know just how much truth there is to each case.

Queazy Wed 02-Jul-14 18:12:06

Only halfway but really loving this book. Absolutely fascinating, though sad at the same time, and hugely well written. Thanks again - so glad to have received this book smile

DuchessofMalfi Wed 02-Jul-14 20:11:11

Just finished reading this evening. I really enjoyed it. Even though the "case studies" were fictional representations of the kind of cases she encountered during her training, and presumably still does in her professional life, I found them very moving especially the girl with the eating disorder (DD was a food refuser from about the age of 2, and still struggles with food aged 8, and quite likely always will have "issues" with eating).

I also read the Stephen Grosz book, The Examined Life, and really enjoyed that too. But I think I preferred this one. Anything that looks at what makes people tick has always interested me. This book has made me realise that, if I had my time over again, I'd want to study psychology. Absolutely fascinating.

But, as has been mentioned above, were the episodes with "Chris" her supervisor also fictionalised to fit in with the fictionalised case studies, or were they real to some extent?

Thank you MN for the free copy. Will think of a question for the webchat smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Jul-14 14:22:28

Thanks for the posts so far. A reminder that Dr Tanya Byron is joining us at Mumsnet HQ for a webchat about the book and about her experiences as a clinical psychologist. Do join us on Tuesday 8 July, 1-2pm or post a question for Tanya in advance on this thread.

Lottapianos Thu 03-Jul-14 14:26:29

Hi Tanya, I really enjoyed watching your programs and am a big fan of your parent-focused approach.

My question is which side you feel is most influential in child development including behaviour issues - nature or nurture? I know this is a simplistic question and its a hugely complex area but I would been keen to hear whether you feel one side is significantly more influential. Many thanks

PringleLicker Fri 04-Jul-14 11:26:49

Thank you for the free copy of this book. I 'saved' it for reading while my son was in hospital, to occupy myself while he was in theatre. Once I started reading I was totally gripped. Not having had any psychology or counselling training at all, but having been the person on the couch, as it were, I found the whole book fascinating. I enjoyed (if it's acceptable to use the word in this context) reading how she picked up on hints and clues to help with, as Professor Byron puts it in her Epilogue, "the journey from chaos into clarity". It was sobering to read what proportion of those with mental health difficulties are actually likely to benefit from this sort of help.
Taking the stories at face value, each one was moving and disturbing in equal measure. I was particularly emotional reading about Harold and the Nazis. It struck a nerve having a relative suffer with dementia.
On reaching the Epilogue, I did have to put the book down and come back to it later when I could devote my full attention to it, due to the change to a more analytical writing style. I needed to put my brain in gear!

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