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Wed, 03 May


Unitarian Meeting Hall

The Psychology of Adjustment to Change with Dr James Brennan

The Psychology of Adjustment to Change with Dr James Brennan
The Psychology of Adjustment to Change with Dr James Brennan

Time & Location

03 May 2023, 19:30 – 21:00

Unitarian Meeting Hall, Brunswick Square, St Paul's, Bristol BS2 8PE, UK

About the event

Although the mind has been thought about for centuries, it is only in the last few years that the neurosciences have begun to map out how the brain processes information. Similarly, it is also fairly recently that archaeologists have established when, and probably how, ‘modern minds’ came about, allowing us to see a little more clearly where the human mind sits within nature as a whole.

As a psychologist, James Brennan will talk about this, our species’ most distinctive feature, but not from a hardware (neuroscience) perspective, so much as a software (psychological) one: how is information in human brains organised so as to produce the mental processes that we call a ‘mind’? This broader understanding of the mind can be useful in making sense of very personal catastrophes, like serious illness or bereavement. How do people’s minds respond when faced with change, and how do they adjust to it? As he hopes to demonstrate, his own understanding of the mind very much informs his belief in humanism.

James trained at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and has worked as a clinical psychologist for over 40 years, most of it in the NHS. He spent the first ten years of his career working in mental health in London, later responding to the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For the past 30 years he has worked with cancer and palliative care patients in Bristol, while teaching doctoral clinical psychology trainees and medical students at the University of Bristol. James has lectured internationally on the psychological and clinical care of cancer patients, and his seminal paper on psychological adjustment has been cited over 600 times. His 2004 book Cancer in Context (OUP) received accolades in many international journals and has been reprinted four times.

This is the second of two loosely linked events with a focus on psychology and the human mind. The first event is on April 3rd, with Dr Jess Hunter and Jaana Tuominen.

PLEASE NOTE - due to May 1st being a bank holiday this event is not being held on our usual 'first' Monday. Instead it is on Weds May 3rd.

Our meetings are open to everyone. They are FREE to members, others we request a modest voluntary donation (£3/£1).

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