Mens Sana Incorpore Sano Centenary Celebration Week: Psychology 

It’s been a busy week in Psychology, with our focus being on a healthy mind. The week started with students reflecting on the very interesting and informative talk by Mrs Clayden. Mrs Clayden was talking about mental illnesses and therapy, with particular focus on ‘talking therapy’ as this is what she practises. She linked this to the Psychodynamic Approach as this is what the therapy is based on. Finally, she discussed the benefits and weaknesses of talking therapy. The year 12 and 13 Psychology students attended and there were several links to what they have learnt or are going to learn in future lessons.

The INSPIRED SIXTH FORM Psychology students performed 2 short plays in assembly to demonstrate what we have been learning in class. The first play was to illustrate hostile attribution bias. We have recently learnt about this in Forensic Psychology. It involves faulty thinking, where we misinterpret the actions of others, assuming others are being confrontational when they are not. This can lead to crime and violence. The second play exemplified minimalization, which we have also learnt about in forensic Psychology. It involves a different type of faulty thinking, where you downplay the seriousness of the crime. As we have learnt, crime can be caused by faulty thinking, also known as cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions can also lead to mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression. Therefore, it is important that these are treated to prevent crime and maintain a healthy mind.

Both Year 12 and 13 students have entered a competition, which involved them stating which is the most unethical Psychological Study. Ethics in research is very important, because if participants are not treated sensitively, with respect and dignity this can lead to psychological harm. Some students used studies we have covered in class; others researched some very ingenious studies – the entries were fascinating.

In this week’s enrichment, year 12 and 13 students watched a documentary on the serial killer, Andrew Cunanan and discussed what factors, including his irrational thinking that may have influenced his killing spree, culminating in the murder of fashion designer, Gianni Versace. We also considered whether he was born this way, or whether it was down to his environment and upbringing, and whether anything could have been done to change his thinking.

Finally, visiting speaker, Miss Davenport, Cognitive Behavioural therapist came to speak to Year 12 and 13 students about unhelpful thinking styles and how she uses therapy to reverse these. This talk also gave us insight into real life cases, which were fascinating. Going forward, we will be reflecting on what both visiting speakers taught us, comparing them, and using them to support learning in Psychology.

Mrs R Howarth-Hynes 

Teacher of Psychology