So here I burst out into the world, with some very not-so random thoughts to share.

Regarding who I am, the following tells you plenty:

I am a psycho-educational consultant. I live in Finland. I trained as a remedial mathematics teacher, before continuing to get a B. A.-equivalence in Applicable Psychology, a Master of Education degree in Special Education (Educational Psychology), and a Certificate of Professional Studies in Education covering a rather new field (Educational & Organisational Psycho-Anthropology/Ethno-Psychology). I have worked on internships in the following organisations since graduating (December, 2006): AutSpect Education Tmi, the Finnish Autism & Asperger Syndrome Association and the South-Eastern Finland Social Psychiatry Association. I have also held the post of Visiting Lecturer (Autism Studies – Psychology) at the University of Birmingham, whilst tutoring/supervising a student of that university who lives and works in Finland, and whilst carrying out a revision of the university’s study materials.

What is a psycho-educational consultant?

A psycho-educational consultant is a person who has studied psychology to Master’s degree level, but – rather than going into a full-blown clinical career in psychology – restricts his/her practice to: psycho-educational assessment and intervention; counselling; consultation; teaching/training and the development of teaching/training materials. The idea seems to be a Canadian one, but it is certainly a very transportable idea and fits within the uniquely Finnish notion that people trained in psychology outside of Finland can only work as self-employed/freelance consultants.

What do I mean by a B. A.-equivalence?

Simply the equivalence in study credit to a Bachelor of Arts degree, which is 360 CATS points (or 180 ECTS points). At the time I transferred from the University of Oulu to the University of Birmingham, I had collected equivalent study credit to that undertaken in a first degree, and I matriculated into Birmingham on the basis of equivalency of prior studies.

What is Educational & Organisational Psycho-Anthropology/Ethno-Psychology?

This is the interface between ethnology/anthropology and psychology in relation to understanding phenomena that exist in groups of people where mind and culture interact. The educational and organisational emphases are just those in which I am interested professionally. Ethnology is the study of societal structures and, in this case, anthropology is the study of the cultures carried and supported by those structures. Psychology is – at its most basic definitional level – the scientific study of behaviour and the effects of thoughts and emotions on behaviour.

What is social psychiatry?

Social psychiatry is an interesting development in the promotion of mental well-being: the unit has no patients, just clients. One of the tenets of social psychiatry is that people have worth as individuals, regardless of any diagnosis that might be applicable in their respective situations. The right to a safe place is paramount; the right to be part of a social group is also paramount, as is the right to something meaningful to do during one’s waking hours. When I was working at the SEFSPA units, I never saw the unit psychiatrist anywhere near the units; this is, arguably, a good thing.

What is this blog about?

Well… the shortest answer to that question is that it is about my thoughts on certain matters within my areas of expertise, based on the scientific training that I have had and the things that interest me. It will include articles on things like autism, specific learning difficulties, testing & assessment, teaching & learning, and other miscellaneous topics of interest to me.

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