My training and early experience as a psychiatrist – in the 1950s and 60s, at St Thomas’s and Maudsley Hospitals, London – left me disillusioned about the overall direction of the medical approach: biological and pharmacological manipulations were coming to the fore, ignoring so much that was outside these artificial boundaries; we were increasingly focussing on the disease, not the illness – and so losing contact with the patient as an individual.
After a long period in research, I returned to clinical psychiatry in 1990. I soon learned about the spiritual aspects of emotional disturbance, an area I now found fascinating. Having previously been a firm believer in empirical scientific materialism, my experiencing in the course of my work with patients of the spiritual dimension came as a revelation, imbuing life with fresh depth and meaning. I took William Baldwin’s training in spirit release in Florida in 1998 and, for the past 15 years have been in private practice, specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of spirit attachment, a condition which it turns out is not uncommon.
I was co-founder and first Chair of the British Association for Spirit Release, (later the Spirit Release Foundation), developing and running a training programme for both interactive and intuitive work and holding a number of conferences. While this organisation was in 2012 superseded by The Spirit Release Forum, its website www.spiritrelease.com is still accessible, and has a list of practitioners. I continue in private psychiatric practice, which gives me great satisfaction, especially when I’m able to help those who have not found help through psychiatry, as currently practised. I also give talks and support initiatives aimed at bringing spiritual techniques into mainstream psychiatry.
I am blessed with a happy home and family life. I’m a proud father and grandfather, with five children and eight grandchildren to keep me and my wife Trudi on our toes, without treading on them. When asked about myself, I sometimes I say, “I’m a psychiatrist who has gone off the rails.”