Saturday 22 October 4pm The Beacon £7
Psychologist and best-selling author Oliver James is bound to get the audience thinking when he talks about the theories in his latest two books, Not in Your Genes ( Vermillion, Penguin Random House) and Upping your Ziggy (Karnac Books).
Published in March this year, Not in Your Genes is a controversial book which claims that genetics play very little part in who we are. James, who trained and practiced as a child clinical psychologist and is also a tv producer, presenter and journalist, argues that almost all psychological differences between us are the result of our environment and upbringing. Labels we are given as children such as ‘ shy’ or ‘bossy’ tend to stay with us as adults, often holding us back and preventing change. In his book, James aims to encourage readers to change the way they think about themselves and gain the confidence to make changes which they thought were beyond their control.
His latest book, published in June, looks at the genes debate from a very different angle. Upping your Ziggy: How David Bowie Faced His Childhood Demons- and How You Can Face Yours reflects on what we could all learn from the late iconic rock star who died in January this year. James explores the mental illnesses that afflicted members of Bowie’s family, and the young Bowie’s fear that he too was destined for insanity. Three of Bowie’s aunts and his half-brother Terry became psychotic, and his grandmother declared the family cursed. James argues that Bowie’s ability to express himself creatively through innovative music and stage personae- Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke – were his way of eluding the ‘curse’ of madness. He believes that while most mental illness derives from childhood adversity, so too does most exceptional achievement: “Bowie’s life and work demonstrates how we can convert the lead of childhood adversity into the gold of emotional health through identifying the roots of our many selves and consciously choosing who we become.’
Not to be missed!
For ages 16+
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