The DP2 psychology classes travelled to London for a short trip. We explored topics relating to our syllabus, especially abnormal psychology, but also gained insight into topics outside of our syllabus. We took part in many activities such as attending two workshops – one on brain scanning technology and one on hypnotherapy – as well as visiting the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and going on a Jack the Ripper walking tour around London.
Our first activity involved looking at brain scanning evidence to explore the links between biology and criminal behaviour. We learnt about parts of the brain involved in lying, we considered whether lie detector tests actually work, and discussed whether someone should still be blamed for a crime if they had brain damage that might have caused them to commit a crime.
At the Bethlem Museum of the Mind (an old asylum) we learnt how patients with mental illnesses used to be diagnosed and treated. We learnt that mental illness can be helped through different approaches, not only scientific and medical. Mental health patients can overcome or deal with mental illness through the medium of art: by being able to express oneself, a sense of peace can be found.
Our visit to the hypnosis clinic was an extremely entertaining experience and it exposed many common misconceptions about the field of hypnosis. Prior to our lecture we were extremely skeptical about the practice but after our discussion we learnt that the practice revolves around the concept of relaxing people to a state of tranquility, allowing them to approach their problems from a different perspective. Having learnt this, we not only understand the meaning of hypnosis, but understand the potential for enriching the quality of life for patients struggling with mental health issues.
Although the Jack the Ripper tour was outdoors and in the cold rain, it was very interesting to be walking in the footsteps of a notorious serial killer.
Overall, these two days were a great experience. The trip not only expanded our knowledge, but we also enjoyed London.
Written by DP2 Psychology students, with special thanks to Mathies and Rhia