Prof. Peter Smith

Peter Smith is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths University of London, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Association of Psychological Sciences, and the Academy of Social Sciences.

He is the recipient of a number of awards including the 2015 William Thierry Preyer award for Excellence in Research on Human Development, and the 2018 Student Wellbeing and Prevention of Violence (SWAPv) Award.

Peter is an Honorary Member of the European Antibullying Network, and of the Anti-Bullying Alliance in the UK.

He is the author of of number of books including “Understanding School Bullying: It’s Nature and Prevention Strategies”, and most recently “The Psychology of School Bullying” as part of the Routledge “Psychology of Everything” series.

In today’s episode we examine the causes and motivations for bullying, whether the stereotypical image of the bully as cowardly brute and the victim as lonely misfit hold any truth, the long term effects of bullying on both the victim and the perpetrator, the uncomfortable conclusions of some studies which claim that bullying can be beneficial, and what needs to be done to prevent and deal with bullying in schools.

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Related Links

Ditch the Label – International anti-bullying charity

Annual Bullying Survey 2018 – Ditch the Label

Anti-Bullying Alliance – United against bullying

Childline – A counselling service for children and young people in the United Kingdom provided by the NSPCC (Tel: 0800 1111)

Youthworks – Developing Anti-Bullying Guidance and an online Toolkit for the government of Wales

Fatherlessness, Poverty and Crime – United Families International

How an Absent Father Affects Boys and Girls Differently – Freakonomics

What does the scholarly research say about the well-being of children with gay or lesbian parents? – Cornell University

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Tiomax80

Elaine Hanzak

Elaine Hanzak (@elainehanzak) is an author and speaker who uses her experience with postnatal depression and bereavement to deliver keynote presentations on overcoming loss and perinatal mental health.

She is the author of two books, “Eyes Without Sparkle: A Journey Through Postnatal Illness“, which today’s discussion is based on, and the follow-up “Another Twinkle in the Eye: Contemplating Another Pregnancy After Perinatal Mental Illness“.

In 2016 Elaine was nominated for the “Cheshire Woman of the Year” Award for her contribution to community services, and in 2017 she was a finalist at the British Journal of Midwifery Awards in the category of contribution of a non-midwife to mid-wifery practices.

In today’s episode Elaine shares her experience of postnatal depression. How despite dreaming of motherhood her entire life, a traumatic labour, months of sleep deprivation, and the pressures of aspiring to be the perfect mum, eventually caused her to spiral into a period of depression, self-harm, psychosis, and eventually being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Having since made a full recovery, Elaine tells us what the experience has taught her about motherhood and life, and she also offers some simple self-care practices to help future mums avoid a similar fate.


Related Links – Elaine’s website

Elaine Hanzak Facebook Page

Maternal Mental Health Alliance – a UK coalition improving the mental health of women and their children during the perinatal period

Book Recommendations


Image courtesy: Jake Guild


Dr. Fiona Challacombe

Dr. Fiona Challacombe (@DrFionaCh) is a research fellow and clinical psychologist working at the Maudsley Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma, and the Section of Women’s Mental Health at Kings College London, where she specialises in maternal OCD and anxiety.

She is patron of Maternal OCD, a voluntary organisation dedicated to raising the profile of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for mothers.

Along with Prof. Paul Salkovskis (see episode #004), she is co-author of “Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT“.

In today’s episode we explore how and why OCD manifests during the perinatal period, the nature and content of the obsessions and compulsions, and what causes maternal OCD? Is it down to hormonal changes, living in risk averse society, or the evolutionary desire to keep our children safe from harm?

We explore why maternal OCD is given such little attention compared to other mental health issues, whether or not this condition has long term ramifications for the children of parents with OCD, and most importantly how to seek treatment.


Recommended Links

Maternal OCD

OCD Action – A national (UK) charity for anyone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD-UK – Supporting children and adults affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Books Mentioned in This Episode



Image courtesy: Julian Fong