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Title:Cockney Kid - The Making of an Unconventional Psychologist
Silver Owl Press, 2009. The Renaissance Man of New Zealand Psychology was how colleague Jules Older characterized Professor Tony Taylor in the NZ Listener. The accolade reflects the astonishing range of internationally acclaimed original research Professor Taylor has published in 290 scientific papers on subjects as eclectic as the differences between male and female prison tattoos, Antarctic stress, wind phobia, adolescent hysteria induced by The Beatles. A hands-on psychologist, Taylor monitored The Beatles' Wellington concert and interviewed John Lennon, was the first to advocate laser removal of tattoos to give ex-inmates a fresh start, worked in Antarctica to help police and rescue workers cope with the Erebus disaster. Not bad for a poor kid who grew up between the world wars mired without prospects in Dickensian conditions in London's Docklands. These memoirs demonstrate how he did it, with all the verve and verbal energy of an Artful Dodger who chose to study rather than practise crime. The early chapters are truly a Dickensian gallery of family and neighbourhood characters and Cockney street life. He pays tribute to youth leaders and teachers who helped him find a sense of direction, but he is on his own breaking down the social class barriers to win a commission in the Royal Navy and serve on a minesweeper during the World War II. His next challenge was to overcome the education barrier and make a new life in New Zealand as a prison psychologist, the country's first student counsellor, and finally the first designated Professor of Clinical Psychology in the British Commonwealth. Integral to his professional career was seeking professional help to cope with his own identity problems that stemmed from a family dominated by his mother and grandmother. With an unflinching eye he writes of breaking out of his own emotional bondage, the key to his pioneering work in finding psychological answers for damaged people. These memoirs are vivid with the insatiable curiosity and huge reservoirs of humanity he has brought to a long and continuing professional lifetime helping the most destructive and stressed people in our community cope better with their lives.
Second hand Trade Paperback