Robert Hartley worked as a research child psychologist in London’s East End and was awarded a doctorate in psychology at the Institute of Education, London University. He then trained as is a documentary film director and made films for television. He trained at the National Film & Television School and he won the British Film Institute Award as Outstanding Newcomer to British Film & Television and other international film awards. He has combined these disciplines in making films about children, psychiatry and psychology. He has published research as a child psychologist and he has also taught documentary film production at London Metropolitan University. In the course of researching a documentary film about mediums in the 1990s, he became interested in spirit phenomena (writing ‘Helen Duncan The Mystery Show Trial’), and whether some practises in this field could help people suffering from psychiatric and psychological problems. He has spent many years exploring this area and related treatments, and is interested in carrying out research to learn more about the source of the distressing voices heard by people and develop effective treatments.
Schizophrenic patients who hear voices describe them as being alien & external, & many adopt a paranormal explanation. Psychiatrists assert that a primary need is to establish their identity but commonly dismiss this explanation without applying tests. Dr. Hartley asks whether spirits may account for the voices by considering psychiatric research findings in the light of what is understood.
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