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Event 36 of 37

Veronica O’Keane

The Rag and Bone Shop: How we make Memories and Memories make us

In conversation with Julia Samuel

Starts at: Saturday 23 October 5:30 PM
Finishes at: Saturday 23 October 6:30 PM

How does our brain make and reshape our memories and, thereby, our lives? Veronica O’Keane, professor and consultant psychiatrist at Trinity College Dublin, starts from the patient’s subjective experiences, translating these into brain processes, showing how our brains store complex story-driven memories by triangulating time, place and person, through recently understood ‘time and place’ cells. Memory is never static or reliable; throughout life, experience and emotions sculpt our memory, which then sculpts what we know and feel and how we share this through collective memory held in our literature and storytelling. Without this narrative dance, we lose ourselves.

Could psychiatric patients hold a key to a new, integrated understanding of brain, memory and identity? O’Keane combines rich varieties of sources: her patients’ case-study stories; the latest neuroscientific research; interpretations of psychosis in literature; fairy tales. She challenges the stigmatisation of serious psychiatric illnesses, contests professional myths and offers new ways to understand psychiatry within the context of contemporary neuroscience.

“a wonderful book, a must read for every counsellor, psychotherapist, life coach and psychiatrist. Difficult concepts made comprehensible with rich case studies.” Philippa Perry