We meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 1.00pm at Rumbletums, Kimberley.

The contacts for this group are Jim Stirland on 07977 415072 and Diana Pidgeon on 0115 9169343.

Next meeting – Wednesday 22nd May 2024- ‘The impact of music on the brain’

Future meetings:

26th June: Autism and ADHD ( member led)

24th July:  Tba

No meeting in August.


In April we followed on from the previous month with a session focussing on mindfulness and its usefulness for many people. We learned some simple techniques.

In March we looked at the brain and in particular the impact of stress on neurotransmitters. It led to a discussion on how to define stress, why some people are more able to deal with stress, positive stress and how stress impacts lives.

In February we looked at personality and the Big Five personality theory. We individually looked at the five Traits and decided where we each sat on the scale for each and followed this with small group discussions. We considered whether personality changed over time and whether nature or nurture played the more significant role.

In January we began the year with a member led session on animal psychology which included the principles of psycho-cybernetics. The presentation took inspiration from a book called ‘That Winning Feeling’ by Jane Savoie  and the techniques she employed to become a great horse rider. The topic led to discussion around visualisation skills and stories of some special relationships with animals, particularly dogs.

In November we considered how our childhood experiences, such as position in the family, abusive relationships and parental expectations, have influenced our later lives. We shared personal experiences and our observations on childhood today.

Octobers meeting was led by two of our members who helped us consider the effects of lack of freedom and oppression. An interesting and thought provoking session.

In July we enjoyed a most interesting member led session when we shared books that had made an impact on us. A wide variety of titles, both factual and fiction were suggested and several led to lengthy discussions that could have been whole topics on their own.

In April we looked at group behaviour and did some exercises….the results of which did not conform with larger research samples! We watched a couple of short videos and considered how being part of a group affects an individuals behaviour. This is a very large and complex subject and we only touched the surface but it will lead into our next topic on leadership.

In March we had an interesting session recalling the work of Sigmund Freud and putting it into its historical perspective. We watched three video presentations outlining his theories and discussed their relevance today.

In February we looked at Personality, including verified tests and  non scientific ones. A fun test ranking animals in our order of preference led to some interesting discussion.

In January we discussed childhood memories and how often these are linked to our senses, such as certain smells evoking memories.  Members brought in items that revived memories for them and we enjoyed listening to others personal reflections.

At the November meeting we began by watching a TEDX talk that introduced the topic of retirement. The speaker suggested there were four stages to retirement and we then each talked about which stage we thought we were in and ways to help us reach the final stage of contentment and fulfillment.

In September, as an introduction to this topic, we watched a lecture by Dr Frank Conner, Professor of Psychology at Grand Rapids Community College entitled The Psychology of Love

What is love? How do we define it? Are there different types of love? How does love differ for family, lovers and friends? There are many psychological theories of love, but to start our September session we looked at at Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love (1986) composed of intimacy, passion and commitment. Then in October we looked at attachment theory and it’s impact on lasting relationships, which produced much discussion meaning our plan to look at further theories around love are left to explore in November. E.g The Colour Wheel Model (John Lee), Liking v Loving by Zick Rubin and Compassionate v Passionate (Elaine Hatfield).

Past topics include:

Placebo effects
States of consciousness
Child development

Previous meetings:

In May and June we looked at the brain – how it develops and changes through aging and illness and the effect on mental well-being.

April – we looked at attitudes to money and factors that affect different behaviours such as compulsive spending, gambling and fear of spending.

Wednesday 23rd March.

Our topic was ‘Social Influence’ and we examined how a person’s opinion, behaviour and emotions are affected by others.  We looked at why people conform in groups and  how social influence affects opinions and behaviours.

Wednesday 23rd February:

Our topic was ‘Aging’ and this led to a wide ranging discussion, which encompassed discrimination, loss and differences across nations.  Everyone participated and we by no means covered all areas and may return to this in future sessions.

Wednesday 27th November 

This month we looked  at motivation.

Wednesday 27th March – Stress & Coping

Is life more stressful now than in the past?  Are schoolchildren more stressed than we were?  Is that because there are more stressful things in their life now or simply just that they know the word?  We discussed many questions in this session.

Wednesday 27th February – Psychological Aspects of Illness & Wellbeing

This month we looked at different times in our lives when we may be stressed e.g. new job, house move, bereavement etc.  We talked about how people react in different ways to stress.  How what is stressful for one person may be excitement for another.  We looked at the different ways that people deal with problems: avoidance, head in sand, run away, pretend it’s not happening etc. and the possible repercussions of burying pain.

Wednesday 23 January 2019

We reviewed the visit to the University in November and planned for the coming months.

Psychology previous meetings