Creating connections through candid conversations about issues in cyberspace. The show will speak with specialists and knowledgeable people in and around the world of cyber based issues. Ranging from e-safety and cybersecurity through to the darker side of the internet, web and electronic devices. Important information for parents, teachers and anyone who needs to learn about cyberspace
When will the internet become regulated to a degree that you will no longer have free will? This weeks episode takes a look into authoritarianism and how this transitions into the digital world. Are you seeing all you can see? Will we become a state where free speech, free searches and access are no longer a thing? Will our choices be determined like a Truman show? This episode looks at choices made by China and Russia and how we could also be privy to a ‘patented’ state. Another deep conversation with Justin Sherman and one that will get you thinking....
This episode I'm joined by Dr Rachel Kowert and this is the last of the trio of gaming related specials. Fear not though as this conversation is a super duper chat about Rachels book which is an easy to read guide with evidence based facts delivered in an easy to read format, taking away the academic 'wordery' that can so often discourage parents from reading large 'clunky' books. Rachel writes a compact book which can be read in one sitting, which is kind of how we like books to be that are aimed at Parents who rarely have time for a hot coffee!
We talk 'shop', addiction, violence, unintended learning, misogyny, gaming communities, friendships, communication, male to female ratios, vision, flow, loneliness and discuss new areas of research that need investigating.
This was another awesome guest and one I would love to have back as we navigate further research and findings around digital media and parenting.
Let me know your thoughts on the last few episodes and content and lets see what else there is missing from your knowledge banks.
As always thanks for being a listener and supporting the podcast, please do share this with anyone you think might need to hear about these issues. please take 30 seconds to rate the podcast too to help people discover it.
Take care and catch you soon!
Rachel’s book is: A parents guide to video games, The essential guide to understanding how video games impact your child's physical, social, and psychological well-being
This extra and special episode comes to you courtesy of the book edited by Dr Anthony Bean, which is called The Psychology of Zelda, Linking our world to the legend of Zelda series.
We talk about the books chapters written by some fantastic contributors and bringing topics such as existentialism, projection, grief, feminism and more!
This book is now my top ranking therapeutic book based on the contents and one that is essential reading for players of this game (past or present) and for parents and professionals. It really is a delightful read and one I hankered down on upon its arrival, which I have been eagerly anticipating since Tony and I spoke last episode.
Tony has some great reflections on the book contents and this is one episode that sits snuggly between two gaming specials bringing you the second of a trio of #gamingforgood and not as 'bad' as is often made out by the media skew...listen in to find out.
As always thanks for your support in the podcast downloads and shares that take place. Thank you to those people who feedback and let me know what they like and are enjoying. Please do continue to let me know and support the podcast as this really does hack into my writing time and I am doing my best to bring you as many episodes as I can, as quickly as I can.
This is a special trio based on some recent feedback at a conference asking about this topic; and my passion to emphasise the huge amount of research and knowledge in this area that highlights the real benefits of games. (adults and child alike)
Today I'm joined by Dr Jamie Madigan who is the host of a podcast called The Psychology of GAMES (not gaming as I called it in the chat #fail).
He and his podcast will be such a great addition to your podcast library and knowledge bank - all of the questions you have about gaming have likely been answered on his podcast/site or in his book! See below for all links
Jamie speaks about his website which has 10 years worth of work behind it so again any answers you are seeking are likely to be found on there, we have a quick tour of some gaming issues which include those biggies that have appeared on previous episodes such as Violence, Addiction and Jamie shares his views around these topics.
Overwhelmed/starstruck (& with tech issues on the day) meant lots of questions I wanted to ask fell out of my head as I didn't have my notes with me- I'm still learning on the job, so this episode is the first of a few focusing on games/gaming and I'll hopefully get Jamie back this year to converse about the in depth issues as we hopefully move away from the media driven hype and myths around games.... I hope!!!
Jamies website is: www.psychologyofgames.com
His book is Getting gamers and is here for UK peeps: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Getting-Gamers-Psychology-Impact-People/dp/1442239999
You can also find him on Twitter: @JamieMadigan
Let me know if there are any questions you would like answering going forward and
Today im joined by Amy Orben DPhil candidate at Oxford University and is a guest I have been waiting to interview for some time and Im so happy to bring this episode to you about her research!
You have likely heard me discussing this research in many previous episodes and how I lean on the 'actual' data that is out there, with the focus on what the data really means and how the media and some researchers can skew this data to 'fit their hypothesis' to scaremonger and drive a narrative that demonises the young people of today and their technology use.
Amy discusses and explains her research and .does this in a way that should be easy for you to understand why we can be so easily misled by the errors of misrepresentation and why critical thinking is a skill we all need
(I think i must say that every episode somewhere)
Enjoy the chat and head over to iTunes to rate this podcast, leave some thumbs up on the YouTube video and help provide free therapy for the children I will be seeing in my PhD research by visiting patreon.com/cybersynapse or head to my website and donate!
This week Im joined by Lael Stone. All the way from Sunny Australia. She is a Mum, education specialist around birth, sexuality and parenting and creates wellness in families through connection, communication and education.
On this episode we talk about talking to your children about Sex and Pornography in a compassionate, open and empathic way, with lots of humour.
We focus on age appropriate conversations, body image, childbirth, realistic versus pornograhic sexual activity and conversations that might not be suitable for around younger children unless youre ready to answer those questions!
This episode really gets in touch with the topic and parenting without shaming language and hopefully will give you confidence to begin these conversations with your children, no matter the age. And yes its likely to be more embarrassing for you rather than them?
Lael Stone has a facebook page with the same name find her over there to follow her work.
Unfortunately the book referenced is unavailable in the U.K. but hopefully soon!
Today I'm joined by Aylssa Cowell who is working in Brunei in an International school and works with young people as a school counsellor. Aylssa was also previously a Youth worker here in the U.K and we met through the topic of teaching Sex -education for young people.
We talk Young people and sexuality, young people and peer pressure and Instagram stories, identity and how young people are seemingly staying on their devices to 'be there' for each other and how this can mimic the job that Aylssa and I do, ie are young people 'Counsel' for their peers?
We contemplate that in our roles we are expected to have supervision as vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burn out are a real threat to our profession, yet young people are managing the Mental Health of their peers, who can be almost anywhere in the world at any time.
Young people really are doing their best for each other, however this is not a role they can be expected to keep fulfilling at this volume if they are to thrive in their own rights? More adults needed to help them manage this please, adolescents need to concentrate on being adolescents, so get talking to them and see how many peers they feel they need to look out for and you might just be amazed. They are tenacious, caring and supportive and perhaps thats why they are on their smartphones as much as they are?
Head over to Patreon.com/cybersynapse to learn more about topics like this. Parenting tips and how to speak with your child/young person about issues such as this and more will be added over the coming months. Sign up for as little as a £1 per month.
This video sits just before the New year so you have time to tune in and listen to the perspective of two young ladies; Molly and Bella who take you through some of their experiences and views about cyberspace and how they use Snapchat. If you want to know what happens for young people this is the podcast episode for you as they articulate their use and opinions on the platform.
This is a great episode in terms of you learning from these young people and finding out how they feel and felt as they grew with this technology and what they think about advertising!
Please do share this episode with any adults who have young people using this platform. Both Bella and Molly will be back to discuss other platforms and meanwhile if you know of any young person who would like to talk cyberspace get them to email me via my website.
Lets have more young peoples voices out there regarding their world.
Don't forget to rate, subscribe and head over to www.patreon.com/cybersynapse and see you in 2019 for more cyber related issues and chats.
Happy New Year!!
The first of two festive treats from season 2 and once again I'm back with Alan to discuss the latest trends that he's hearing about in the classrooms.
This episode we dare to talk about a normal child behaviours but one that may well be a cautionary tale about knowing what your children are up to.
We discuss trends, YouTube and dares or challenges and Alan discusses a great example of needing to know because safety and child protection issues can be influenced by the internet and how children engage with it and each other.
Another episode packed to the brim with information and advice and one to definitely be shared with parents and Teachers.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and for those who prefer HAPPY HOLIDAYS have a great time wherever you are.
Alan can be found at https://www.esafety-adviser.com
The book I refer to (and give my opinion on) is by Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld and its called 'Hold on to your Kids'
Dont forget to rate, subscribe and head over to www.patreon.com/cybersynapse as theres now an audio editor for the podcast version! 2019 might just bring a video editor...(get in touch if you can help)
Season 2 kicks off with a bang and the topic this time is Loot Boxes.
Is it gambling? Can we extapolate from adult research to children? Can we as researchers talk about legal issues where we find correlational behaviours that look like those legally defined terms? Moreover what is a loot box and how does it differ from a card pack? Are they the same and what about non monetary gains within games? Listen in for more than just this overview.
As is the way with Cybersynapse this topic is only a part of the whole conversation and David and I will take on you on a tangent around other cyber realted issues too discussing a variety of topics including becoming an Australian researcher thanks to the media, computer science, big data and some handy hints from simple wikapedia. (Which I did not know about, so there you go you can learn new stuff everyday).
As is discussed in the intro theres a number of edits and whilst watching back through the chat I spent an inordinate time laughing, it was such a fun interview to conduct. Expect David to be back at some point as I had a blast chatting with him.
Dont forget to head over to www.patreon.com/cybersynaspe and sign up to hear reflective peices only available to patreons. You can sign up for apprximetely a pound a month!
David is on twitter @davidzendle and you can find out more about him from York St John University
Okay so I am beginning to bring a little more of my personal interests inot the podcast based on feedback about the biohacking episode with my friend Pete. This time I bring you Paula Eggers who is a great friend, Yoga teacher and also a fellow biohacker and today she tells her story of (in her words) going from the scrapheap to health and using the internet, technology and the Superbetter game- yes this is another episode with gaming in and this time its for the many facets of health and wellbeing. Paula is a well versed and educated biohacking compliment to this epsisode and as a friend. I really loved this episode as this felt just like we were chatting on the phone. Fasten your seat-belts as we name drop (a lot) to give you the biggest episode on how you can optimise your own health and progress in life, how you can now read/listen and watch all of these fantastic resources and biohack your own way to optimal performance. Come and join us on this cram packed episode where we talk m
This week I'm joined by Adam Lobel PhD, a games user researcher at Ubisoft. Adam describes what user experience is as games user researcher is possibly just as confusing for those not in the industry. Even I introduced him incorrectly as I was too keen to get started on the discussion. We discuss emotional regulation and how games can be good for children. Yes this is another episode where I have found another games for good approach. Huzzah! Listen to how we discuss the way in which Adam designed; wait for it... card games first before we discuss video games. You might be seeing a trend right now towards gaming for good and theres a good reason why. Adam explains about the research and herein lies another episode where we talk all things good about games. Here are the links to his work, YouTube channel and social media links. Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrowingUpGaming YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GrowingUpGaming PhD Dissertation: https://www.publicatie-online.nl/publicati
When gaming becomes a distraction of life in order to manage illness or distress this might be seen as a helpful way for games to be present in hospitals, hospices and homes.
Todays guest is Jonny Miree whose son tragically died earlier this year from an inoperable brain tumour. Jonny explains how the ability to engage in playing games is the distraction his son Reece needed and how the family managed this with him. We discuss gaming for palliative care and how Jonny and his wife Carol have set up a charity to bring gaming consoles to children who are in hospitals, hospice or home where children are ill, disabled, undergoing treatment or incarcerated/immobile.
The episode is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking to listen to and really highlights how gaming can be a force for good in a situation that is difficult for families.
The RockinR charity can be found here: https://therockinr.org.uk
Adoptive children and the impact of social media contact: Today I’m joined by Trainer, Coach, Author, Adoptive parent and personal friend Helen Oakwater. We discuss Helens book from 2012 called Bubble Wrapped Children; which is as relevant now if not more so in 2018 than ever before with many more ways for families to connect unexpectedly. This episode is jam packed and will be a great addition to parents, teachers and professionals as the team around the child is paramount in these circumstances! Helens book can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bubble-Wrapped-Children-Networking-Transforming/dp/1780920970/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534708755&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=bubble+wrapped+children&dpPl=1&dpID=51QhQcFuNDL&ref=plSrch Helen can be found here: https://www.fabparents.co.uk
This week I'm joined by a clinician and author Dr Anthony Bean. This episode is such a good one in terms of deconstructing games and their use, their benefits and the big WHY people use computer games. We look at Anthony's book "Working with video gamers and games in therapy; a clinicians guide" and look at some of the chapters that I am endlessly telling people about. This episode is awesome in terms of why the (still ongoing) debate around the W.H.O. classification of gaming disorder is/has been produced by researchers with little or no understanding of WHAT GAMERS DO AND WHY. For those of you who are regular listeners and viewers you'll see this as a great explanation of the difference between the kind of work Anthony and I engage in and the research that is currently pathologising children, young people and adults too regarding this (ahem) "disorder" (I think you know my views on this loud and clear if you've listened to the other episodes, if not go back and listen there is a pl
Today I'm joined by freelance journalist, gamer and Dad Andy Roberston. He's helping parents understand why their children play games and what is really going on and how parents can become involved with their children and have conversations.
Todays episode is one where Jocelyn Brewer is my guest and we discuss what healthy habits really mean when it comes to digital devices and children, however there is a slight twist as this episode covers some handy information for parents too. Really want to know whats in your food; you look at the label so what if we could do this with apps and devices? How can we help parents in the 24/7 demands of todays world? Listen here and find out!
Today I'm joined by Dr Chris Fullwood who is a cyber psychology academic an the University of Wolverhampton. In this packed episode we begin to explore online presentations and the why's and how's of this phenomena and behaviours online. We look at the forms of self, the proteus effect and avatar embodiment. want to know more then you'll have to listen to entire episode and wait for the second as we only just scraped the surface today. Chris can be found at www.wlv.ac.uk in the department of CRUW where there is now an MSc in Cyberpsycholgy, as I have said before we need more research in the Cyber world so maybe sign up here for this postgrad!
Today Im joined by Joanna Fortune who is an attachment specialist and Psychotherapist. Joanna and I discuss one of our favourite subjects attachment and early development. We delve into the intricacies of how we connect with our children through conversation and play and how this can often be disrupted by our own distractions of technology and not the way that is currently portrayed in the media of 'blaming' young people for being addicted.
Todays episode is brought to you by the inspiration of recently meeting Jim Kwik. #fangirling a little today in terms of being inspired by a person and story that mirrors my why of wanting to change the world for children to become superheroes in their own healing and growth.
After what would have been a very short episode I was contacted by Jan at the weekend about Doki-Doki. We had a conversation about this over messenger and decided to use this for todays episode to talk about sex and death, Mind wealth and how children and young people need us to be responsible in our conversations with them and to talk about 'stuff' before social media does.
Today I’m joined by Laura Higgins, Operations manager of the revenge porn helpline. Laura discusses what revenge porn is and isn’t and why this is such a difficult topic to operationalise. (Sorry a slight academic term there which means to be able to state and test robustly a proposition, it’s one of my favourite words so I’m not really that sorry). We discuss the varying forms this issue takes and why this is not gender specific, we look at the impact on a victim and what can be done about images/videos shared without consent. Here is the article Laura refers to http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260518760011 the helpline: https://revengepornhelpline.org.uk
The topic that can create horror, distain or curiosity. Either way we’re going onto the world of full time buisness people who often work in the realms or depths of a world wide market that many of us do not visit. Our conversation is fluid, candid and matter of fact as Gary and I are colleagues and friends outside of the podcast world so our conversation borders on chit chat around a difficult topic and in light of this listeners/viewers may find our approach less than journalistic, and it’s meant to be unjournalistic (by the way I’m making that word a thing) , this is a reflection of the world that exists that many people are shocked by, don’t understand and have no experience of so we tell it as it is through our work in this realm. (Those of you listening on iTunes may well enjoy the video as there’s plenty of non verbal reflections on there that get missed by audio..just say
Today I'm joined by a self confessed Nerd and Anorak in all things data protection. Yes its that four letter word that you've been seeing in your mailbox for some time. This is another full on say it as it is episode and talks real data and why you need to know this.
We discuss the unwanted/unsolicited emails, we talk consent and evidence of consent, overkill in terms of the numbers of emails and marketing ploys, not ticking boxes and looking at the bigger picture
Matt and I discuss the polyvagal theory in easy to digest bites and go into the world of burnout, self care, resilience and most importantly breathing and why you need to notice and track this for effective changes. We talk apps, books and practical applications.
Biohacking can be as simple as using this most basic life function.
Today I’m joined by Mike Roberts of Frama RMail. A product that is so much more than an encryption tool.
This product is one I personally use and todays discussion reveals why.
After many recent contacts and questions about GDPR compliance I thought it was a timely episode. This is based on the back of a number of unsecured and sensitive emails I receive regarding some of my clients and their issues from Organisations and Schools no less.
Today I'm joined by Justin Sherman once again.
As the podcast was recorded a week before the recent ICO discussion on some of the issues in cyberspace we may be feeling slightly ahead of the game this week and for further information go back to our last episode too!
This time we are discussing consent in terms and conditions, privacy and security issues and how would anyone know whether really understand what we are signing up for and much more
Today I'm joined by Lynn Findlay. We go into why foster carers can be presented with some much more complicated issues around online safeguarding compared to families where children are either natural or families who have adoptees. We discuss parenting styles in terms of digital devices and our approach to them and we have quite a bit of discussion about the impact of some of the behaviours of the families with children who are fostered.
Suzzana Dee joins me today to talk about social media and the music industry. We talk about her return to the industry after ten years so Suzanna really has a before and after understanding.
We discuss how the sudden rise to fame for young people can bring about challenges from social media and how this can impact on a persons social media profiles, families and mental health.
We discuss the influence of poor sex education and how young people have been learning about sexual relationships through Pornography and the internet.
We dispel myths about psychosexual therapy and what it looks like. Why people wait until they are in a desperate place to access this therapy. Why current methods of training for child therapists misses out this huge factor and topic and why children may go onto develop fetishes/obscure behaviours and sexual issues.
This week I'm joined by Pat Markey who is one of two authors of the book Moral Combat: Why the war on violent video games is wrong. This episode tries to squeeze the synopsis of the book into 30 minutes and I don't think we do a bad job.
With recent media coverage and Presidential 'blaming' of the recent school shooting in the U.S. on VVG Pat quickly runs through the evidence to highlight this is not necessarily the case nor cause.
This weeks episode takes a look into the ethics of machine learning (not AI) and why this is an area for consideration. We discuss how facial recognition software has some great benefits and where it has issues and potential problems and ethics in warfare. This episode is packed full of really interesting stuff and one of my favourite topics
A quick update on what's happening! The snow interrupted play over the last episode so I thought I would check in with you and keep you updated.
please feel free to feedback about topics you would like me to cover!
Here is the link to the Facebook live video where I covered pornography use in CYP https://www.facebook.com/onlinevents/videos/1583079075061510/?t=9
Also there is a lecture on this topic available via my website.
Today I'm joined by Pita Marroni, He is a friend and student of biohacking and functional medicine. I am very very excited for this and future episodes as I have been aiming to do this very podcast from the outset & bring technology and performance into the realm of cybersynapse and cybertrauma
Todays episode may be a difficult topic for some listeners however it is absolutely necessary that this topic is borough to the attention of parents everywhere.
Today I'm joined by Suzzan Black who is a Researcher, blogger, artist and a survivor of sexual abuse, trafficking, exploitation and depression. She is a campaigner and educator around the topic of Violence in pornography
Today im joined by Bo Pederson. He is an IT manager and has gamed for over 30 years. In this episode he gives his strong opinion about gaming disorder and why he disagrees with the W.H.O. perspective on this issue. Bo brings his perspective to society and parenting alongside this topic so buckle up this one is a lively episode.
Todays episode again crosses the water to the U.S. and im joined by a Psychologist Erick Medina.
We take our discussion from parenting to Psychotherapy and how the world of social media has introduced new issues in couples counselling and the phenomenology of their experiences.
Erick A. Medina, Psy.D. teaches Psychology at Newbury College in Brookline, MA, USA, and has a private practice of psychotherapy and neuropsychological testing in Wellesley, MA, USA. He can be found on Twitter at @exphen.
Todays talk follows on from last weeks episode about the effects of Porn on the brain.
Todays conversation is no less than candid and one that addresses the taboo subject of sexual education around consent and pornography where young children find themselves viewing this material via apps like YouTube. A subject close to my theory of cybertrauma and a fantastic conversation between us both who are passionate about this topic.
Todays episode features Gary Wilson who is the author of the book and website "Your Brain on Porn". This may not be a suitable podcast to listen to with little ones around but lets get the conversation started with adolescents and you'll see why in the conversation
This episode contains a serious amount of talk about pornography and the issues associated with it for both men and women, though much of our talk this week centres on the recovery stories of men.
Gary's site is
Gary and I discuss many issues in this podcast ranging from the recent blog I produced after the suicide forest video appeared on Youtube, the Children's commissioners report, digital literacy (whatever that means). We discuss how you are the product of the internet and apps, how its monetised, how Cath despises the new gaming disorder diagnosis and why, we cover varying levels of consent, choice, connection, consciousness and veer off - listen for more information!
This week brings back Alan Mackenzie for a frank discussion about the YouTube videos that are unsuitable for children. This video has been on hold as the media storm has created a pandemic of both accurate and inaccurate news. We dissect this in this podcast
We discuss parenting, e-safety and the impact of these videos on children and their wellbeing (emotional, psychological and mental health) and much more
This episode covers what small business owners ought to know about protecting their online data and websites.
From WAF's and firewalls to being hacked this is a really helpful podcast, also getting onto subjects such as the dark web and the C64
Rory from Counselling Tutor joins me to discuss online professionalism from those of us who work with the public. Roles such as counselling/teaching and social work. This conversation gets to the heart of recent behaviours that have been challenging for me to witness (and contravenes the ethical frameworks we are bound by as psychotherapists) and how data regarding professionals profiles affects their professional reputation.
This episode will ruffle some feathers and give you food for thought
Oyoty is an online personal safety assistant that helps children learn to navigate social media. This episode discusses how this works and how the AI behind this app helps children. Deepak's idea is one I was personally excited about the I first saw it and I spent much of my time at a conference talking to him about this app. In terms of how we create autonomy, choice and values in children is by using an approach such as this.
GDPR what is it? What do I need to know? How does this affect me and my storage of data? When does it come into effect?
This episode is slightly longer than usual as theres a whole heap of content to share with you and how this affects you, particularly aimed at professionals and with a slant towards counsellors and psychotherapists as Cath has been commenting on posts on social media for some time so decided to bring this information to you in a handy format.
You really need this information
Don't stream and drive campaigner Neil Dewson-Smyth joins Cath for a discussion about the perils of using your phone whilst driving.
Distractions cost lives and it only takes a moment. Neils discusses his work and passion around this topic and highlights why this is so important.
This episode discusses how you manage some of your data on social media. A discussion about insurance policies and how social media posts can render these null and void? Want to know more- listen to this episode!
This weeks guest is Alan Mackenzie; an e-safety specialist. He talks about how he uses his skills to help teach children about e-safety without scaremongering. Using the lessons Alan helps teachers identify possible safeguarding issues.
This is a must hear podcast for teachers and parents.
Alan can be found here :