I began by studying medicine, but a boyhood passion for photography led me to abandon my medical studies and retrain as a photo-journalist at the Regent Street School of Photography in London.
For some years, I travelled the world covering wars, riots and conflicts of all kinds, recording the misery of civilians caught up in the fighting.
In 1974, in the hope of making some sense of all the misery, pain and suffering I had witnessed, I went back to university to read psychology.
After obtaining a degree with First Class Honours, I moved to the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, to undertake doctoral research into ways of treating stress, anxiety and phobias. I remained in the Department for a few years, continuing my research and lecturing on clinical psychology and psychopathology. I also established two registered charities, Action on Phobias and Stresswatch Scotland.