Mary (nee McGill) Tyson 1951-2018

An appreciation.

It is with great sadness that we belatedly inform you of the loss of a greatly loved parent, an immensely valued colleague, and much loved friend to many.

Mary was born in Glasgow, the youngest of five: her two sisters, Irene and Margaret, and her brother, Gordon.

She spent her early years at  St Lawrence Primary School in Drumchapel, then Garnethill Secondary School. She left Glasgow to study Social Sciences, and then Psychology at Edinburgh University.

After graduating, she worked as a Psychologist for the Ministry of Defence with the Armed Forces, and left to join the North West Thames Regional In-Service Clinical Psychology Training Scheme.

After completing the training course, she moved to Birmingham and embarked on a wide range of work. Initially working in a residential rehab service for people with alcohol problems; subsequently with NACRO; then with Birmingham University Student Counselling; then Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS); and eventually spending a large part of her working life in Adult Mental Health Services. During this time she also contributed to the Birmingham University Clinical Psychology Training Course amongst many others.

She developed her own private practice, in order to remain at home to bring up her son and daughter, and then returned to work in the NHS when she thought the time was right. Initially in Birmingham, and later in South Warwickshire to manage in Adult Mental Health Services (2002-2006) before returning once again to Birmingham to manage in Adult Mental Health Services (2006-2010).

Mary was intrigued by complexity, often choosing to work in the NHS with people who were faced with some of the most challenging problems. One example of this being that she was one of the pioneers of psychodynamic psychotherapy for people with a diagnosis of personality disorder.

Colleagues remember Mary as someone they could trust; turn to for support; share and discuss the most sensitive and challenging issues, not only for her helpful insights or perspectives, but also because of her integrity. Mary never saw different theoretical orientations as a barrier to meaningful discussions. She always took the well-being of her clients, and that of her colleagues, very seriously.

Outside of work, Mary enjoyed life to the full. She had a great interest in art, literature, theatre, music, travel, fine food and wines, and world affairs. She enjoyed making great food; designing her home and garden; being a thoughtful and generous host; and organising wonderful parties. She was also a generous and supportive friend.

Everything Mary did, she did with intelligence, insightfulness, sensitivity, openness, integrity, calmness and thoughtfulness, especially in times of crisis; alongside a delightfully mischievous and varied sense of humour.

For a petite woman, who was usually quiet and never highlighted her achievements, she was renowned for her tremendous range of abilities and the best human qualities.

She is deeply mourned by her son and daughter, sister, and other family members, and friends and ex-colleagues, and is greatly missed.

She is truly a great loss to humanity, as well as to Clinical Psychology.

Dimitri Sklavounos

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