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Geoffrey Beattie: 'Being an Ulster Protestant is something to be proud of, I can't believe that so many are ashamed of their background

As he releases his emotionally-charged memoir, psychologist Geoffrey Beattie talks about his Ligoniel upbringing and his complicated relationship with his mother

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Famous face: Psychologist Geoffrey Beattie

Famous face: Psychologist Geoffrey Beattie

Famous face: Psychologist Geoffrey Beattie

Geoffrey Beattie's life has taken him on an astonishing trajectory from an impoverished childhood in Protestant working-class Belfast to a career as a world-renowned psychologist and TV celebrity.

But that journey has brought inevitable stresses and soul-searching as the highly intelligent boy who pored over his schoolbooks in a damp, dilapidated terraced house with an outside toilet transformed himself into the urbane, confident academic enjoying the spoils of material success in England.

That conflict is most apparent in the outworking of his relationship with his late mother Eileen, a clever, stoical, droll Ulsterwoman who didn't suffer fools and was especially adept at cutting her adult son down to size. It's a complex bond he examines in unflinching detail in his new book Selfless, an emotionally-charged memoir that charts the impact of his social mobility on himself and his family. "The tension was there right from the start," he says.


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