Ciarán’s diverse background begins in the US, where, in 1994, he graduated with a Liberal Arts degree at Washington College, majoring in Music & Psychology. There he completed an honors thesis on paranormal experiences in conjunction with a representative from the Institute of Parapsychology (now Rhine Research Center).
Following several years of nursing experience, an occasional foray into spontaneous cases, and a brief stint in Spain, he returned to academia, in 1997, with an MSc. Investigative Psychology at Liverpool University. Whilst there, independent research encompassed the geo-spatial behaviour of serial killers, hypnotism and the legal system, mental maps of computer criminals, and various aspects of the psychology of fraud: self-perception and social identity; risk-taking and decision making; situational factors and probability bias. The Master’s dissertation examined the utility of psychic detectives and the style of their narratives.
In the past few years Ciarán has been researching a Doctorate entitled ‘Assessing the content of advice given by practitioners claiming paranormal ability,’ (focusing on psychics and mediums) at the University of Hertfordshire. The PhD is supervised by Professor Richard Wiseman and Professor Julia Buckroyd.
Professor Wiseman, primary supervisor, has provided advice on the assessment of claimants; Professor Buckroyd has offered input on how such interactions relate to the dyadic interaction of counselling scenarios.
During his time at University of Hertfordshire, Ciarán was fortunate enough to be involved in several Perrott-Warrick Research Unit projects (e.g. ‘ghost’ projects at Hampton Court and Edinburgh), also taking time off for other spontaneous cases and unusual assignments (including a dream project, and exorcism research), and returning to the Rhine Research Center for their Summer Study Program in 2000.
He was employed as a psychology lecturer at Liverpool Hope University College, assisting with both criminal psychology and parapsychology teaching.