“A Disorder for Everyone!” – Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis… Event on Thursday 7th December, Liverpool.
“A Disorder for Everyone!” – Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis…
Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-disorder-for-everyone-exploring-the-culture-of-psychiatric-diagnosis-creating-change-liverpool-tickets-35517116652?utm_term=eventurl_text
AD4E is coming to Liverpool
Contributors include Dr Lucy Johnstone, T.O Walker, Prof Richard Bentall, Prof Peter Kinderman, Jo Watson & Nollaig McSweeney
This day is for anyone who is interested in and concerned about the current debates in ‘mental health.’ It provides a space to explore the critical questions of the day around the biomedical model and the narrative of ‘diagnosis and disorder!’
Attendees from past AD4E events have included people who identify as the following :-
people with lived experience of emotional distress, supporters of people with lived experience, survivors, psychologists, journalists, activists, counsellors, service users, service refusers, psychotherapists, mental health support professionals, psychiatrists, managers and individuals with a general personal interest.
About the day
The event features not just professionals but people from a diverse range of backgrounds who have an essential contribution to make to the debate.
Lucy Johnstone presents the current debates and controversies about psychiatric diagnosis. It is increasingly acknowledged, even within the mental health establishment, that categories like ‘schizophrenia’, ‘bipolar disorder’ and ‘personality disorder’ lack validity. The assumption that distress is best understood as disease can have very serious consequences for the individual, their identity, and their path to recovery. Lucy will present alternatives to diagnosis which can help people to make sense of experiences of distress, however extreme, and which are based on working together to explore personal meaning.
Joining Lucy in Liverpool are T.O Walker, Richard Bentall and Peter Kinderman (see bio’s below)
A choice of workshops will all be offered in the afternoon. (Details to follow)
Dr Lucy Johnstone is a UK clinical psychologist, trainer, speaker and writer, and a long-standing critic of biomedical model psychiatry. She has worked in adult mental health settings for many years, alternating with academic posts. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate, a highly regarded course which was based on a critical, politically-aware and service-user informed philosophy, along with an emphasis on personal development.
Lucy has authored a number of books, (including ‘Users and Abusers of Psychiatry, 2nd edn 2000) articles and chapters on topics such as psychiatric diagnosis, formulation, the psychological effects of ECT, and the role of trauma in breakdown.
Lucy was a contributor to the Division of Clinical Psychology ‘Position Statement on Classification’ 2013. She is currently convening a group of leading UK clinical psychologists and mental health experts who are working to develop an evidence-based and conceptually coherent alternative to the current diagnostic systems.
Lucy’s book is available here: A Straight-Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis,
& check out Lucy’s articles for Mad in america here: https://www.madinamerica.com/author/ljohnstone/
Twitter – @ClinpsychLucy
Read Lucy & Jo’s article in BACP’s Therapy Today (April ’17)
Jo Watson is a psychotherapist, trainer and activist who started out in the survivor and rape crisis movements of the 1990’s. She has worked therapeutically for the last 20 years with people who have experienced trauma. Jo actively challenges the biomedical model in mental health both inside and outside of her work and links emotional distress to psycho-social causes. (Trauma, oppression, lack of positive attachment etc.
Jo believes that in many cases the identification with a ‘diagnosis’ is damaging and counterproductive to a satisfactory healing process and that alternative routes to understanding distress should be offered.
Jo founded the facebook group ‘Drop The Disorder!’ in September 2016 as a place where the issues surrounding the biomedical model can be discussed. Jo is organising and promoting “A Disorder For Everyone!” which is presently making its way around the UK!
Twitter – @dropthedisorder
AD4E website: www.adisorder4everyone.com
Read about how the event came about in Jo’s Mad in America’ blog!
About T.O Walker
T.O Walker has worked in mental health on and off for 17 years. She has also used mental health services on and off for 22 years. She has had different diagnoses assigned or suggested to her but has found it much more useful and empowering to frame any struggles in terms of the context of her life.
T.O Walker is an author and illustrator. She has written a number of articles about mental health, and illustrated a children’s book about self-harm. More recently she has written and illustrated a book based on her own experiences of trauma and dissociation in the context of sexual violence (Not My Shame, Dec 2107 Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
T.O Walker is also the author of a comic about caring for someone after being a psychiatric inpatient, which is due to be published later this year.
Richard Bentall is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Liverpool University and has previously held chairs at Manchester University and Bangor University. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the British Academy.
He graduated with a BSc and then a PhD in experimental psychology at the University College of North Wales (now Bangor University) and then completed his clinical training at Liverpool University. He also holds an MA in philosophy applied to health care awarded by University College Swansea (now Swansea University). His research interests have mainly focused on psychosis. He has studied the cognitive and emotional mechanisms involved in psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoid delusions and manic states, using methods ranging from psychological experiments, and experience sampling to functional magnetic resonance imaging. Most recently, his research has focused on why social risk factors (for example childhood adversities such as poverty, abuse, and bullying) provoke the cognitive and emotional changes that lead to these symptoms. In collaboration with colleagues at Manchester and elsewhere he has also conducted large scale randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and prodromal psychosis. He has published over 250 peer-review papers and a number of books, including Madness explained: Psychosis and human nature (Penguin, 2003) and Doctoring the mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail (Penguin, 2009).
Peter Kinderman is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool and Vice President of the British Psychological Society.
His research interests are in psychological processes underpinning wellbeing and mental health. He has published widely on the role of psychological factors as mediators between biological, social and circumstantial factors in mental health and wellbeing, and has received significant research grant funding – most recently from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), to lead a three-year evidence synthesis programme for the ‘What Works Centre for Wellbeing’, exploring the effectiveness of policies aimed at improving community wellbeing and from the National Institute for Health Research to investigate the effectiveness of human rights training in dementia care. His most recent book, ‘A Prescription for Psychiatry’, presents his vision for the future of mental health services. You can follow him on Twitter as @peterkinderman.
Abstract from Peter
When Anne Cooke and colleagues published the British Psychological Society report “Understanding Psychosis” in 2010, it was both widely praised and vilified, with the former President of the American Psychiatric Association, Jeffrey Lieberman, furious that the report could have the effect of: “challenging the veracity of diagnoses and giving people who have symptoms of a mental disorder, license to doubt that they may have an illness and need treatment”.
I hope very much that this is true. And we’ve seen significant progress since 2010. John Read, Richard Bentall, Jo Moncrieff and I published ‘Drop the language of disorder’ in 2012, and we’ve seen popular online courses (our own ‘psychology and mental health’ course here at Liverpool has now had over 100,000 people join as learners), textbooks such as John Cromby, Dave Harper and Paula Reavey’s ‘Psychology Mental Health and Distress’, TV programmes such as ‘Why did I go mad?’ with Rai Waddingham, Jacqui Dillon and Eleanor Londgen, the ‘Mad in America’ phenomenon and of course this series of events.
The tide seems to be shifting from Dr Leiberman’s position. In June of this year, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Dainius Pūras, argued that: “…a reductive neurobiological paradigm causes more harm than good, undermines the right to health, and must be abandoned…. There is a need of a shift in investments in mental health, from focusing on “chemical imbalances” to focusing on “power imbalances and inequalities.”
In my view, these are genuine auguries of a positive change, but it is worth reflecting that this movement bears few hallmarks of academic scientific or medical advancement, where academic arguments are won and changes ensue, and feels much more like a civil rights struggle, with citizens asserting their rights to humane care and the protection of their fundamental human rights.
Nollaig McSweeney qualified as a mental health nurse in the UK in 1997 and worked in acute psychiatry for quite some time before she realised that the so-called ‘science’ behind it was highly questionable. This insight was largely sparked by reading Rosenhan’s 1973 study – On Being Sane in Insane Places. Nollaig is a valued member and contributor of “Drop the disorder’ facebook group and is an activist for change.
What people have said about the event…
“The whole day has been a transformative experience. I have always been uncomfortable with labels but felt I had to go along with it. Now I feel empowered to offer the people I work with the option at least to explore alternative ways of understanding their pain.” (Participant Birmingham)
“I feel like I am at the beginning of an exciting and liberating journey. Thank you Lucy” (Participant on Birmingham )
“I’ve been told I am ill for the best part of 20 years and given the ‘meds’ to go along with it. This has never felt right, now I know it isn’t right.” (participant Bristol)
“A Disorder for Everyone is not your average event. I have learnt that I need to unlearn! I am re-evaluating everything!”(Participant Birmingham)
“Everything about today has been validating, I really needed this course!” (participant Edinburgh)
“Lucy’s straight forward, commonsense approach was just what I needed at the moment. Her message is simple: Listen to people, to their stories and help them make their own sense about their lives” (Participant Birmingham course)
“I have no idea what to make of it all, but I feel like i’m at the start of a mini personal revolution!” (participant London)
For in depth reviews please check out the website
The event will take place at:-
22 School Lane
tel 0151 709 6957
Making this event as accessible as possible to people who are unable to afford the fee / full fee is a key consideration for us. As a result we have been as efficient as possible and do not provided lunch or programmes etc. It is a ‘no paper’ event and all resouces and presentations are made available via the website via passwords afterwards.
We hope you support the decision to run the event cost effectively for this reason.
Some snaps of our AD4E London event – Amnesty International, 8th June 2017
FOR MORE DETAILS, BLOGS, REVIEWS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS ETC ABOUT THIS EVENT PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AD4D WEBSITE