PCCS Conference 2015


17th November 2015, 10.00 am – 4.45 pm
Trent Vineyard Conference Centre, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham, NG7 2PX

Thank you to everyone who attended.

Live links to the conference PowerPoint presentations:

Lucy Johnstone

Sami Timimi

Pete Sanders

Backdrop quotes

Minutes from the discussions

Conference theme:

The case for demedicalising mental health services is well rehearsed. The research has been done, the conferences have been held and the intellectual argument all but won. Yet on a day-to-day basis, services continue to operate within the medicalised status quo. One of the aims of this conference will be to look at how we can implement realistic, practical changes in our mental health practice, education and lives, in order to continue the progression from rhetoric to reality.

For mental health service users / survivors, carers, professionals, students and everyone interested in critical debate in mental health care.

Keynote speakers:

Peter Beresford, OBE, Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University; Chair of Shaping Our Lives, the national independent service user-controlled organisation and network. From Mental Health to Mad Studies: making involvement real. The psychiatric system has shown an almost infinite capacity to resist change. This presentation will explore the contribution ‘mad studies’ can make to breaking this log jam, as well as highlighting a set of priorities for action to achieve change.

Lucy Johnstone, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, author, lecturer, trainer and speaker. Challenging, compromising or colluding? Some thoughts on trying to bring about change in mental health systems. Lucy Johnstone will describe and discuss the obstacles to change within psychiatry, along with a range of strategies and projects which, she believes, have the potential to achieve a genuine and much-needed paradigm shift over the coming years. She will argue that we already have effective alternatives to medical model understandings of distress, although determination, clear thinking and collaborative action are needed to ensure they are fully implemented.

Pete Sanders is a director at PCCS Books. He has worked as a counsellor, psychotherapist ,clinical supervisor, lecturer and trainer, and is PCCS Books' best-selling author. If therapy could be part of positive action for change, what sort of therapy would it be? Therapy has been criticised as being a collection of branded, top-down, expert-led, bourgeois prescriptions for people in distress or those living different lives. Even when the ‘client’ is put at the centre and directs the therapy themselves, it has been caricatured as a sort of monetised kindness. Could any therapy be useful and empowering? This presentation is an attempt to unpick the problem and suggest ways forward.

Sami Timimi is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Director of Medical Education for the National Health Service in Lincolnshire, and a Visiting Professor of Child Psychiatry and Mental Health Improvement at the University of Lincoln. Beyond diagnosis: developing an outcome orientated approach. This presentation will address the evidence that highlights why using psychiatric diagnosis to understand mental distress and to organise mental health services is not a supportable approach to maximising the likelihood of improving the mental well-being of patientsIt will then outline the ‘outcome orientated’ approach as an existing, evidence-based alternative.




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