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PCCS 25th Anniversary Conference

PCCS 25th Anniversary Conference

Date - 1st November 2018

Time - Registration from 8.45 am / Start 9.30am 

Tickets **- Full Price - £90

Student and Unwaged Tickets ** - NOW SOLD OUT (check back closer to the date for any cancellations)

Venue - Kings House Conference Centre, Manchester, M1 7HB http://kingshouse.co.uk/

Lunch and refreshments will be provided


Morning session - Chair: Susan Stephen

What makes counselling worthwhile? - Pete Sanders 
Many questions are being raised about the position, meaning and purposes of counselling and psychotherapy in 21st century Anglo-American society – and not in a good way. Is it redeemable as praxis? Pete will present his view of the future for counselling.
‘If it is to have a future, it must return to its roots rather than mimic a pyramid-selling bubble, ready to pop.’ (Pete Sanders)

Pete Sanders spent over 35 years practising as a counsellor, educator and clinical supervisor. He founded PCCS Books with Maggie, his wife, in 1993 and has written, co-written and edited numerous books, chapters and papers on many aspects of counselling, psychotherapy and mental health. He is author of First Steps in Counselling, revised and republished by PCCS Books this year in its fifth edition.

Power, counselling and class  - Gillian Proctor
Gillian will explore the dynamics of power in the therapy relationship, and how we deal ethically with differences in societal power in therapy, with particular reference to class.
‘Anything that we allow to be unexamined is much more likely to influence our relationship with a client than something we become and remain aware of.’ (Kearney, 1996).

Gillian Proctor is the programme leader of the MA in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Leeds, and an independent clinical psychologist, person-centred psychotherapist and supervisor. She is author of The Dynamics of Power in Counselling and Psychotherapy (PCCS Books, 2017), editor of a new edition of Counselling, Class and Politics, by the late Anne Kearney, published by PCCS Books this year, and co-editor of the new edition of Why Not CBT? Against and For CBT Revisited, with Del Loewenthal, also published by PCCS Books this year.

Critical mental health nursing: politics and compassion - Stephen Williams
Mental health services are in crisis. Service user and survivors are fed up with what the NHS offers to meet their needs, and their social marginalisation as ‘disordered’ people. Stephen will look at how mental health nurses, in dynamic collaboration with service users, can transform their practice to become critical, reflexive providers of care for people in emotional distress.

‘As the largest professional group in mental health services, we have an ethical-moral imperative to expose those aspects of our practice that are harmful and in need of radical reform or abandonment. Critical mental health nursing is about taking compassionate psycho-political action.’ (Stephen Williams)

Stephen Williams is a mental health nurse lecturer at the University of Bradford, author of Recovering from Psychosis: Empirical Evidence and Lived Experience and co-editor of the forthcoming PCCS book on critical mental health nursing.

Therapy as a human rights intervention - Col Bashir & Prossy Kakooza
The process of seeking asylum can be as harmful and traumatising as the experience of torture and flight itself. Col and Prossy will talk about the importance of a human rights framework when offering therapy to people who have fled persecution and torture to seek safety in the UK.
‘A human rights framework is essential in keeping us ever-mindful of the political and embodied biopsychosocial aspects of the experiences of refugee survivors of torture.’ (Col Bashir)

Col Bashir is a clinical psychologist with more than 10 years’ experience of providing direct therapeutic services, training and supervision for practitioners, and expert medical reports in relation to adults and children/family survivors of torture.
Prossy Kazooka is a refugee from Uganda, now working as an outreach co-ordinator at the British Red Cross, with refugees and people seeking asylum. They are both contributors to the PCCS book Psychological Therapies for Survivors of Torture, published in 2017.


Afternoon session - Chair: Gillian Proctor

Neoliberalism and why it matters - Philip Thomas

The rise of neoliberalism over the last 40 years challenges fundamental human values of compassion, solidarity and connectedness that are at the heart of mental health work and therapy. Philip will explore its manifestation in the rampant ‘malignant individualism’ currently infecting our mental health services, and society more widely.

‘It is not possible to help those experiencing depression and anxiety simply by getting them to think more positively and rectifying “faulty” or “negative” thinking patterns, while ignoring contexts of socio-economic adversity in which misery originates.’ (Philip Thomas)

Philip Thomas worked as a consultant psychiatrist in the NHS for over 20 years, before leaving clinical practice in 2004 to write. He held a chair in Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire, and has published on philosophy and its relevance to madness and society. He was a founder member and, until 2011, co-chair of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and is a contributor to the forthcoming PCCS book The Industrialisation of Care, to be published early in 2019.

McMindfulness and the work cure – Steven Stanley
Inspired by Buddhist practices and now integrated with CBT and positive psychology, mindfulness has become part of our therapeutic culture as it travels from monastery and retreat centre, into the psychological laboratory, and beyond to boardrooms, classrooms, job centres and even the Houses of Parliament, offering relief for stress and distress. Some regard it as a corporate ploy for shifting responsibility for health and illness onto the shoulders of the employee. It is certainly a lucrative strand of the ‘happiness industry’. Steven will explore the more complex picture that emerges when we view it in the context of wider research on consumer capitalism, therapeutic culture and religion.

Steven Stanley is a critical psychologist in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and principal investigator of the Mapping Mindfulness social study of the UK mindfulness movement, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. He is a contributor to The Work Cure, edited by David Frayne, to be published by PCCS Books this year.

Drop the disorder - Jo Watson
The language of diagnosis and disorder has infiltrated counselling and psychotherapy, obscuring clients’ own accounts of their life stories and subtly influencing how we work, argues Jo Watson. In her presentation she will explain why we need to challenge the labels.
‘We as a profession seem to be colluding nicely with the biomedical mainstream take on mental distress that tells people they are ill. We need an altogether different approach to emotional distress than slapping onto people labels that have been made up by a bunch of psychiatrists sitting around a table.’ (Jo Watson)

Jo Watson is a psychotherapist and activist with a professional history in the rape crisis movement of the 1990s. She has worked therapeutically for the last 22 years with people who have experienced trauma. In 2016 Jo founded the facebook group ‘Drop the Disorder!’ to challenge the biomedical model and explore alternative understandings and responses to emotional distress, and is the organiser of the AD4E events (www.adisorder4everyone.com). Jo is the editor of the forthcoming PCCS book A Disorder for Everyone!

16.30 Conferences ends


Once you have booked your ticket/s you will receive a confirmation email, however if not please check you spam folder. No tickets will be sent out, a guest list will be at the door at registration.

Additionally, we will be sending out a further email closer to the conference date confirming final details 

** Final deadline for purchasing tickets - Monday 29th October

** No ticket refunds after Thursday 25th October


Buy Now Price
£75.00 + VAT