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CRAZYWISE: film screening & discussion @ Kennedy Lecture Theatre UCL Institute of Child Health
Jul 18 @ 6:15 pm – 10:30 pm

What can we learn from those who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience? CRAZYWISE – by Kevin Tomlinson and Phil Borges – follows two young Americans who achieved exactly that: Adam, 27, & Ekhaya, 32.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Akiko Hart


  • Jez Hughes (Shamanic healer & teacher)
  • Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed (Philosophy lecturer & researcher)
  • Satyin Taylor (NHS Spiritual Care / Chaplain)
  • Natalie Tobert (Medical Anthropologist & author)

Further details

Compassion & Compulsion: Exploring the tensions faced by service users and clinicians when people experience psychosis. @ St Cuthberts Church
Jul 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

David Pilgrim will do a presentation about the issues faced by mental health services when using coercion. Jen Kilyon and Neil Caton will then give a reposnse to the paper after which we will open up to questions and comments from the audience.

David Pilgrim is Honorary Professor of Health and Social Care, University of Liverpool and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Southampton. He has published extensively in the field of mental health policy.

Jen Kilyon campaigns for genuine informed choice in mental health care where those who need it can be in a safe place that is right for them. She promotes respectful non-judgemental and family/network inclusive approaches to psychosis such as Open Dialogue. Jen is an ISPSUK and Soteria Network Trustee and helped to set up the first Soteria House in the UK.

Neil Caton has lived experience of psychosis and has several experiences of being admitted to psychiatric unit, one of which was compulsory. He will explore his experience of these admissions.

Neil has worked as an involvement worker for the early intervention service. He has been an ISPS trustee for 5 years and runs a hearing voices and paranoia group in Chorley.

@ Amnesty International UK
Sep 6 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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.

Lancaster Disability Studies Conference @ Lancaster University
Sep 11 – Sep 13 all-day

The Lancaster Disability Studies conference brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and activists from around the world, to share and debate research, ideas and developments in disability studies.

We invite submissions of abstracts for either symposium, paper or poster presentations on current research, ideas, issues and new developments in disability studies.

Institute of Critical Psychiatry – inaugural conference @ Buckingham House
Sep 17 all-day
Social Approaches in Mental Health Social Work @ St Andrews Healthcare
Oct 9 all-day

Confirmed speakers:
– Dr Ruth Allen, CEO BASW
– Dr David N. Jones, Chair, BASW International Committee
– Dr Kevin Stone, Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE
– Dr Sarah Vicary, Open University

– Mike Bush Mental Health Consultant and Trainer – ‘Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Caring Professions:
The Case for Action for Careworker Wellbeing’
– Russell Hogarth Honorary Fellow & Community Ambassador at University of Central Lancashire – ‘Towards a Better Tomorrow’
– Jane Bowen AMHP and BIA Lead for Northamptonshire Adult Social Services – ‘Rights based Practice in Mental
Health Social Work’
– Sam Smith and Sharon Maher – ‘From Social Workerto Responsible Clinician

The future of counselling? PCCS books 25th anniversary conference @ Kings House Conference Centre
Nov 1 @ 8:45 am – 4:30 pm


Morning session – Chair: Stephen Joseph

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.

Fit. Happy. Productive – David Frayne
We live in a jobs-based society where participation in employment is seen as an ethical obligation, tied to ideas of virtue and citizenship. Yet meaningless jobs, precarious work and working poverty are on the rise. David will critique the fusion of therapeutic cultures and the work ethic, in the form of psycho-compulsion, the IAPT therapy programme, and workplace ‘wellness’ initiatives.
‘The time has come to challenge the wisdom that “work is good for you”, and challenge the role of therapeutic cultures in propping up the work ethic.’ (David Frayne)

David Frayne is a writer and social researcher, currently based in Cardiff, and an affiliate of the think-tank Autonomy. His interests are in critical theory, critiques of work alternative education and utopia. David is the author of The Refusal of Work, published by Zed Books in 2015, and editor of the forthcoming PCCS book Fit. Happy. Productive.

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 ( Jo is the editor of the forthcoming PCCS book A Disorder for Everyone!

Toxic Organizations: Hyper-rationality, Managerialism and the Fetishization of Measurement @ The Great Hall
Nov 3 – Nov 4 all-day

This conference will take issue with:
a) the neoliberalist/managerialist ethos that prevails in organizational life, and the psychological costs that follow out of it
b) the fetishization of measurement and its use as a means of coercion and control,
c) corrupt pseudo-rationalist practices that distort ‘evidence’  to present false organizational realities
d) the prevalence of the happiness and resiliance agendas in organizational life

The speakers are drawn from a range of backgrounds, which include education, nursing, social work, psychotherapy and psychology.

The Second Nottingham Radical Bookfair @ Nottingham Mechanics Institute
Nov 17 @ 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Nottingham’s second radical bookfair, organised by Five Leaves Bookshop, featuring stalls by national and local publishers, second-hand booksellers and a full supporting programme throughout the day.

Free, with free events. No need to book.