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LAUNCH of ‘THINKING SPACE’: peer support & reflective practice group @ Mind in Camden
Sep 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Are you working with children and young people who hear things, see things or sense things that other people don’t, experience paranoia, unusual beliefs or multiplicity?

Would you like to connect with others, to share the things that are going well in your work and to explore the things that are challenging?

Would you like to think collectively about creative ways of supporting children and young people in distress, and their families, in a supportive environment?

About ‘Thinking Space’:

Due to popular demand, we’re trialling ‘Thinking Space’ – a peer support and reflective practice space for those working with children and young people, up to the age of 25 who hear things, see things or sense things that other people don’t, experience paranoia, unusual beliefs or multiplicity.

Lots of people who’ve attended our training courses and events have shared the challenges they’ve encountered supporting children and young people in distress. Common challenges and questions include how to support children and young people experiencing ‘taboo’ voices or visions, how to support voice hearers who are self-harming, struggling with thoughts of suicide or a wish to die, and how to support family members in distress.

No matter who we are or what role we have, we can make a difference. There’s so much that we can learn when we take the time to think together in a supportive and encouraging space, which acknowledges there are many different ways of reducing the isolation and distress that children and young people who hear voices can face.

What to expect:

You can expect to be welcomed into a safe, confidential and supportive space where it’s OK to ask questions, explore assumptions (our own and other’s), share challenges and explore a diversity of ways of overcoming them, and to respectfully disagree (with one another, and/or the group’s facilitators).

We’re trialling ‘Thinking Space’ on a monthly basis for the next 3 months, and you can attend as many or as few groups as you wish. At the end of the trial we’ll think together about how effective and supportive they’ve been, and make any changes for 2019.

Who can attend?

This space is open to anyone working with children and young people, up to the age of 25, who hear things, see things or sense things that other people don’t, experience paranoia, unusual beliefs or multiplicity. It could be benefical for those working in 1:1 settings, as well as facilitators and prospective facilitators of Voice Collective peer support groups.

This includes, but is not limited to, people who work in community and in-patient CAMHS, EIP services, youth organisations, education, drug and alcohol services, Youth Offending Teams and Young Offender Institutions. There’s no geographical restriction.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Eve or Lucy on [email protected]

About Mind in Camden & the venue:

Voice Collective is a service provided by Mind in Camden, in north London. Our office is based at Barnes House, 9-15 Camden Road, NW1 9LQ. We’re a short distance from Camden Town and Camden Road stations.

Mind in Camden is a trans-friendly organisation. We have gender-neutral toilets and start with pronoun check-ins at all groups.

The building is wheelchair accessible.

Refreshments will be provided. Please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary requirements when you book your place.

The Peer Led Paradigm Shift Seminar @ Hibernian Stadium
Sep 24 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

PeerZone is delighted to be bringing the peer-led paradigm shift seminar to Edinburgh this September following on from the success of our Wellington 2017 event.

peerzone logo

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from successful international initiatives outside the dominant bio-medical paradigm. Presentations will celebrate alternative ways to support people with mental distress primarily from a lived experience perspective. Presenters will also share frameworks and resources developed and designed by people with lived experience of mental distress for people in distress and their supporters.

This is an opportunity to showcase the experts by celebrating experience model with international models of best practice.

Guest speakers include

Mary O’Hagan, PeerZone – New Zealand

Flick Grey, Intentional Peer Support and Open Dialogue – Australia

Lisa Archibald, PeerZone – New Zealand/ Scotland

Graeme Nisbet – Think Thrive/ Peer Network Scotland – Scotland

Deconstructing Borderline Personality Disorder @ Diorama Arts Centre
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


There are few diagnoses which raise as strong feelings and controversy as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)  a label applied predominantly to women, many of whom are survivors of childhood sexual assault, family violence or other overwhelmingly distressing interpersonal experiences.

This workshop challenges the pathologizing, de-contextualizing and individualizing concept of “personality disorders” and explores more generative ways in which experiences labelled BPD can be understood – in terms of mis-attuned, disavowed and invalidating relational environments, as creative adaptations and/or (valuable) relational sensitivities. We will draw upon lessons from the Hearing Voices Movement, Open Dialogue and Mad Studies to explore more robust relational understandings and responses.


Flick Grey is a Mad Studies academic, Intentional Peer Support facilitator, Open Dialogue practitioner and Peer Support Manager for a domestic violence service in Australia. She has child parts, lots of psych labels and a passion for ideas, wilderness and kayaking.


£12     Unwaged

£50     Self-funding part-time earners, and students

£100   Self-funding full-time earners, and voluntary sector organisations

£125   Private and statutory organisations (including NHS)

(The full fee will be chargeable if you cancel less than 7 days before the event)

Inviting all African and African-Caribbean service user/survivors. . . @ St Mary's Community & Conference centre
Sep 27 – Sep 28 all-day

We are inviting you to a two day event in Sheffield on the Thursday 27th and Friday 28th September to help continue developing the work that we started in Northampton last May.

The feedback from the event showed that participants felt it was important to have time to get to know one another better and clarify the identity of our group before we go further. We will therefore be focusing on IDENTITY.

We’ll be using interesting and interactive activities to :

  1. Get to know one another better & build connections and trust
  2. Explore our identity as individuals and what each of us can bring to the group
  3. Explore our identity as a group, in particular the collective strengths we have and our hopes for the group as it develops

In order to achieve these aims we are asking that you attend both days – we’ll provide accommodation and we’ll reimburse reasonable travel expenses when receipts are provided.

By the end of the two days you’ll have formed new bonds, established a collective identity and hopefully feel inspired to continue with this work & help guide its development.

If you want to be part of this event please book your place through Billetto above by 5pm on Friday 7th September

The event is supported by the Engagement Team at Mind.

Please note: Accommodation is provided. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

By filling in your details, you agree to Mind contacting you in connection with: A time to explore: A space to get to know one another event.

The data provided by you will be used for the purposes for this event only and will be deleted 12 months or sooner following the event. We will use any demographic information collated to identify who we are and are not reaching regarding this event; this will help us to improve how we publicise future events. Any demographic data collected will be stored in a way that is anonymous i.e. not linked to any individual. After the event we will ask whether you would like to be contacted again for future events related to our work or join other Mind mailing lists. Please note Eventbrite stores your data outside the EU.

To find out how we’ll look after your details, please read our privacy policy at (

If you have any questions or queries please email us at [email protected]


The Colour of Madness – launch party @ The Ugly Duck
Oct 5 @ 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The launch event is a creative collaboration between The Colour of Madness and Lon-art’s Black Sheroes Month, orchestrated by Ugly Duck as part of their Art & (H)aktivism creative programme.

The Colour of Madness is a seminal anthology exploring Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) mental health in the UK. The anthology features art, poetry, short fiction, memoirs, and essays from over 50 BAME contributors, and is edited by Dr Samara Linton and Rianna Walcott, with a foreword by Guilaine Kinouani.

The book launch will include talks, book signings, and food, followed by a DJ set to celebrate this powerful collection of BAME voices.
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.

Trauma-related complex dissociation: origins and consequences @ Conway Hall
Nov 9 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

This training, delivered by First Person Plural, will focus on complex dissociation which has its roots in childhood trauma. Dissociation is a common human experience. However, some of us can experience more complex patterns of dissociation- which may not be recognised. Such complex dissociation can affect our day-to-day lives, our needs and our relationship with any supporters, including professional support.

This training is suitable for those whose work includes supportive or therapeutic contact with people who experience complex dissociation. There are also a limited number of low-price places available for people with ‘lived experience’ whose primary concern may be to gain self-knowledge and self-understanding, rather than to gain skills around supporting others. We do ask anyone registering to understand it will touch on emotive subjects, and not to come on the course unless able to feel safe with this. Please ensure you have access, following completion of the day, to any support you feel you may need.


The trainers Kathryn Livingston BEM and Melanie Goodwin are experts by experience and proficient trainers. Details of their work can found at  They use their lived experienced to help others to better understand the theory and share what has been beneficial to them over many years and why. They both have a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, DID which has helped them to access appropriate help but fully embrace that this was a means to an end and does not define who they are. They put a language to a complex area within mental health respecting that this is not necessarily how it is experienced by other survivors.


£12     Lived experience of Complex Dissociation

£50     Self-funding part-time earners, and students

£100   Self-funding full-time earners, and voluntary sector organisations

£125   Private and statutory organisations (including NHS)

(The full fee will be chargeable if you cancel less than 7 days before the event)

Psychosis and Institutional Racism @ Amnesty International UK
Nov 13 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Psychosis and institutional racism

Institutional racism is sometimes viewed as the elephant in the room in mental health and psychosis. We know that people from racialised minorities are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, more likely to be subject to the Mental Health Act, and more likely to be restrained or be under a Community Treatment Order. And yet- it seems to many working or campaigning in the field that we have failed to address these issues, and that too little has changed over the past few decades.

How do westart talking about and addressing institutional racism, when so often it can feel invisible or taboo? How does institutional racism affect people who use services, but also family members and carers, and professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, OTs, HCAs etc) who deliver services? What are the barriers which stop us talking about it – and how do we address what we struggle to recognise?

This day will encourage discussion & reflection on how institutional racism plays out in the field of psychosis, from multiple perspectives. We will reflect on how we can name it, and how, together, we can start to find ways of addressing it.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr Suman FernandoHonorary Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, London Metropolitan University and former (retired) consultant psychiatrist

Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, Guilaine Kinouani will not be able to speak as originally advertised. We will keep you posted on new speakers.


Dr Philip Thomas and Dr Alison Faulkner on the Privilege, Partiality and Power of Whiteness

Sara Haq on Complex Subjectivities and Survival Strategies for Collective/Cultural Psychosis

Dr Colin King

Other speakers tbc

Followed by ISPS UK AGM, 17.00-17.30

All are welcome to attend

Details of the day:

Coffee and lunch will be provided. Please contact us if you have any questions about the day or access.