'A disorder for everyone!'  Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis
£55 – £80
'A disorder for everyone!'  Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis

'A disorder for everyone!' Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis

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The Ark

School Lane

Alvechurch, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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"A Disorder for Everyone!" - Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis and the implications for practice.

With Dr Lucy Johnstone, Jo Watson & featuring Jasmine Gardosi

This one day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event is for everyone who is interested in the current debates around mental health.  It aims to attract psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health support professionals as well as managers and individuals with a personal interest.

Facilitated by Dr Lucy Johnstone & Jo Watson, and featuring spoken word artist Jasmine Gardosi It is a chance to discuss the critical questions of the day around the biomedical model in mental health.

Lucy Johnstone will summarise 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 false 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 clients to make sense of experiences of distress, however extreme, and which are based on working together to explore personal meaning.  There will opportunities for debate and practice-based exercises.

Dr Lucy Johnstone

About Lucy

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 British Psychological Society’s response to the proposed DSM-5  (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) revisions. 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.  

Her new book, A Straight-Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis, is available via the link below



Twitter - @ClinpsychLucy

About Jo

Jo Watson's is a psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor with a  professional history in the rape crisis movement 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 distress and mental ill health 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 understandings should be offered.

“For me at the very core of the therapeutic process is the telling of personal stories, the naming and acknowledgment of experience. It is, fundamentally a process of making sense of distress in a relationship that feels affirming, safe and containing.  Why then are many counsellors and therapists seemingly accepting the movement towards labels and diagnosis that too often negate the experiences that clients have had.  What impact is this having on therapeutic practice, on us as professionals and on the clients we work with? Surely this is a discussion that we need to have.”  ( Jo )

www.jowatsonpsychotherapy.co.uk          Twitter -  @JWpsychotherapy

Outline of the day

9.30  - arrival for a 10.00 start...

9.30   - Tea and coffee and and an opportunity to network

10.00 - Lucy Johnstone , Overview and discussion

11.15 - Coffee

11.35 - Lucy Johnstone - Putting it into practice

1.00 - Lunch and networking

2.00 - Jo Watson - Feedback from AM session, case study exercise, 

2.45 - Coffee

3.00 - Discussion, Ted Talk, evaluation etc..

4.00 - Close

The day will also feature spoken word artist Jasmine Gardosi. 

(Jasmine Gardosi is the current Midlands Slam Champion & Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist 2014/15)  she believes in the power of spoken word to empower people and her performances are dynamic and challenging.


Jasmine will be performing a spoken word piece about the issues being discussed.

Jasmine Gardosi

A buffet lunch and refreshments are provided 

(All hours are valid CPD hours for BACP and UKCP (CPD Certificates will be issued) 

The Venue

The Ark is a bright, contemporary venue that is minutes from junction 2 of the M42 and a 2 minute walk away from Alvechurch train station.  There is ample car parking space and is fully accessible for disabled participants.

A limited amount of early bird tickets and reduced fee ticket are available. Book soon to take advantage of these offers.

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The Ark

School Lane

Alvechurch, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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