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Thursday, 08 September 2022 14:23

ISPS in Perugia, September 2022

Co-Constructing Healing Spaces
ISPS 2022 Conference

Thursday, 08 September 2022 14:22

ISPS in Perugia, September 2022

Co-Constructing Healing Spaces
ISPS 2022 Conference

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 10:53

John Read

Coming soon!

Monday, 07 June 2021 15:42

Open Dialogue for Psychosis

This highly readable book provides a comprehensive examination of the use of Open Dialogue as a treatment for psychosis. It presents the basic principles and practice of Open Dialogue, explains the training needed to practice and explores how it is being developed internationally.

Open Dialogue for Psychosis includes first-hand accounts of the process by people receiving services due to having psychotic experiences, their family members and professionals who work with them. It explains how aspects of Open Dialogue have been introduced in services around the world, its overlap with and differentiation from other psychological approaches and its potential integration with biological and pharmacological considerations. The book concludes with a substantive section on the research available and its limitations.

Open Dialogue for Psychosis will be a key text for clinicians and administrators interested in this unique approach, particularly those who recognise that services need to change for the better and are seeking guidance on how this can be achieved. It will also be suitable for people who have experienced psychosis and members of their families and networks.

Monday, 07 June 2021 15:38

The Recovery of the Self in Psychosis

The Recovery of the Self in Psychosis details specific therapeutic approaches as well as considers how treatments can be individually tailored and adapted to help persons whose mental health challenges may be either mild or more severe. By focusing on basic elements of the experiences of persons diagnosed with psychosis and exploring the broader meanings these experiences have, each of these treatments offers distinctive ways to help persons define and manage their own recovery. The book includes measurable therapeutic processes, an empirically supported conceptual basis for understanding disturbances in self-experience and rich descriptions of the recovery process.

The Recovery of the Self in Psychosis moves beyond approaches which dictate what health is to persons with psychosis through education. It will be essential reading for all clinical psychologists and psychotherapists working with people diagnosed with psychosis.

Thursday, 07 November 2019 21:48

Attachment Theory and Psychosis

Attachment Theory and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions is the first book to provide a practical guide to using attachment theory in the assessment, formulation and treatment of a range of psychological problems that can arise as a result of experiencing psychosis.

Katherine Berry, Sandra Bucci and Adam N. Danquah, along with an international selection of contributors, expertly explore how attachment theory can inform theoretical understanding of the development of psychosis, psychological therapy and mental health practice with service users with psychosis. In the first section of the book, contributors describe the application of attachment theory to the understanding of paranoia, voice-hearing, negative symptoms, and relationship difficulties in psychosis. In the second section of the book, the contributors consider different approaches to working therapeutically with psychosis and demonstrate how these approaches draw on the key principles of attachment theory. In the final section, contributors address individual and wider organisation perspectives, including a voice-hearer perspective on formulating the relationship between voices and life history, how attachment principles can be used to organise the provision of mental health services, and the influence of mental health workers’ own attachment experiences on therapeutic work. The book ends by summarising current perspectives and highlighting future directions.

Written by leading mental health practitioners and researchers, covering a diverse range of professional backgrounds, topics and theroetical schools, this book is significant in guiding clinicians, managers and commissioners in how attachment theory can inform everyday practice. Attachment Theory and Psychosis: Current Perspectives and Future Directions will be an invaluable resource for mental health professionals, especially psychologists and other clinicians focusing on humanistic treatments, as well as postgraduate students training in these areas.

Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:45

Jan Olav Johannessen

(Biography written at time of nomination)



This accolade to the achievements of Jan Olav Johannessen will inevitably fall short, but we want to highlight his overarching quality as an outstanding facilitator of the personal development of others both colleagues and those experiencing psychosis.


Besides his achievements within ISPS, he is best known internationally for his work with colleagues in the field of early intervention in psychosis from his work in Stavanger and the surrounding county of Rogaland in Norway. Starting back in the 1980s, their early detection and treatment programme and research (TIPS) showed it was possible to substantially sustain a reduction in the duration of untreated psychosis by using educational methods in a community. This reduction was associated with less disturbance and suicidality at the time of earlier detection and better outcomes some years later.


This demonstration of the benefits of earlier access to care of people experiencing psychosis was possible by his facilitation of the development of both the research teams and of the wide variety of educational and reduction of stigma programmes in the community that lead to the early detection. The latter involved working alongside teachers and school children, health workers in primary care and the use of newspapers, radio and television.


As his work in Stavanger developed, he initiated related projects that influenced others locally and internationally. Major examples of this are his leadership in the annual ‘Schizophrenia Days’ conference in Stavanger that often attracted more than a thousand participants from throughout the Nordic countries and beyond. He and his colleagues continued to use the word schizophrenia in the title and design of the conferences,and by doing so effectively counteracting the stigma and lack of hope usually associated with the term. Linked with ‘Schizophrenia Days’ but also of great influence far beyond was the development of “Stiftelsen Psykiatrisk Opplysning, (PsykOpp)” (The Psychiatry Knowledge Foundation ). Through this foundation, information about psychosis and help for families has been spread widely in Norway and translated into several languages.


Jan Olav was Senior Psychiatrist and Head of Department of Psychiatry in Stavanger from 1985-1992 and subsequently Chief Psychiatrist, Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital from 1992-2013 during which time he was the leading influence by which Stavanger became very well known internationally for the quality of its services and research. No one who visited the Rogaland County Hospital can fail to have been filled with jealousy at the tangible quality of both the environment for, and staff attitudes towards, those suffering from mental disturbances. Just one example of an innovation of Jan Olav was a 24 hour comprehensive assessment service that allowed perhaps 50% of those admitted to immediately return to thecommunity. On the other hand, there was a conspicuous absence of pressure to discharge persons who needed many weeks of quality ‘asylum’ time and to build up therapeutic relationships and confidence that would survive into the community.


It is important to mention here the importance of the late Gerd Ragna Bloch Thorsen who was the co-instigator of community projects such as ‘Schizophrenia Days’ and the publishing house. Gerd Ragna and Jan Olav and colleagues also led an important long term initiative from Stavanger to support colleagues developing mental health services in the Stavropol area of Russia (some 4000 kms away!).


In recent years Jan Olav has been Professor of Psychiatry and director of research in the University of Stavanger where he has continued his prodigious output now coming to a total of some 140 articles and book chapters, including several chapters in the ISPS Book series, covering early intervention, health service development, and anti-stigma.It is important too not to overlook his encouragement and supervision of the research of others.


Jan Olav took forward his focus on quality of care and continuing service development plans into his Presidency of the Norwegian Psychiatric Association from 2006-11 and his chairing of the Norwegian national committees developing guidelines for both early detection of psychosis and the whole field of psychosis as well as other national committees concerned with quality assurance.


SEPREP is a foundation funded by the Norwegian government since 1993. Its aim is to enhance therapists’ competency in psychotherapy and other psychosocial interventions with persons suffering from the most severe varieties of mental illness and hence enhancing the means by which the fore mentioned quality guidelines can be implemented. Jan Olav has been a key figure in this organization for many years as board member, developer of the programmes supervisor and teacher.


The overall objectives of ISPS coincide with Jan Olav’s professional ethos. He has retained an interest in the psychology of psychosis from early days in his career when he trained in psychodynamic therapy with the Norwegian Institute of Psychotherapy. The work referred to in this citation cannot fail to indicate his keen interest in the social environment, expressed even further by his being elected as labour member of his local community council.  He has been a member of the ISPS international executive most of the time since 1997 and been its President 2001-2006 and 2015-2019. During these times he has facilitated the ongoing development of ISPS and its activities and influence. Those present will not forget the outstanding ISPS conference held in Stavanger in 2000. Most important is his founding and nurturing of ISPS Norway, one of the world’s most active and largest ISPS networks with its high-quality annual conferences.


On reading the above, one would have to read between the lines about his personal qualities as an individual and in group relations. Jan Olav is a quiet person, with an enjoyable sense of humour, a capacity to express his ideas in simple language often with memorable illustrations. It is interesting to reflect on his engrossment with the Beatles, perhaps identifying with their capacity to captivate the world with simple themes – such as ‘All you need is Love’ a theme of one of the Schizophrenia Days conferences – and loaded with symbolism to his life’s work, Jan Olav succeeded in inviting the excluded Beatle, Pete Best, onto the stage at the conference.


Behind his professional life Jan Olav has a very full family life shared with his wife Kristin and their children and grandchildren. Jan Olav loves the time he spends with them in the Norwegian mountains or by the coast as well as his travels, especially to Italy. Kristin, a teacher, has played an active role in the teaching programmes connected with TIPS and in the publishing house.


So this quiet man, now has a place in the ‘Hall of Fame’ with international recognition of his outstanding work in the early intervention in psychosis field by receiving in 2018 the Richard J. Wyatt Award at the 10th Early Intervention in Mental Health Conference in Boston, US, and now in 2019 by receiving a much deserved Honorary Life Membership of the ISPS.   


Inge Joa, Ola Marstein, Brian Martindale

Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:40

Marius Romme

(Biography written at time of nomination)


Together with Sandra Escher, his wife, Marius Romme is one of the most important founders of the hearing voices movement and one of the first psychiatrist who broke down the schizophrenia concept.


Marius was a professor of community psychiatry and Sandra was a researcher and journalist. In 1985 one of his patients Patsy Hage, who suffered from hearing voices and looked for a way to handle them, gave him a wakeup call. He realized that hearing voices was not just a symptom of schizophrenia but a real experience. He couldn’t answer her questions, psychiatry had no answers. Sandra Escher proposed that she should tell her story on a popular television program.


During the TV program Marius invited people to react. His call was meant for all people, not just the ones receiving psychiatric care. 700 people reacted. Many people had no psychiatric complaints at all and had given the voices a place in their lives. And so the hearing voices movement was born.


Sandra conducted research with young children who heard voices, 60 % got rid of their voices. Much of voice hearing seemed to be connected to dramatic, traumatic life events, which was an unique finding at the time. For additional information watch (click on settings to select English subtitles).


He said: “Only living fish swim against the stream’’, that was characteristic of the Marius' style. He always talked very directly and to the point, which did not make him popular in mainstream psychiatry. He was not afraid to criticize our Rotterdam 2019 ISPS conference which did not spend enough time on therapy for voice hearing, in his opinion. I visited him at home and explained to him that I also am a person who is "swimming against the stream" and that this conference is about new paradigms.


I was very glad that he visited our 2019 ISPS conference and think that he truly deserves the term Honorary Member of ISPS.

Margreet de Pater


Further information:

A Lancet article:

Sandra Escher research:

The Maastricht approach on hearing voices:

Friday, 06 September 2019 09:45

Stranger in the City, ISPS 2019

Long-time members of ISPS at the 21st International Congress of the ISPS,

28th August – 1st September 2019 in Rotterdam

Page 1 of 17

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The ISPS Journal Psychosis accepts personal and institutional subscriptions. All Individual Members of ISPS and members of regional ISPS groups receive quarterly issues of the journal as a membership benefit.