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Friday, 15 December 2017 17:24

ISPS in Liverpool, August 2017

Professor Jim Van Os speaking at the 20th International Congress of the ISPS in Liverpool, August 2017
Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:17

Ludi Van Bouwel

Ludi Van Bouwel has been a psychiatrist and psychotherapist since 1987. She is the head psychiatrist for an inpatient ward for young adults with psychosis at the University Psychiatric Hospital of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Ludi joined the ISPS Executive Committee in September 2017 and is the current Chairperson of ISPS.

Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:15

Cecilie Brøvig Almås


Cecilie Brøvig Almås is a clinical psycholgist working in a FACT-team in the addiction unit, Sorlandet hospital in Kristiansand, Norway. Cecilie is the current chairperson of the Norwegian chapter of ISPS and joined the ISPS International Executive Committee in September 2019.


Thursday, 21 September 2017 21:13

Marjaana Karjalainen

Marjaana Karjalainen is an advanced practice registered nurse and a family therapist. She works as a head nurse in Early Intervention Center for young adults and Outpatient Clinic for adults with psychosis in Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. She is a founding member of ISPS Finland and joined the ISPS International Executive Committee in September 2019.

Friday, 15 September 2017 15:46

ISPS Liverpool Declaration

Making Real Change Happen

This conference is driven by our belief that fundamental changes are needed if people who experience psychosis are to have their psychological and social care needs met adequately. The following statement, our ‘Liverpool Declaration’ sets out our beliefs about the kind of changes that are needed. Individuals and organisations who would like to express their support, please pledge support here.

View the list of supporters

ISPS Liverpool Declaration

We share a number of core principles and positions:

The nature of psychosis: We believe that the current paradigm in understanding the causes and nature of psychosis focuses too much on biological perspectives and not enough on social and psychological perspectives. Social and psychological experiences continue to be viewed as simply ‘triggering’ underlying disease processes, a perspective no longer supported by research. We believe that the time has come to reverse the balance – which we believe will lead to a fuller and more accurate understanding of these conditions. A more accurate understanding of the causes and nature of Psychosis will be found by emphasizing psychological and social perspectives, while not ignoring biological perspectives

The treatment of psychosis:  We believe that the preferred treatment of psychosis should be social and psychological interventions, with biological interventions (including medications) used sparingly,. There is now strong evidence for the efficacy of non-medical interventions, which should always be a part of every treatment plan for a person diagnosed with a psychotic disorder

Prevention of psychosis: We believe that the most efficient and cost-effective means of reducing or preventing psychosis would be to develop programs to help families and societies raise their young children, to minimize the adverse experiences that are now clearly related to the development of psychosis.

The role of the person diagnosed: We believe that individuals diagnosed with psychotic disorders (or any other mental disorder) are no less a person and no less deserving of respect than those not given a diagnosis. They, and their family (if supportive), must be as involved as much as possible in decisions about their treatment. Collaboration should be the hallmark of any approach, and persons should be offered as much choice as possible about how best to deal with the problems they are experiencing.

Political and social action: On the basis of these positions, we commit to advocate for more social and psychological approaches to the psychoses, and to increasing the public and professional understanding of psychosis as being largely a response to life experiences. We commit to advocate to government agencies for this to happen, to support research consistent with this perspective, and to use media and respond to media stories when appropriate. We support the increasing expectation of at least parity with physical health in the provision of resources for mental health disorders and for research.  Resources for psychosocial interventions should be proportionate to the evidence base for their effectiveness.

We hope that the implementation of these principles could lead to a paradigm shift in the treatment and understanding of those among us who experience psychotic symptoms or who are diagnosed with psychotic disorders.

ISPS, July 2017.

Friday, 11 August 2017 14:40

ISPS Liverpool 2017

Making real change happen

The 20th International Congress of ISPS


30th August - 3rd September 2017

at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Thursday, 09 March 2017 23:10

Art Therapy for Psychosis

Art Therapy for Psychosis presents innovative theoretical and clinical approaches to psychosis that have developed in the work of expert clinicians from around the world. It draws on insights that have emerged from decades of clinical practice to explain why and how specialised forms of art therapy constitute a particularly appropriate psychotherapeutic approach to psychosis.

The contributors present a diverse range of current theoretical perspectives on the subject, derived from the fields of neuroscience, phenomenology and cognitive analytic theory, as well as from different schools of psychoanalysis. Collectively, they offer insights into the specific potentials of art therapy as a psychotherapeutic approach to psychosis, and describe some of the specialised approaches developed with individuals and with groups over the past 20 years. Throughout the book, the meaning and relevance of art-making as a medium for holding and containing unbearable, unthinkable and unspeakable experiences within the psychotherapeutic setting becomes apparent. Several of the chapters present detailed illustrated case studies which show how making visual images with an appropriately trained art psychotherapist can be a first step on the path into meaningful relatedness.

This book offers fresh insights into the nature of psychosis, the challenges encountered by clinicians attempting to work psychotherapeutically with people in psychotic states in different settings, and the potentials of art therapy as an effective treatment approach. It will be essential reading for mental health professionals who work with psychosis, including psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and arts therapists, and those in training.

Full colour versions of the illustrations can be viewed (after purchase) at

Thursday, 19 January 2017 12:51

Publication photos

Here you can find the complete illustrations list

2.1 (Patient) First drawing of the patient: her eyes are flooded by green (p37)

2.2 (Therapist): Progressive mirror reply (p37)

2.3 (Patient): The UFO: the starship whose deafening noise terrified Anna (p38)

2.4 (Patient): The “bad UFOs” who wanted to destroy the earth (p39)

2.5 (Therapist): Progressive mirror reply (p39)

2.6 (Therapist): (detail of previous figure) The aliens are exchanging thoughts (dots) through the antennae (p40)

2.7 (Patient): The pair of plants (p41)

2.8 (Therapist): Therapist’s progressive mirror drawing: a stem of the left fruitful plant stretches and embraces the leaf of the right stripped plant (p42)

2.9 (Therapist): Detail of previous figure (p43)

2.10 (Patient): The good grey cats (p43)

2.11 (Therapist): Write on the paper: the good mother, the child waiting for the milk (p44)

2.12 (Patient): A pair of rabbits with human faces in which the one kneeling seems to ask for support from the other (p44)

2.13 (Therapist): Progressive mirror reply (p45)

2.14 (Patient): Pollino, a transitional subject made up of parts of the patient and the therapist (p45)

2.15 (Patient): The first of Anna’s self-representations (p46)

2.16 (Patient): The fiancée! (p47)

2.17 (Therapist): The gift of the flower (p47)

2.18 (Therapist and Patient): T: I brought you these flowers as a gift, Melina P: Thank you for the flowers, Pine (p48)

2.19 Detail of the previous drawing: the ‘in-florazione’ (p48)

2.20 (Patient): My eyes are open and clean (p49)

2.21 (Patient): The kiss (p50)

2.22 (Patient): The wedding (p51)

2.23 (Patient): The first night (p51)

2.24 (Patient): Pregnancy (p52)

2.25 (Patient): Salvatore (p52)

2.26 (Patient): Salvatore, is the milk sweet or bitter? (p53)

2.27 (Patient): Mum give me the milk that comes out of your breast: I’m sure it’s very beautiful (p54)

2.28 (Patient): Deformation of the face caused by the introjection of the monstrous face of the abuser (p56)

2.29 (p60)

2.30 (p61)

2.31 (p63)

3.1 Group member painting in a group session (p71)

3.2 Mountains (p79)

3.3 Sensuality and strength (p80)

3.4 Giving form to anger (p81)

7.1 The Three-Headed Girl (Modelling clay, 12 cm × 10 cm × 8 cm) (p154)

7.2 The Three-Headed Girl (Modelling clay, 12 cm × 10 cm × 8 cm) (p162)

7.3 The Prosecutor General (Soft pastels, 72 cm × 44 cm) (p164)

7.4 Playing Music and the Prosecutor General (Soft pastels, 72 cm × 104 cm) (p165)

7.5 The Map (Therapist’s copy of Kuura’s original painting) Poster paints, 52 cm × 72 cm (p167)

7.6 The Taped Map (Collage, 32 cm × 99 cm) (p169)

7.7 The Taped Map (back) (Collage, 32 cm × 99 cm) (p169)

7.8 The Girl with the Masks (Soft pastels, 104 cm × 72 cm) (p172)

8.1 Anger Eliminated; Controlling Bio-Chemistry (p188)

8.2 The Three Curses Lifted by the Immortal Keys (p189)

8.3 Curse of the Devil (p190)

8.4 Saving the Earth (p192)

8.5 Renewed Heaven and Saving the Earth (p193)

8.6 Oracle of God (p194)

8.7 Oracles of God (Poster) (p195)

Thursday, 28 July 2016 09:04

ISPS Charter of Good Practice

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ISPS Journal


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.