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Monday, 16 July 2012 10:22

The History of ISPS

The early years

The birth of ISPS - Central Europe, 1950s


Two young Swiss Psychiatrists, Christian Müller and Gaetano Benedetti, dissatisfied with the treatment of schizophrenia at the time, decided to gather together colleagues interested in the psychoanalytic treatment of schizophrenia. For the first 40 years of its existence the ISPS focused on organising Symposia every 3 years for clinicians to exchange ideas about their work. During these early years the ISPS acronym stood for the International Symposium for the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia.

1956 - The first International Symposium for the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia was held in Cery (Lausanne), Switzerland.

The following ISPS Symposia were held in Brestenberg (near Zurich) in 1959 and 1964.


1970’s – ISPS comes to Scandinavia

4th ISPS Symposium held in Turku, Finland in 1971

5th ISPS Symposium held in Oslo, Norway in 1975

6th ISPS Symposium held in Lausanne, Switzerland, 1978

7th ISPS Symposium held in Heidelberg, 1981

8th ISPS Symposium, held outside of Europe for the first time, in New Haven, USA, 1984

9th ISPS Symposium held in Turin, Italy, 1988

10th ISPS Symposium held in Stockholm, Sweden, 1991

11th ISPS Symposium held in Washington DC, 1994


Newsletter launch – First ISPS Constitution

1994, The ISPS Newsletter was launched, Endre Ugelstad was its first Editor. The first issues were printed in Norway, in black and white. Later the newsletter developed into full colour printed issues with 16 pages. With the development of the ISPS website and email discussion groups the need for a printed newsletter diminished and thus the ISPS Newsletter is now distributed in electronic format every 3 months.

12th ISPS Symposium held in London, 1997. A Constitution was agreed and the new society was inaugurated during the conference. Johan Cullberg was the first Chairperson.


Years of development

ISPS rapidly developed its infrastructure, including registration of the society in Norway as a non-profit organisation, the establishment of the first Secretariat and Treasurer, and Torleif Ruud (member of the ISPS Executive Committee 1990-2006) started working on the first ISPS website in 2000.

13th ISPS Symposium held in Stavanger, Norway, 2000.

14th ISPS Symposium, held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, in Melbourne, Australia, 2003.

ISPS launched its first website.

Local ISPS networks now in 19 countries, across 5 continents.

ISPS Book series launched in 2003, Edited by Brian Martindale. There are currently 13 books in the ISPS/Routledge series with 3 more in publication.

The first ISPS International email discussion group was started in December 2003, moderated by Chris Burford.

15th ISPS Symposium held in Madrid, Spain, 2006.

March 2009, ISPS launched its journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches’ edited by John Read.

Psychosis cover


16th ISPS Symposium held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009.

ISPS moved from triennial to biennial international congresses.

17th ISPS Symposium held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2011.

March 2012, ISPS members voted to remove the word Schizophrenia from the name of our organisation. The new name is the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis.

18th ISPS Syposium held in Warsaw, Poland, 2013.

Alison Summers and Nigel Bunker take over as Editors of the ISPS Book Series. The series now contains 17 books.

2013, a sad year for ISPS with the death of both of our founders Christian Müller and Gaetano Benedetti.

2014, ISPS Journal Psychosis moves from 3 to 4 issues per annum.

2014 ISPS adopts The ISPS Charter of Good Practice in Psychological Therapies for People Experiencing Psychosis


shutterstock 139844653


The 19th ISPS Congress was held in New York City, 18th-22nd March 2015 


The History of the ISPS book ‘Fifty Years of Humanistic Treatment of Psychoses’ by Alanen, Y., Silver, A. and Gonzalez de Chavez, M. (2006) can be downloaded for free here

isps and its symposia

Order details:
Pardox Libros, S.L.
Santa Teresa, 2 - 28004 Madrid
Tel.: (34) 91 700 40 42
Fax: (34) 91 319 59 26


ISPS Liverpool 2017
The 20th International Congress of ISPS took place in Liverpool, United Kingdom. 
Wednesday 30th August – Saturday 2nd September, 2017. 
Twitter hashtag: #isps2017uk

July 2018Alison Summers steps down as co-editor of the ISPS Book Series, Anna Lavis continues and is joined by Andrew Shepherd. The series now contains 20 books with another 10 in preparation.


July 2019, the first female Chair of ISPS is elected, Ludi Van Bouwel


ISPS Rotterdam 2019

The 21st International Congress of the ISPS took pace in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Stranger in the City: On the circular relationship between alienation and psychosis and the healing power of human reconnection.
Weds 28 August – Sunday 1 september 2019 #ispscon2019

2020 The COVID-19 pandemic disrupts plans for the ISPS Perugia 2021 congress, but instead a Virtual Conference is held for the first time in the history of ISPS, and ISPS starts organising free webinars and uploading the recordings on YouTube. View the recordings here

The future...

The 22nd International Congress of ISPS will take place in Perugia, Italy, 1st - 4th September 2022.

Sunday, 15 July 2012 19:13

EC elections 2017

ISPS Constitution

view/download pdf version




The name of the organisation shall be THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL APPROACHES TO PSYCHOSIS hereafter referred to as "The Society".


The Society will be an international society governed by the law of the country in which the official ISPS accounts are held.


The official language of the constitution and of the society is English.


The formal address for all communications shall be that of the appointed Secretariat of ISPS of that time.



5.1a - to promote the appropriate use of psychotherapy and psychological treatments for persons with schizophrenias and other psychoses.

5.1b - to promote the integration of psychological treatments in treatment plans and comprehensive treatment of all persons with schizophrenias and other psychoses.

5.1c - to promote the appropriate use of psychological understanding and psychotherapeutic approaches in all phases of the disorders including both early in the onset and in longer lasting disorders.

5.1d - to promote research into individual, group and family psychological therapies, preventative measures and other psychosocial programmes for those with psychotic disorders.

5.1e - to support psychotherapeutic treatments that include individual, family, group, and network approaches.

5.1f - to advance education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the psychological therapies and psychosocial interventions in the treatment and prevention of psychotic mental health disorders for the public benefit regardless of race, religion, gender or socio-economic status.

In pursuance of the above objectives the Society shall have the following powers:

5.2a - to promote an International Executive Committee structure for the Society to support continental, regional and national networks of professionals that will aim to fulfill the objectives in 5.1.

5.2b - to enhance awareness about the psychological therapies and psychosocial interventions amongst professionals and to make available to the general public knowledge of such therapies and interventions and where so, to bring to the public's attention the scarce availability of such therapies and interventions.

5.2c - to facilitate communication by means of publications, newsletters, journals, scientific conferences and other meetings.

5.2d - to create a central institution for the collection, provision, maintenance and spread of information and knowledge of the psychological therapies and psychosocial interventions relevant to psychotic disorders.

5.2e - to establish, carry on, promote, organise, finance and encourage the study, writing, production, publication and distribution of books, periodicals, monographs, pamphlets, articles and other literature and to arrange meetings and lectures and to arrange for the reading of papers and holding of seminars or discussions and to circulate any periodicals and literature that may be deemed advisable by the Executive Committee and to provide library facilities.

5.2f - to purchase, take on, lease or hire or otherwise acquire real or personal property and rights or privileges and to construct, maintain and alter buildings.

5.2g - subject to such consents as may be required by law, to sell, let, mortgage, dispose of or turn to account all or any of the property or assets of the Society.

5.2h - to undertake and execute any charitable trusts which may lawfully be undertaken by the Society.

5.2i - to borrow or raise money on such terms and on such security as may be thought fit provided that the Executive Committee shall not undertake permanent trading activities in raising fundsfor the said objects.

5.2j - to establish and support or aid in the establishment and support of any associations or institutions in accordance with the aims in ARTICLE 5.1 and to subscribe or guarantee money for charitable purposes.

5.2k - to join or affiliate or cooperate with and subscribe to any association, society or corporation and to purchase or otherwise acquire and undertake all or any part of the property, assets, liabilities and engagements of any such association, society or corporation.

5.2l - to do all such other things as shall further the said objects or any of them, but not to do anything which will breach the national law of a member state.


Membership shall be open to all individuals, groups and organisations of mental health professionals, administrators and legislators, including interested lay persons, users of mental health services and family members upon payment of the subscription fee. The executive committee has the absolute power to exclude from membership persons that it considers would not benefit the organisation and its objectives.  Membership is not indicative of, and must not be used to indicate any form of professional competence or expertise.

Members may organise themselves into ISPS membership groups providing they agree to the ISPS constitution and the group pays the membership fees determined by the executive.


7.1 - The affairs of the Society shall be managed by an International Executive Committee.

7.2 - The Executive Committee will be composed of up to eight members who will each be elected by ballot every three years.

7.3 - THE CHAIRPERSON shall be elected from amongst the Executive Committee members and by the Executive Committee members at its first meeting following the last election for members. Other Executive members will be appointed by the Executive Committee itself to the positions needed for its functioning. These shall include a treasurer and a secretary and minutes shall be taken of all meetings and decisions made.

7.4 - Members of the Executive Committee may resign by giving notice in writing to the secretary.

7.5 - The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any failure to appoint or by any defect in the appointment of any member.

7.6 - The Executive Committee shall be convened at least annually by the chairperson. An official convening may take the form of meetings that are face to face, by telephone or video link and that involve a quorum of members. A quorum shall be at least four elected members. Additional meetings must be called by the chairperson if at least four Executive Committee Members sign a letter expressing a request to meet.

7.7 - The Executive Committee may from time to time appoint such sub-committees as may be deemed necessary, and may determine their terms of reference, powers, duration and composition, provided that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be fully and promptly reported to the Executive Committee.

7.8 - The Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint and dismiss a paid secretary and such other employees of the Society, not being members of the Executive Committee as it may from time to time determine, or to arrange with any other organisation for the provision of secretarial and administrative services.

7.9 - The Executive Committee shall have the final authority to determine membership of the Society.

7.10 - The majority of members shall determine the frequency of meetings and the time of the next meeting.  Decisions about any issue including the modality of communicating and the method of voting shall be decided by simple majority.  In the event of tie vote the Chairperson will cast an extra vote.

7.11 - The Executive Committee has the power to make 'Honourary Life Member Awards' for up to a total of twelve living persons who have made outstanding professional contributions to activities that correspond to the Objectives of the Society.


The Executive Committee must call Formal General Meetings of the network which must take place at least every three calendar years.

*8.2 - At the Formal General Meeting the business shall include reporting the results of elections to the Executive Committee and consideration of a general report of the Executive Committee and the accounts.

Other items for the agenda shall be submitted to the Secretary three months before the General Meeting

8.3 - At least 6 months prior to elections, the Executive Committee shall appoint from amongst its members a nominating committee of at least three persons. In forming this committee the Executive Committee shall be mindful of the need for both geographical representation and experience of the International Society.

8.4 - Notification of elections shall be given to all members, at least three calendar months before the election. The closing date for receipt of nominations shall be two calendar months before the date of election.

8.5 - All nominations must be proposed and seconded by subscribing Society members and may be accompanied by a supporting statement.

8.6 - The list  of nominees and information as to the form in which voting will take place must be sent to subscribing members at least one clear calendar month before the closing date of elections

8.7 - Though it is permissible for there to be more than two nominations from members resident in the same country, no more than two members whose usual residence is in the same country in the year of election may be elected to the Executive Committee. With this exception the (up to) eight nominees with the greatest number of votes shall be elected to the Executive Committee. In the event of a tie for the final places, the other members of the New Executive Committee will vote between those tied persons for the final place(s). In the event of less than eight nominations, the EC shall co-opt additional members to the committee as long as there are no more than two persons from any one country on the overall committee.


9.1 - The Executive Committee shall have power to obtain, collect and receive money and funds by way of contributions, donations, subscriptions, deeds of covenant, legacies, grants or any other lawful method, and to accept and receive gifts of property of any description.

9.2 - The Executive Committee shall determine the level of subscriptions and the METHODS OF PAYMENTS and require payment of fees within such time as the Executive Committee shall determine but not less than one month from the demand. No person shall be entitled to vote if that person has not paid his dues within a period of SIX months following demand. The Executive Committee shall also have the power to expel a person or organisation for non-payment of fees.

9.3 - The income and property of the Society, whencesoever derived, shall be applied solely towards the object of the Society as set forth in ARTICLE 5 and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to any member of the Executive Committee: provided that nothing herein shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any servant of the Executive Committee not being a member of the committee, or the repayment to members of the Executive Committee or any sub-committee appointed under ARTICLE 9.10 hereof of reasonable and proper out of pocket expenses.

9.4 - The financial year shall run from 1st January to the 31st December.

9.5 - A Treasurer shall be appointed at the discretion of the Executive Committee from among the members of the EC by majority vote.  The outgoing treasurer shall act as advisor to the new treasurer for the first 6 months of his/her tenure. The functions and duties of the Treasurer shall be defined by the Executive Committee. The funds of the Society including dues, proceeds from meetings, subscriptions, royalties from ISPS publications and expense payments to editors, donations and bequests, shall be paid into an account or accounts administered by the Treasurer.  Duties of the treasurer shall include but not be limited to making an annual budget for the Society and making regular financial reports to the Executive Committee.


The Society may be dissolved by a Resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose of which at least 21 days’ notice shall have been given to the members.

Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Society, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Society.  Such assets or property but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Society as the Society may determine. If and in so far as effect cannot be given to this provision then to some other charitable purpose.


Alteration to this Constitution shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the members voting in a ballot formally organised by the Executive. A resolution for the alteration of the constitution must be received in writing by the Secretary of the Society at least four  months before the closing date of the ballot. At least two calendar months clear notice of such a ballot must  be given by the Secretary to the membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed.

Sunday, 15 July 2012 19:08

Contact Us

ISPS Chair
Dr Ludi van Bouwel 


ISPS Treasurer:
Julie Kipp


ISPS International Organiser:
Antonia Svensson

Sunday, 15 July 2012 18:50

Developing Organizational Alliances

ISPS is planning to cooperate, in a variety of ways, with other organizations that share some of our goals. Planned cooperative efforts may include: 1) presenting at each other’s conferences or events, 2) advertising organizational events on ISPS’s website, 3) issuing joint statements to media or 4) jointly organizing events, initiatives or research projects.

ISPS is pursuing cooperative efforts with six other organizations: ENTER, INTAR, INTERVOICE, IEPA, ISPPD and WAPR.

INTAR is the International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (, which includes a wide range of professionals, service users and family members. They advocate alternatives to traditional medical approaches to psychosis. The opening paragraph from their home page reads:

The International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery gathers prominent survivors, professionals, family members, and advocates from around the world to work together for new clinical and social practices in response to emotional distress and what is often labeled as psychosis. Based in leading edge research and successful innovations, INTAR believes the prevailing biomedical overreliance on diagnoses, hospitals, and medications has failed to respect the dignity and autonomy of the person in crisis, and that full recovery must be at the center of ethical care. 

INTAR held a conference in Liverpool, England 25-27 June 2014; a member of the ISPS Executive Committee, John Read, was involved in the conference planning. 

ENTER is the European Network on Training, Evaluation and Research in Mental Health ( This is a small organization focused particularly on rehabilitation of psychosis and on research, and is primarily made up of professionals. 

Their website states:

The Mission of ENTER is to promote and defend the highest standards of mental health promotion, training and care in Europe based on collaborative research.

The Network believes that cultural diversity is not a disadvantage but rather a source of richness for understanding mental health issues and recognises that the mental health of European citizens will be enhanced through collaborative research between mental health service deliverers. Furthermore it recognises that the mental health of European citizens will be enhanced through the participation of mental health service users in establishing research and training priorities and through interfacing with carer and user organisations on a European level.

ENTER held a conference in Barcelona, Spain, on 16-17 June 2014. Debra Lampshire, of the ISPS Executive Committee, spoke at the conference. More information can be found here:!conference/cdg8 

INTERVOICE is the International Network for Training, Education, and Research into Hearing Voices ( They are the international ‘umbrella’ organization for hearing voices networks in many countries. Their website states:

INTERVOICE is an international organisation that both promotes the emancipation of voice hearers and the development of best practice in working with those that hear distressing voices.

The stated aims of INTERVOICE include to:

  • show that hearing voices is a normal though unusual variation in human behaviour
  • show that the problem is not hearing voices but the inability to cope with the experience
  • increase the quality and quantity of mutual support available to all people and organisations involved in hearing voices work across the world
  • make our work more effective and develop more non-medical ways of helping voice hearers cope with their experiences.

The current president of INTERVOICE is the psychiatrist Dirk Corstens, from Maastricht, the Netherlands. INTERVOICE sponsored the 6th World Hearing Voices Congress, which was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, 10-12 October 2014. ISPS sponsored Anastassios Koukis of ISPS-Hellas to represent ISPS at that congress and give a presentation at that conference which included the goals and objectives of ISPS.

IEPA is the International Early Psychosis Association (, an international network for the study and treatment of psychosis. The IEPA website states the following:

The IEPA is an international network for those involved in the study and treatment
of early psychosis. We aim to enhance awareness of early psychosis and the process of recovery and to provide a network for international communication and collaboration between stakeholders

IEPA held their 11th international conference on early psychosis in Boston, 7-10th October 2018. More information about the conference may be found here:

ISSPD is the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (

Its website states the following:

The International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders, ISSPD, stimulates and supports scholarship, clinical experience, international collaboration and communication of research on all aspects of personality disorders including both diagnosis, course and treatment.

The 14th ISSPD conference was held in Montreal, Canada, from 13-17 October 2015. More information about the conference may be found here:

WAPR is the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (, a global non-governmental organization for people experiencing mental health problems.

WAPR held its 14th World Congress in Madrid, Spain in July 2018. WAPR and ISPS co-sponsored each other’s conferences in 2015 and have developed a partnership since. Further information can be found here: and 


Sunday, 15 July 2012 18:18

Institutional membership of ISPS

Why should my organisation join? Benefits include:

  • Disounted fees for ISPS International Congresses (for one designated individual only) 
  • 1 copy of the ISPS Journal 'Psychosis' per issue (currently 4 issues per year)
  • Online access to 'Psychosis' (for one designated individual only)
  • Your institution/organisation can advertise its conferences and events on our website, in the ISPS International Newsletter and via our social media accounts, without cost
  • Your institution/organisation will be listed on our website as a supportive member of ISPS together with some information about you and a link to your site
  • We will assist you to increase the knowledge of your members about psychological therapies for psychoses and this will increase the chances of their implementation as recommended by guidelines and as requested by many patients and families

Institutional Membership Fees

 Fees vary according to the size of your institution/organisation (per annum)

  • over 1000 employees / members: €400
  • 1000–500 employees / members: €300
  • 500–200 employees / members: €225
  • less than 200 employees / members: €200

These prices will be given further discounts according to the World Bank List of Economies:

Category A countries (high income): no discount
Category B (upper-middle income): pay 80% of fees
Category C (lower-middle income countries): pay 60% of fees
Category D (low income countries): pay 40% of fees

For further assistance with becoming an Institutional Member of ISPS please email Antonia Svensson, ISPS International Organiser on 

Join / renew membership of ISPS here

Payments are being processed by a secure payment gateway paypal-secure-payments


NEW MEMBER! Vedadrama India Pvt. Ltd. Is a training institute based in Chennai and also with a presence in Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai. It educates counsellors, therapists, coaches and other medical and non-medical staff in sociometry, psychodrama and group-therapy including “sociatry” approaches with humanistic background. The students are senior professionals and university degree holders studying psychotherapy, counselling and coaching for use in private practice mainly. Vedadrama joined ISPS as an Institutional Member in May 2018.

SUS norsk
Stavanger University Hospital
Stavanger University Hospital employs approximately 6 500 people and serves as  the local hospital from the municipality of Hjelmeland in the north to the municipality of Sokndal in the south, and it is the central hospital of Rogaland county. The hospital has four main tasks: Patient care, research, education of health personnel and patient training.
Stavanger University Hospital have been an Institutional member of ISPS for over 10 years.


The Hanna Segal Institute for Psychoanalytical Studies
The Hanna Segal Institute for Psychoanalytical Studies (Poland) promotes and develops psychoanalytical ideas and Hanna Segal's discoveries. The Institute cooperates with Public Health Sector and Universities. ISPHS currently runs three clinical programmes:
- psychoanalytic psychotherapy of psychosis and depressions
- psychological help for old people
-perinatal help
The Hanna Segal Institute joined ISPS in 2013. 

casa de alba
Casa de Alba
Casa de Alba is a therapeutic community for mental health, near Estremoz in Portugal. Casa de Alba joined ISPS in 2013.
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Fundacion para la Investigacion y Tratamiento de la Esquizofrenia y otras Psicosis
Fundacion para la Investigacion y Tratamiento de la Esquizofrenia y otras Psicosis have held an annual schizophrenia course for mental health care professionals over the past 18 years, aiming to facilitate communication between professions. They have been an Institutional member of ISPS since 2006.
Italian Society for Integrated Psychotherapy
Founded in 1984, SIPI is specialised in the treatment of psychotic patients within a Phenomenological-Existential approach. SIPI has over 300 doctors and psychologists and integrates teaching and clinic within residential and semi-residential settings and social psychotherapy centres for children and adults, managed by "Integrations Cooperative".
SIPI became an institutional member of ISPS in 2015.
Sunday, 15 July 2012 17:07

Individual membership of ISPS

If an ISPS group exists in your country please join ISPS through your regional groupRegional groups determine the membership fees for their individual members. These are usually substantially cheaper than Individual Membership of ISPS International with the same benefits. 

Fees for Individual Membership of ISPS International

€92 per annum (€46 full-time students / unemployed)

€46 per annum reduced rate for lower income countries (€23 full-time students / unemployed)


Why should I join ISPS?


  • You can join any of our many e-mail discussion groups - available to ISPS members only - to access information and engage in dialogue with over 1,500 members around the world who share your interest in psychological and social approaches to psychosis
  • You will receive 4 issues per annum of the ISPS Journal: ‘Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches' 
  • Members have online access to all issues of the journal Psychosis (over 10 years worth of research)
  • You will receive the ISPS E-Newsletter three to four times per annum
  • Enjoy reduced delegate fees at ISPS international conferences
  • Take advantage of the ISPS member 20% discount on all books published in the ISPS series when purchased through Routledge!

How can I join ISPS?


Please note that these instructions are for ISPS International membership only. If you are applying for / renewing your regional ISPS group membership (e.g. ISPS UK or ISPS US) then you must visit the regional group's website (or see the relevant country page of this site) for details of how to pay your fees directly to your regional group. Your fees cannot be paid on this webpage. If you need further assistance please email ISPS

In order to join ISPS International follow two simple steps

1. Click here to complete the application form - once you have completed the application form you will be redirected to a secure web page where you will be asked to pay your membership fee to PayPal (step 2) using any major debit or credit card (you do not need to have a PayPal account to make a payment).

2. Pay your membership fee online by clicking on the button below!

Renewing Individual Members of ISPS International can go straight to step 2. Remember to let us know via email if your contact details have changed.

If you prefer to pay your membership fee via international bank transfer please email ISPS for further information.

Payments are being processed by a secure payment gateway paypal-secure-payments
Saturday, 11 April 2009 11:50

ISPS Newsletter Spring 2009

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 10:07

Welcome to ISPS

ISPS is an international organization promoting psychological and social treatments for persons with psychosis (a term which includes persons diagnosed with "schizophrenia"). We are committed to advancing education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the treatment and prevention of psychotic mental disorders. We seek to achieve the best possible outcomes for service user/survivors of psychosis by engaging in meaningful partnership with health professionals, people with lived experience, family members and carers. 
The ISPS Charter of Good Practice in Psychological Therapies for People Experiencing Psychosis
Friday, 06 July 2012 13:45

How to form an ISPS group


  1. How do I actually go about starting up a regional ISPS group?
  2. What are the requirements for being a regional group of ISPS?
  3. What do ISPS regional groups do?
  4. Is there a minimum fee that the regional group should charge its members?
  5. Must the group be only for professionals?
  6. Does a regional ISPS group have to cover a whole country?


1. How do I actually go about starting up a regional ISPS group?

There are two main ways; you can either find other like-minded people and get together to think about what you might like to get out of forming a regional ISPS group, or you may already be part of an existing group of people who meet from time to time (e.g. to discuss research or clinical material relevant to the objectives of ISPS) and you may wish to give the ISPS name to that group. There is no need to “reinvent the wheel” where such a group already exists.


2. What are the requirements for being a regional group of ISPS?

  • The primary aim of the network / group must be the promotion and development of psychological therapies for persons vulnerable to psychosis (this term includes people diagnosed with "schizophrenia")
  • The regional group must pay annual fees to the main ISPS (see point 4 below).
  • The fees to ISPS are kept to the absolute minimum to allow for a maximum growth potential of regional groups.
  • The regional group must keep a reliable, up to date membership list and send regular updates to ISPS upon request.
  • The constitution of the ISPS must be accepted. 

3. What do ISPS regional groups do?

Some groups hold regular conferences, others hold smaller annual or biannual meetings and workshops. If a regional group would like to host a larger conference (e.g. in order to generate money for its ISPS activities) we can help you to find good speakers and to publicise the event. Regional ISPS groups are encouraged to make use of social media and e-mail discussion groups to actively engage with their members, and some groups such as ISPS-UK and ISPS-US produce their own local ISPS newsletter which their members receive in addition to the ISPS International Newsletter. All ISPS groups are entitled to a free webpage within the ISPS website, or can maintain their own website with a link from the main ISPS site.

Please read the ISPS constitution to learn more about what ISPS is trying to achieve.


4. Is there a minimum fee that the regional group should charge its members?

No, but it is in your interest to start charging your members a fee fairly soon, as you will need to start paying network fees to ISPS as soon as the regional group has been established. Network fees are due each 1st May (currently €23 per member). This amount covers the cost of each ISPS member receiving individual copies of the ISPS journal Psychosis 4 issues per annum, online acess to the ISPS journal Psychosis, as well as a contribution towards the other services provided to local groups by ISPS such as the website, ISPS Newsletter and the work of the ISPS International Organiser for the regional groups. Groups in countries defined by the World Bank as low and lower-middle income only pay ISPS a reduced fee of €15 per member. For further information visit


5. Must the regional group be only for professionals?

No, we encourage you to also offer membership of the regional group to people with lived experience of psychosis, family members and carers, and other interested persons to promote dialogue. Several ISPS regional groups have an increasingly diverse membership, not only in terms of including more service users and family members than in the past but also in terms of the mental health professions represented (increasing numbers of nurses, social workers, arts therapists etc). Some regional groups offer bursaries to service users or family members to enable their participation in ISPS conferences, and significantly reduced fees at ISPS conferences are also available. ISPS International also encourages regional groups to inlcude more members from black and ethnic minority communities and recently gave a grant to ISPS UK for this purpose.


6. Does a regional ISPS group have to cover a whole country?

No. If your country is very large it may make better sense to establish more than one regional ISPS group. It may be better to start with a local ISPS network in your own geographical area or city, and other groups may develop elsewhere in your country with time. Contact ISPS for further guidance.


PDF flyer 

For further information please contact ISPS

Friday, 06 July 2012 11:02

About us

The ISPS Executive Committee (ISPS EC) is composed of eight members who are elected by ballot, by the ISPS membership, at least every three years. The current chairperson is Ludi van Bouwel. The ISPS EC is made up of people with a wide range of interests and experience, all of whom donate their time voluntarily, and all of whom are highly committed to the common aim of advancing education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the treatment and prevention of psychotic mental disorders for the public benefit.

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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.