Thursday, 27 June 2013 09:38

Psychosis and Emotion

There is increasing recognition that emotional distress plays a significant part in the onset of psychosis, the experience of psychosis itself and in the unfolding of recovery that follows. This book brings together leading international experts to explore the role of emotion and emotion regulation in the development and recovery from psychosis.

Psychosis and Emotion offers extensive clinical material and cutting-edge research with a focus on:

the diverse theoretical perspectives on the importance of emotion in psychosis

the interpersonal, systemic and organisational context of recovery from psychosis and the implications for emotional distress

the implications of specific perspectives for promoting recovery from psychosis

With thorough coverage of contemporary thinking, including psychoanalytic, cognitive, developmental, evolutionary and neurobiological, this book will be a valuable resource to clinicians and psychological therapists working in the field.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 08:57

Surviving, Existing or Living

For professionals working with people who experience severe psychosis, increasing empirical evidence for the benefits of psychotherapy for psychosis has been especially welcome. Given the limitations of medication-only approaches and the need for an expanded perspective, including for those diagnosed with schizophrenia, Surviving, Existing, or Living takes a fresh look at severe psychosis, offering a heuristic model for understanding psychosis along a continuum of severity, from the extreme experience of acutely impairing psychosis to a more enriched life experience.

Pamela Fuller emphasizes that facilitating recovery from psychosis requires appropriately and effectively matching the type and timing of interventions to client readiness and capabilities. The need to consider each individual according to which of three primary issues/phases preoccupy the person with psychosis is essential for tailoring treatment. She identifies these phases as:

Surviving Phase – preoccupation with survival

Existing Phase – preoccupation with restriction of life experiences in order to cope

Living Phase – preoccupation with quality of life and relationships

Surviving, Existing, or Living examines the rationale for these three phases, and provides details of phase-specific treatment interventions as well as a 'how to' guide for facilitating engagement and for determining 'what to do when,' including with those experiencing acute, severe psychosis. Rich clinical case examples are provided to highlight concepts and the types of interventions. Trauma-specific and group interventions for psychosis are also described, as well as ways to foster resilience in the professional who works with individuals with psychosis.

Surviving, Existing, or Living offers a detailed guide to help individuals experiencing psychosis move from suffering to recovery, beyond surviving or existing toward more fully living. The book will be essential reading for professionals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, counseling, medicine, social work, nursing, occupational, recreational, and vocational therapies, experience-based experts, and students.

Friday, 31 May 2013 13:07

Christian Müller


(Biography written at time of nomination.)

Christian Müller was born in 1921 in Münsingen near Berne/Switzerland where his father, Prof. Max Müller, was medical director of a great psychiatric hospital. His grand-father, too, was a psychiatrist. Christian Müller achieved his studies of medicine in Berne in 1946 and habilitated in psychiatry and psychotherapy under Manfred Bleuler in Zurich in 1957. From 1960 through 1982, he was ordinary professor of psychiatry and director of the psychiatric university clinic of Cery/Lausanne, Switzerland.

On the base of a classical medical, psychopathological and psychanalytic-psychotherapeutic education, he developed a deep interest in the long-term dynamics of the main mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia. Already since the fifties of the last century, he was an engaged reformer of institutional psychiatry in Switzerland and one of the worlds first pioneers of a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy of schizophrenia. In 1956, he founded with Gaetano Benedetti from Basel/Switzerland an international working group on this topic which organised periodic international symposia on the psychotherapy of schizophrenia, first in Zurich and Lausanne, and later abroad.  This group This group marked the very beginnings of the later International Society for Schizophrenia Psychotherapy.

Christian Müller's main research focus was on long-term evolution of mental illnesses until old age. His catamnestic long-term investigations on all main psychiatric illnesses which he inaugurated in the sixties under the name "The Lausanne Enquête" are among the longest in the world. After his retirement in 1982, he mainly worked on historical psychiatric themes. He has published a great number of scientific papers and books, covering different fields of psychiatry. As member of several national and international scientific societies, he was also influential in reforming psychiatric care structures and promoting community-related networks for rehabilitation. Furthermore, he was as a core-member of the editor-board of "Psychiatrie der Gegenwart", the leading German psychiatric encyclopaedia. As co-founder of an European working group for geriatric psychiatry, he was also one of the earliest European psychiatrists who developed a special interest in old age psychiatry on which he published the first text-book. He earned several internationational scientific awards and was promoted Doctor honoris causa of the University of Heidelberg in 1980. On the international as well as on the national level, where he is looked at as "the grand old man" of Swiss psychiatry, he is highly estimated for both his professional and his human qualities. He currently lives in Berne/Switzerland where he continues to be an active psychotherapist and psychoanalyst.

Honors: Hermann-Simon Award (Germany) 1971, Theodor Nägeli Award (Switzerland) 1976, Member of the Akademie Leopoldina (Germany)

Main books:

Mikropsie und Makropsie (Karger, Basel 1956)

Über das Senium der Schizophrenen (Karger, Basel 1967)

Alterspsychiatrie (Thieme, Stuttgart 1967) / Abrégé de psychogériatrie (Masson, Paris 1981)

Lexikon der Psychiatrie (Springer, Berlin 1973)

(with L. Ciompi as first author): Lebensweg und Alter der Schizophrenen (Springer, Berlin 1976)

Les maladies psychiques et leur évolution (Huber, Berne 1981)

Les institutions psychiatriques (Springer, Berlin 1982)

Etudes sur la psychothérapie des psychoses (Privat, Toulouse 1982)

Die Gedanken werden handgreiflich (Springer, Berlin 1992)

Vom Tollhaus zum Psychozentrum (Pressler, Hürtgenwald 1993) / De l'asile au centre psychosocial (Payot, Lausanne 1997)

Wer hat die Geisteskranken von den Ketten befreit? (Psychiatrieverlag, Bonn 1998)

Paul Dubois (1848-1918) (Schwabe, Basel 2001)

Rorschach, Briefwechsel (Huber, Bern 2004)

Luc Ciompi


It is with great sadness that we mourn the recent passing of our ISPS co-founder Professor Christian Müller. Together with Gaetano Benedetti, Christian Müller co-founded ISPS in Switzerland in 1956. Professor Müller has inspired many clinicians over the past decades and it was a great honour for many of us to meet him at the International ISPS congress in Madrid in 2006, which was also the 50 year anniversary for ISPS.

Müller (1978) emphasized the importance of making attempts to understand, make contact and dialogue with the person suffering from schizophrenia in contrast to the Jasperian legacy which claims the incomprehensibility of psychotic symptoms.

Müller (1984) pointed out that the therapist’s personal motivations in doing the work plays a key role in the unfolding “common adventure” and “common destiny.” One must avoid, Müller noted, treating the patient as an object. Christian Müller’s research interest was on the long-term evolution of mental illnesses until old age.

Professor Christian Müller will be very much missed by many family members, friends, colleagues and patients. We hope we can continue and carry forward his monumental contributions to the field. Professor Müller will be honoured at a special talk, dedicated to his life and work, during the ISPS 2013 congress in Warsaw this August.

The ISPS Executive Committee

April 2013

The first International Symposium for the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia was held in Cery (Lausanne), Switzerland in 1956, organised by Gaetano Benedetti and Christian Müller

letter of invitation to 1st ISPS syposium in 1956

translation of letter of invitation

list of people invited part 1

list of people invited part 2


Monday, 29 April 2013 12:02

ISPS Russia


Friday, 12 April 2013 08:52

Russian Speaking ISPS group

Our Russian-speaking group members faced ISPS first in 2000. At that time five Stavropol and St. Petersburg professionals were invited by Svein Haugsgjerd to participate in the ISPS congress in Stavanger. For the next years a fruitful Russian-Norwegian collaboration developed in the field of contemporary psychiatry with the support of The Mental Health Information Foundation “Psykopp”. Gerd-Ragna Bloch Thorsen, Jan Olav Johannessen, Jan-Erik Nilsen, Anna-Lisa Oksnevad and many other visited Stavropol to share knowledge and experience. And health care professionals from Stavropol annually travel to Stavanger on Schizophrenia Days.


Первые контакты с ISPS представителей нашей группы состоялись в 2000 году. Тогда 5 специалистов из Ставрополя и Санкт-Петербурга приняли участие в конгрессе ISPS в Ставангере по приглашению Свейна Хаугсгерда.

May 25-26, 2013 Stavropol will host the 9th Annual Conference of the Stavropol Regional Psychoanalytical Association. This year the conference will be organized together with the South-Russian Psychoanalytical Society. The theme this year is The Other in Psychoanalysis: from Split to Differentiation. The phenomena presented in the theme have become, as we view it, part and parcel of any contemporary psychoanalytical research. In each clinical case, in theoretical research and applied psychoanalysis, in this or that way the issues arise that are linked to human relationships and development, connected with separation, individuality and understanding the other one, understanding oneself through the other one, as well as understanding the other one in oneself.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 08:54

Membership of ISPS Russia

Thursday, 28 February 2013 13:16

Models of Madness 2nd Edition

"Truly, a revolution is occurring in our understanding of severe mental illness. ... This volume will serve as an inspiration, not only to established clinicians and researchers, but to the young people who will develop better services for ...people with psychosis in the future." - Richard Bentall, from the Foreword

Models of Madness Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis Second Edition
24th May 2013: 448pp. Pb: 978-0-415-57953-7: £29.99
Series: The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Book Series

"The publication is very timely given the international debate about this month's publication of DSM-5, the latest and most controversial version of psychiatry's diagnostic 'bible'. Our book documents all the evidence showing that these diagnoses are unscientific and a major cause of the stigma faced by people who receive these labels. It also presents the research demonstrating the urgent need for a fundamental paradigm shift towards evidence-based, effective and humane mental health services." - Prof John Read, Lead Editor

This second edition of Models of Madness challenges those who hold to simplistic, pessimistic and often damaging theories and treatments of madness. In particular it challenges beliefs that madness can be explained without reference to social causes and challenges the excessive preoccupation with chemical imbalances and genetic predispositions as causes of human misery, including the conditions that are given the name ‘schizophrenia’.
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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.