I´m a clinical psychologist from Brazil.
I´m a clinical psychologist from Brazil. My experience at the 20th ISPS conference in Liverpool in August 2017 was life-changing. My very first impression of this conference was the sense of democracy: at ISPS meetings all participants are invited to share their personal and professional experiences and they are treated equally, with respect and di gnity. The hosts gave us all support to make us feel comfortable and welcome. And I really felt this way. As the only Brazilian at the Liverpool conference, I felt recognized and comfortable to share my work experience with teenagers in conflict with the law and using psychotropic medications in a juvenile hall.
In Liverpool I also met with other participants from Chile and Argentina. This led to a desire to form an ISPS Latin America group, to make a real change happen in our countries. Despite the differences between Latin countries, we support the same principles: the emphasis psychological and social interventions and the need to decolonize mental health. The ISPS experience was a great opportunity to built networks. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to listen to professionals who guided my perspective about psychic suffering such as John Read. I also could learn more about different approaches to work with psychic suffering, such as Multi Family Group Therapy and the Open Dialogue interventions.
Finally, I could recognize the main personal change when I accepted that “I am a family member” for the very first time. At this conference, I didn’t feel judged or shamed. I felt proud of being a survivor and trying to do something useful with all the pain involved in being a daughter of someone who has suffered from mental illness. Because of all this, I want to share my gratitude for this support which has helped me to integrate my shadows and virtues making me a better human and a better psychologist.