Accredited for 34 continuing educational credits by the World Psychiatric Association.


The need for a public health approach of psychosis to include migrants and their children

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Why is the risk to be found psychotic so much higher for migrants and their offspring than for the general population? The relative risk can easily be up to five times.

The hypothesis that social exclusion is at least an important part of the explanation is confirmed by a recent published meta-analysis of studies (Selten, Ven, & Termorshuizen, 2019). Another important review study found ethnic minorities (again) at an excess risk of all psychotic disorders (Jongsma, Turner, Kirkbride, & Jones, 2019). A public health approach is definitely needed (Anderson, 2019), consisting of psychological and social ways to deal with psychosis and especially adapted for migrants and their children. Just how to do this is to be a central question for the 2019 conference of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis: STRANGER IN THE CITY- On the circular relationship between alienation and psychosis and the healing power of human reconnection (


Open access references;

Selten, J., Ven, E. Van Der, & Termorshuizen, F. (2019). Migration and psychosis : a meta-analysis of incidence studies. Psychological Medicine. For direct open access: for direct open access:

Jongsma, H. E., Turner, C., Kirkbride, J. B., & Jones, P. B. (2019). Articles International incidence of psychotic disorders , 2002 – 17 : a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 4(5), e229–e244. For direct open access:

Anderson, K. K. (2019). Comment Towards a public health approach to psychotic disorders. The Lancet Public Health, 4(5), e212–e213. For direct open access: ]


Dr. Victor Kouratovsky


Labyrinth Psychotica THE WEARABLE

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Labyrinth Psychotica THE WEARABLE is an interactive augmented reality cinema walk that functions as a do-it-yourself-psychosis-kit. A form of serious gaming that aims to stimulate our understanding of the subjective experience of being in psychosis. The project also aims to stimulate discourse regarding psychosis simulation projects that have been developed in a scientific context.

Labyrinth Psychotica has been made possible with the support of Fonds Psychische Gezondheid in a consortium with Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust.

Labyrinth Psychotica The Wearable has been created by Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) in the context of an artistic research PhD conducted at Plymouth University, Planetary Collegium, M-Node, NABA. For more information please visit

Filmed during the 10th (F)ACT Congress
September 20th 2012, Oosterpoort Groningen

with, in order of appearance
Mike Slade, Christy van Kapel, Erik Derks, Menno Moraal, Docus Engwerda, Sandra van de Weijer

Camera and Edit
Zoot Derks


Winner of the 2019 The David B. Feinsilver Award

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Arpita Gupta is a doctoral student of psychology at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. The awards committee received a large number of high quality applications this year, and voted in favour of supporting a young professional who has not had the opportunity to travel and attend an international congress to date. Arpita will be presenting her research at the 21st International Conference of the ISPS in Rotterdam during the summer of 2019

Contributions to the David Feinsilver fund may be sent to the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region: CFNCR – Feinsilver Fund: 1112 16th Street NW, Suite 340; Washington, DC 20036.

For futher information e-mail


The David B. Feinsilver Award: A scholarship to fund travel expenses to the ISPS Congress

David B. Feinsilver, M.D. was a long-time staff member at the Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, U.S.A, where he chaired its Symposium Committee. A former president of ISPS, the chair of its 1994 meeting in Washington, and the founder of ISPS-US, he established a fund before he died after a long illness. This fund grants a scholarship to fund travel expenses to each ISPS International congress, for the best research or clinical paper on the psychotherapeutic treatment of the severely disturbed.

Applications for the 2021 Award – not yet open

If you are interested in applying you for this grant you must indicate so during the ISPS 2021 abstract submission process. Applications will only be considered from people who cannot afford to attend the congress without financial support. The award will be given to the best research or clinical paper by a newcomer, who cannot otherwise afford to attend the congress.


Day 3. Psychosis, (forced) migration, society and politics

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While on Day 3 the plenary keynotes address the ways how a society can integrate otherness and strangeness on the first half of day, the very rich program of the second half combines symposia, workshops and oral presentations that explore important related subthemes.


One of the very interesting symposia is presented as well as shown and performed by a special and swinging group of professors, lecturers and their students of the universities of applied sciences of Rotterdam, The Hague, and Amsterdam and is on the primary role of education for society and mental health.


Education, Ex/Inclusion and Mental Wellbeing
Education is essential to integrate and connect different experiences and people and to build community and society. This also makes access to education a primary political, social, and psychological issue. So how are access and the result of education defined?

Aminata Cairo, Femke Kaulingfreks and Teana Boston-Mammah each show and criticize from within and in different ways how standardization and the meritocratic educational system itself may lead to the exclusion and marginalization of different potentials, of other forms of talent and identity. Together with their students, they express and put into word and image the processes students are subjected to by educational standardization and classroom dynamics and the impact this has on their mental wellbeing. Tina Rahimy concludes that in order to guarantee genuine access for all there is a need for an explicit sense of the inclusive community to strife for as well as a permanent learning environment on all levels and for all ages.


Victor Kournatovsky

publiciteit foto Tina Rahimy

Tina Rahimy

Teana Boston-Mammah-web
Femke Kaulingfreks-web
Aminata Cairo-web

Teana Boston-Mammah

Femke Kaulingfreks

Aminata Cairo


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During my borderline psychosis – I call it this because this is how I learnt to explain it to people  many years later- I experienced a feeling that can best be described as being totally cut off from my own feelings but also cut off from the world around me. It felt as if I was wrapped up in a thick layer of cellophane, as if my own sense of being and the world around me was being played out behind a thick plate of glass. It sometimes felt as if my head had become a satellite, circling the earth at a vast distance and at terrifying speed. In a desperate attempt to keep a grip on what was happening to me, my thoughts were racing around at a hundred miles an hour.

My whole perception of things which I had always taken for granted had changed. I had images of myself as an astronaut whose lifeline to his spacecraft had been cut and who was forever destined to float in a dark and infinite universe. These images may seem like a symptom of a psychotic episode but I perceive it as a resourceful attempt of my mind or spirit to communicate the reality that I was experiencing at that moment in time.

Only much later did I come across a book that for the first time described all my feelings and experiences. The book was written by Sacha van Rood and is called ‘Autisme/depersonalizatie/derealisatie (autism/depersonalization/decreolization)

On the site of the title came with the attached information that ‘…the boek is chaotic and unclear’.

I guess this is just a matter of perspective. For me the book was invaluable because it was the first in which I was able not only to recognize my own experience of the condition, it also enabled me to place the whole experience in a much more holistic perspective because it put it in the meaningful context of how human beings function, how they react and when they feel hurt and threatened.

It still baffles me how science can totally disregard the information someone from his own hands on experience has to offer. How much personal testimony does it take to at least start to treat the information of people who have gone through the experience as a serious source of information? Information which perforce has to come in the form of images since visual language is the only language capable of expressing the experience of psychosis.

For me Sacha van Rood’s explanation conjured up the image of a sea anemone who, in a safe and nourishing environment, will spread its tentacles and reach out and make a connection with  the world around it, but when threatened or in danger will retract its tentacles and break off contact with the world and, to use a totally unscientific term, will become temporarily unstuck from the network of creation. Years later, during my first year as a psychology student at Utrecht University, I submitted a plan to write a paper on the subject of alienation. My choice of subject was totally unscientific, it was based on my experience based conviction that it was alienation that was at the root of my borderline psychosis, and that this may also be an important but ignored factor in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in general.

I don’t pretend that this is a scientific thesis, it is a vantage point based on years and years of personal experience of slowly regaining balance and becoming reconnected with a number of long lost inner aspects of myself and with the world around me. The theme for my paper was not approved and I ended up dropping out of my studies.

Another testimony which fits in with the same image of connection and disconnection comes from a group of prisoners who managed to survive years of forced labour during their imprisonment in a Gulag prison camp. They made a pact amongst themselves to smile at each other at least once during roll call. After their release they all attributed the survival of the entire group to this one simple but hard to fulfill pact.

If one smile a day can save people in such situations from going under, imagine what an open ear, a question asked out of genuine interest, a heart to heart talk or listening without judging can do towards helping someone who has become disconnected from him- or herself to connect with themselves and their surroundings.


Inez Risseeuw

Steunpunt GGZ Utrecht

May 9th 2019


Inez Risseeuw

Steunpunt GGZ Utrecht

May 9th 2019


Tijdens mijn randpsychose, want zo leerde ik het jaren later benoemen, heb ik een gevoel ervaren dat ik het beste kan omschrijven als een volledig afgescheiden raken, niet alleen van mijn eigen wezen maar ook van de wereld om me heen.

Ik had het gevoel alsof ik in een dikke laag cellofaan gewikkeld was, alsof mijn gevoel en de omringende wereld zich achter een dikke glasplaat afspeelden. Of, om er nog maar een beeld tegenaan te gooien, alsof mijn hoofd een satelliet werd die op grote eenzame afstand en in een adembenemend tempo om de aarde cirkelde, want in hun poging greep te houden op wat er met me aan de hand was, draaiden mijn gedachten op volle toeren. De oude vanzelfsprekende verbanden waren volkomen zoek en ik ‘kreeg’ beelden van een astronaut wiens lijntje met zijn ruimtevaartuig dreigt te breken, waardoor hij voortaan eindeloos rond moet zweven in een donker en oneindig ruim. Beelden die misschien psychotisch aandoen maar die in mijn optiek een vindingrijke poging zijn van mijn geest om e.e.a. voor mezelf te verduidelijken.

Gevoelens en ervaringen die ik pas veel later heel herkenbaar beschreven vond in het boek ‘Autisme /depersonalisatie / derealisatie’ van Sacha van Rood.

Als ik het boek opnieuw probeer te bestellen zie ik tot mijn ergernis dat de titel op de site van het predicaat meekrijgt van ‘onduidelijk en chaotisch’. En dat terwijl ik in dit boek niet alleen voor het eerst mijn eigen ervaring van depersonalisatie en derealisatie herkende, maar die ook voor het eerste leerde benoemen en in een groter kader plaatsen, alles opnieuw opgenomen raakte in een groter, begrijpelijk geheel van hoe wezens functioneren, hoe ze reageren op dreiging of verwonding.

Hoeveel proefondervindelijke ervaring is ervoor nodig om iemands persoonlijke getuigenis op zijn minst serieus te nemen, mee te laten wegen met de heersende theorie van mensen die nooit de binnenkant van psychose hebben meegemaakt?

Het beeld die de uitleg van Sacha van Rood bij mij opriep, was die van een zeeanemoon die in veilige, voorspoedige omstandigheden zijn tentakels naar buiten uitstulpt, uitspreidt, uitreikend naar, zich verbindend met de wereld om zich heen en in geval van dreiging of gevaar zijn tentakels terugtrekt, het contact met de wereld verbreekt en zo tijdelijk losraakt van het weefsel van de schepping, om maar eens een heel onwetenschappelijk woord te gebruiken.

Jaren later, tijdens mijn eerste jaar psychologie aan de faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen in Utrecht, vatte ik het plan op om mijn eerstejaars paper over het thema vervreemding te schrijven. De keuze voor dat thema was alles behalve wetenschappelijk, maar wel gebaseerd op mijn door ervaring gegroeide overtuiging dat vervreemding aan de basis ligt van mijn randpsychose, maar misschien wel aan die van elke verstoring van ons psychisch functioneren.

Een volledig onwetenschappelijke stelling dus, maar gestoeld op jarenlange ervaring van langzaam weer in balans komen en weer verbonden raken met lang afgesneden aspecten van mezelf en met de wereld om me heen. Het thema voor mijn paper werd afgekeurd en met mijn studie is het nooit meer goed gekomen.

Een andere getuigenis die voor mij eenzelfde beeld bevestigt, komt voort uit de ervaring van een groep dwangarbeiders die hun jarenlange gevangenschap  in de Goelag wisten te overleven. Hun afspraak was dat ze elke ochtend tijdens het appèl minstens een keer naar elkaar zouden glimlachen. Het feit dat ze hun beproeving allemaal  wisten te overleven schreven ze zonder uitzondering toe aan die ene simpele, maar soms zo zwaar vallende belofte aan elkaar.

Als één glimlach per dag mensen onder dergelijke omstandigheden kan behoeden voor de ondergang, wat zal dan een oprecht geïnteresseerde vraag, een goed gesprek, een open luisteren wel doen om iemand die de verbinding met zichzelf en met zijn omgeving is kwijtgeraakt, te helpen zich weer met zichzelf en met zijn omgeving te verbinden?


Inez Risseeuw

Steunpunt GGZ Utrecht

9 mei 2019

Kortsluiting in mijn hoofd-Brenda Froyen

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Stefaan Baeten, directeur van een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis én getalenteerd pianist, en Brenda Froyen maakten samen de voorstelling ‘Kortsluiting in mijn hoofd’ waar ze psychose bespreekbaar maken en een kritische blik werpen op de geestelijke gezondheidszorg van vroeger en nu.

2017-International ISPS Conference in Liverpool UK

Registrationfilm about the International Congres in Liverpool UK 2017.

ISPS promotes psychological and social approaches to psychosis across the globe. Providing a place where professionals, service users and carers can share their ideas, hopes and struggles, and join together in constructive dialogue and debate.

The Stranger in the City

Proud to present a video with the STRANGER IN THE CITY story of @dias75614 @wijzijnlister



Time flies, so be sure to mark the dates in your calendar for the conference ‘Stranger in the City