ISPS CONGRESS 2019: the highlights

Living in a city more than doubles your chances of being diagnosed with schizophrenia while migrants and their children are one to twelve times more likely to be considered psychotic. Why? Is there a link and if so what can we do about it?

Alienation strengthens psychotic processes and this is the reason why this four-day conference, with this as its central theme, brings as many different perspectives and approaches as possible into contact with each other.

 

 

Combining different points of view and ways of understanding

The congress will start on day 1 with representatives from various scientific perspectives and therapeutic schools of thought sharing their views and experiences with reference to the central theme of the congress. The morning programme brings together, under the chairmanship of Jim van Os, a Dutch psychiatrist/epidemiologist (Wim Veling), a British-Indian Dalit psychiatrist/anthropologist (Suhrut Jahdav) and a French psychoanalyst/sociologist (Francoise Davoine).

In the afternoon experience experts, family members and therapists from various backgrounds will work on the viewpoints and different approaches currently being used.

 

Experience experts take the lead

On day 2 expert knowledge will be the starting point. How do we bridge the gap between the way in which psychotic people see themselves, how psychiatry as a whole see them and how their family sees them? Can these insights and experiences contribute towards a better understanding of the connections between psychosis, living in a city, migration and cultural background and how we deal with this? Is it possible to learn from other cultures where psychosis is perhaps approached very differently?

As a starting point, in the morning Brenda Froyen, who has written discerningly on this subject, will talk about her experiences and the alienation from her family. From a nursing perspective, Marcus Evans will then look at the ways in which the gap between professionals, patient and family can be reduced. Ingo Lambrecht will close the morning programme by illustrating the different approaches towards understanding psychosis and how this complex understanding can contribute towards contact and recovery. Not only from his perspective as a clinical psychologist but also as a shaman.

During the afternoon there will be various presentations and workshops on the interactions between family, institutions and cultures. Is it possible to achieve a better coherence and can the networks reinforce each other?

Psychosis, migration and escape: society and politics

Congress day 3 will be the day that the public get involved. We will continue the discussions on the urban area context. The day’s chairman will be Tina Rahimy, lecturer on social work in the super-diverse city at the Hogeschool in Rotterdam. In the morning, philosopher Wouter Kusters will start with a story explaining the psychotic fear of the destruction of the world. This will be followed by a talk from art historian Huub Mous who will make comparisons between the road to psychosis and the road to Jihad. The morning will be closed by the South African philosopher Mogobe Ramose who will talk about ubuntu, an African way of life whereby a person only really becomes a person when they connect to others. In the afternoon time will be spent primarily on encounters. This afternoon programme will also be attended by students from Rotterdam and by various migrant groups.

 

Looking back and looking forward: what has the congress achieved and what do we do now?

Congress participants and speakers look back on the days spent at the congress. What insights has it given us and what do these insights mean for the near future? During this closing session Ola Soderstrom will sketch a picture of the ways in which people who are sensitive to psychosis experience walking around in a city. Inez Germeys will talk about what the study on adolescents and sensitivity to psychosis might mean in relation to the theme of the congress “Stranger in the City”