Dear members and friends of ISPS,



Our main biennial event, the International Conference of ISPS, is due in Rotterdam, August 28th-September 1st 2019. Time flies, so be sure to mark these dates in your calendar already now. The call for papers is now open. The main theme is “Stranger in the city: On the healing power of human reconnection”. This title goes right to the center of what a psychosis really is, estrangement in the wider sense of the word, and it also shows the way to the most important healing element, the human relationship.

But as our active members will have noticed, this biennial event is not the only conference within the ISPS network. A lot is happening around the world, and our regional groups are addressing important themes, and drawing professional and users attention to the importance of psychological and psychosocial treatment possibilities for psychosis. In Italy the 4th national conference took place, with the main theme being “Sense of self and psychosis”, in Varazze 19th-21st October 2018. The ISPS US 17th annual meeting has as its main theme “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wholeness in Extreme States” 9-11 November, while the first Russian ISPS conference 15th-20th November focuses on different treatment opportunities for psychosis, as well as mental health education in schools. In Sweden, on 23rd November, the title is “Two diagnoses or one person? Research and experiences around comorbid psychosis and misuse”. In Israel people will talk about “Between loneliness and community” in early December, while Finland invites us to learn more about “The possibilities for psychosocial treatment of psychosis in the 2020s”. Our Croatian colleagues will gather 8th 11th May 2019 and discuss “Training in supportive psychodynamic psychotherapy for psychosis: a focus on psychodynamic formulation”.

These are just some of the events of the many active ISPS groups around the world. They represent a very important influence on the mental health and psychiatric milieus in their country, an effect that goes beyond the isolated learning goals of the single event.

The ISPS Executive Committee wish to express our deeply-felt thanks to all our colleagues in the “ISPS-world” who contribute to this important work.

Jan Olav Johannessen, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair, ISPS International

Jan Olav Johannessen is professor of psychiatry at the University of Stavanger, Norway, and director of research at the Division of psychiatry at Stavanger University Hospital. He is the present chair of ISPS International, and one of the founding members of ISPS when it was formally established as an organization in 1996. He also served as chair of ISPS during the period 2000-2006. He is a trained psychotherapist, and has a special interest in working psychotherapeutically with young persons experiencing a first-episode psychosis, or at-risk mental states.

He has been active in developing early intervention services for first episode psychosis, both nationally and internationally, and was the initiator of the Norwegian-Danish-US TIPS-project (an acronym for early intervention in psychosis). This research has focused on the importance of reducing DUP (duration of untreated psychosis), as well as demonstrating the benefits of early intervention in long-term follow-up studies. Further information at

He is leading the work on developing National guidelines in Psychosis in Norway. He is the author/co-author of over 150 scientific articles and book chapters, and has also taken a special interest in public information and anti anti-stigma work regarding mental disorders.

Important dates

March 17th: Abstract submission deadline (24.00 CET)

24th April: Authors will be informed if their paper has been accepted/rejected, and the type of presentation

8th May: Early bird fee deadline (all presenters must be registered by this date)

31st May: Authors will be informed of the time slot of their presentations


Social Program

Information about the Social Programme will be announced soon.


Conference high-lights

The focus of the conference is on the relationship between psychosis, migration status and cultural transition and how to (re)connect. Central to our idea of reconnecting is combining different points of view and ways of understanding and this is a recurring theme over all the four days of the conference.

Combining different points of view and ways of understanding

People with lived experience taking the lead

A social and political view on psychosis, migration, and flight

Consequences and lessons learned combining with new research


De Doelen is a highly-acclaimed concert hall and state-of-the-art congress centre. De Doelen is the largest in the Netherlands in terms of the combination of these two functions. Located in the Mauritskwartier district of Rotterdam, de Doelen welcomes visitors from large international congresses for intimate symposiums for 100 to 3,000 people.

De Doelen in Rotterdam