Welcome to the ISPS Conference Rotterdam 2019!


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

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

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.


Margreet de Pater
Chair, ISPS Benelux

This conference is about estrangement and connection. Family members of a person who has become psychotic can tell you all about it, they don’t recognize the person they loved anymore. They are startled and sad. But also the person who is psychotic suffers severely. He tries to express important insights, tries to talk about troublesome  live experiences for the first time in his life. but nobody believes him.  This abyss is well-known. But scientific research shows us that estrangement works also the other way around. When for some reason you are alone among others, for instance when you are a migrant, and try to find your way in society, you experience that you don’t belong and have a bigger risk to become psychotic.

What works to bridge this gap?

More and more it appears that therapies that work, do so because they promote human connection. It is so very logic and simple. Such a strange thing that in our culture many approaches to psychosis worked the other way around, they made the abyss deeper. The time is ripe for change.

Important dates

March 17th:
Abstract submission deadline (24.00 CET)

24th April:
Authors will be informed  about whether 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 highlights

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 of its kind in the Netherlands  with regard to the combination of these two functions. Located in the Mauritskwartier district of Rotterdam, de Doelen welcomes visitors  to large international congresses for both intimate and large symposiums,  catering for 100 up to 3000 people.

De Doelen in Rotterdam