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Psychosis Conference Coming Up In Auckland

13.10.2005

Psychosis Conference Coming Up In Auckland

University Of Auckland Conference Centre, 22 October 18 & 19

More than 160 mental health service users policy makers, managers, researchers, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and occupational therapists come together for two days next week for the 3rd annual MAKING SENSE OF PSYCHOSIS conference.

The conference, to be opened this year by psychiatrist Dr David Chaplow (Director of Mental Health, Ministry of Health), has developed a unique tradition of being open to a broad range of perspectives on what causes people to hear voices and hold strange beliefs, and on what is most helpful to people who are distressed by such experiences.

The International Keynote Address will be given by psychiatrist Dr Colin Ross author of several books including "Schizophrenia: Innovations in Diagnosis and Treatment" (Haworth, 2004). Dr Ross, who is giving workshops around New Zealand all next week, has been successfully treating psychotic and dissociative patients for many years in Texas with a Trauma Model approach. [www.rossinst.com],

The other Keynote Speaker, Debra Lampshire, will describe her 'personal journey from psychosis to the reclamation of the status of personhood'.

Other presenters include Derek Wright (Regional Director, Mental Health Services - Northern Region) on 'The Future of Psychosis Services'; Mary O'Hagan (Mental Health Commissioner); and Te Kani Kingi (Te Pumanawa Hauora - School of Maori Studies, Massey University).

Researchers will present their latest findings including: 'Maori understandings of psychosis' (Melissa Taitimu), 'Angels at our Tables: New Zealanders experiences of hearing voices' (Vanessa Beavan), and 'Including the Family' (Elizabeth Nicholls).

The conference is organised by the NZ branch of the International Society for Psychological Treatments of Schizophrenia [www.isps.org], with the Psychology Department of the University of Auckland [www.psych.auckland.ac.nz]

Dr John Read (Secretary of the NZ branch of ISPS, and editor of the ISPS book 'Models of Madness'):

"This conference, and the enthusiasm it generates every year, is part of an international movement towards a more inclusive approach to understanding and assisting people who have psychotic experiences. The more we really listen to people with firsthand experience of psychosis the more we discover a whole range of causes and an equally long list of things that can be helpful. While valuable for some, many find that psychiatric drugs alone are not enough.

New Zealand should feel proud that its service users, clinicians and researchers are in the forefront of these changes."

ENDS

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