First Conference Announcement: ‘Critical Perspectives On and Beyond the Therapy Industry’ – Call for Workshop Presentations

School of Applied Social Studies and School Of Nursing and Midwifery


University College Cork, Ireland in Association with Critical Voices Network Ireland

11th and 12th November 2015

‘Talking’ therapies have become increasingly central in dealing with all aspects of human life. This trend is now generally referred to as the ‘therapy industry’ (Moloney, 2013). This conference, now in its 7th year, aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on:

  • The value of talking therapies
  • The politics of the therapy industry
  • Talking therapies as another expert system
  • Other ways (beyond therapies) to support people in distress

Confirmed Keynote Speakers   
Wilma BoevinkWilma Boevink
is an experiential expert, who works as a social scientist at the Trimbos-Institute, the Netherlands. She is a former Professor of Recovery and founder of Tree (towards Recovery, Empowerment and Experiential Expertise). Currently finishing her thesis on recovery, empowerment and experiential expertise.

Lucy JohnstoneLucy Johnstone
is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of ‘Users and abusers of psychiatry’, co-editor of ‘Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people’s problems’ and ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis’, along with a number of other critical texts on mental health theory and practice. She is currently based in a mental health service in South Wales.


Jacqui DillonJacqui Dillon is a respected speaker, writer and activist, who has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at The Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.


malcolm garland - smallerMalcolm Garland is a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin.  His team tries to incorporate novel and alternative approaches, including a minimal medication approach and an ethos fostering individuation, not dependence. He is concerned with the slow uptake of a non-“bio” approach by psychiatry, but understands the pressure teams are under to keep people “safe” and the conflicts this creates. He thinks psychiatrists may soon be on the “endangered species” list…

rory-doody-300x192Rory Doody is a Recovery Development Advocate. He is a voice hearer and engages with his own mental health as often as he breathes! Plagued by inner questions like “who does this serve?” he enquires in the different areas of his work, involving education, case work, service and policy developments, structural change, and good intentions. As a ‘poacher turned game keeper’ with 20+ years of service user history, this question also serves as a check against his own personal motives.

Dina (Konstantina) Poursanidou is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, based at the Service User Research Enterprise; Dina has used mental health services since 2008; Member of Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry; integrates an interest in the socio-cultural determinants of distress and socio-political action on the one hand, with an interest in the human subject at a more intimate and individual level on the other.

Call for Oral Presentations/Workshops (45 minutes’ duration): Please submit an abstract (in Word – 250 words max) related to the conference theme and outlining its aims and intentions by 7 September 2015. Please also submit a brief bio (in Word – 150 words max). Email abstract and bio to Inquiries to or

Registration details will be circulated in early September 2015.

The Conference organisers are Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.