‘Our Minds and Each Other: A Public Lecture’ by Prof Gail A. Hornstein

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Prof Gail Hornstein

The IIMHN, in conjunction with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin is pleased to announced ‘A Public Lecture’ to be given by Professor Gail A. Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts, USA). The event will take place on Thursday, June 25 2015, 3.30-4.30pm.

Professor Hornstein’s research on the contemporary history and practices of psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis has been supported by visiting fellowships to Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Durham, and Nottingham, and her articles and opinion pieces have appeared in many scholarly and popular publications. Her book, ‘Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness’, shows how the insights of people diagnosed with ‘psychosis’ can challenge fundamental assumptions about madness, treatment, and mental life. Gail’s Bibliography of ‘First-Person Narratives of Madness in English’, now in its 5th edition with more than 1,000 titles, is used internationally by educators, clinicians, and peer organizations. She has worked closely with psychiatric survivor groups for the past decade, organised and co-facilitated one of the USA’s first hearing voices peer-support groups, and speaks widely about mental health issues across the US, UK, and Europe. She and Jacqui Dillon (Chair of HVN in England) have just received a major grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care to expand hearing voices groups across the USA and to research the mechanisms by which such groups work.

This talk seeks to open up discussions of mental health and break out of narrow, pathologising categories. The reframing of more and more actions, feelings, and perceptions as brain-based disorders is eroding our capacity to understand ourselves and to assess and cope with life’s challenges. Key studies by the World Health Organization demonstrate far better mental health in ‘developing countries’ than in those considered more ‘developed’, even as Western psychiatry’s biological model is increasingly exported to the rest of the world. By highlighting the importance of lived experience and our own ways of making sense of ourselves, we can develop alternative models that are empowering and useful in our everyday lives and do justice to the resilience and adaptability that are key aspects of human psychology.

To reserve a place at this event please contact Jeni Ryan @ ryanjen@tcd.ie

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