Conference: Power, Interest and Psychology

Thursday 12th November 2015 – Friday 13th November 2015.

Novotel Birmingham Centre

Memorial Conference for David Smail

This interdisciplinary conference will explore contemporary clinical psychological ideas about mental ill health with evidence and ideas from other relevant disciplines including epidemiology, sociology, social work and cultural studies/philosophy. It will draw upon the influential ideas of David Smail, and the title of the conference is taken from his book Power, Interest and Psychology: Elements of a Social Materialist Understanding of Distress. The conference will build upon his work, and the speakers will point the way to a sophisticated understanding of clinical distress that is fit for the many challenges facing us today.It is an excellent opportunity to find out more about the connections between clinical psychology and other disciplines and to hear how contemporary psychological thinking about mental health is developing.

The conference will consider questions such as:

  • What does ‘austerity’ have to do with poor mental health?
  • When psychotherapy is offered, just what is occurring, and how does it work?
  • How can we understand and work with the meanings of clinical distress across the age range?
  • How might psychology contribute to efforts to improve the everyday lives of us all?

Invited speakers include:

  • Professor Richard Wilkinson (author with Kate Pickett of ‘The Spirit Level’)
  • Professor Mary Boyle  (author ‘Schizophrenia: a scientific delusion’)
  • Dr. Lucy Johnstone (author of ‘Users and Abusers of Psychiatry’ and ‘A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Diagnosis’; co-author with Rudi Dallos of ‘Formulation in Psychology and Psychotherapy’)
  • Dr. Mark Fisher (author, ‘Capitalist Realism’)
  • Dr. Lisa McKenzie (author, ‘Getting By’)
  • Professor Dave Pilgrim (author, ‘Understanding Mental Health: a critical realist exploration’ and ‘Key Concepts in Mental Health’)
  • Professor Kate Morris (author ‘Social Work and Multi-Agency Working)
  • Dr. Dave Harper (co-author ‘Psychology, Mental Health and Distress’)

And many more: see the conference website for the full programme of speakers and talks.

To book a place go here.

This conference is generously supported by the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology.

Price for 2 days attendance:                   £69 – £156

Price for 1 day attendance:                    £42 – £96

In addition, there are generously subsidised places available for experts by experience (mental health service users). Please contact the organisers (KC Jones) via the above link if you are interested.

David was Head of Clinical Psychology services in Nottingham in 1969 until 1998. He was also Special Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Nottingham. He sadly died last year.


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