Madpeople's Coping Mechanisms

September 25, 2023 - September 26, 2023
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road
Oxford OX2 6GG
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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This event is available both online and in-person


  • Renewing Phenomenological Psychopathology, University of Birmingham
  • Welcome Trust


Umeå University
Oxford University

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Madpeople/service users/psychiatric patients are a heterogenous group. Indeed, there’s evidence both of variety on a neurological level and of quite different phenomenologies even among people with the same diagnosis (e.g., bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) and/or the same “symptom label” (e.g., mania or thought insertion). It should therefore not come as a surprise that different treatments have different effects on different people.

For many conditions, the standard treatment consists mainly of psychotropic drugs. However, the extent to which  drugs help to suppress symptoms and how tolerable the side effects are varies a lot from person to person; likewise, the extent to which people are helped by standardized psychological therapies such as CBT. Ideally, clinicians should have large toolboxes at their disposal, allowing them to tailor, as far as possible, the treatment to the individual person’s needs.

The aim of this workshop is to move beyond a focus on diagnostic categories and statistics (e.g., 60 % of people with diagnosis A are significantly helped by  strategy X). Instead, we want to focus on psychiatric problems from the perspective of those dealing with them, how they experienced the problems, how they figured out ways to cope with or handle these problems, and why, based on the person’s own experiences and interpretations,  these strategies were helpful.

We anticipate that the workshop will provide the basis for more sustained academic work which will articulate the strategies people have developed, for the sake of greater understanding of such possibilities, but also with the hope of finding ways to enrich clinical practice.

As madpeople ourselves, we welcome contributions from philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, disability scholars, mad studies scholars and other relevant fields – in particular, though not exclusively, from people with lived experience.

To register please email [email protected] 

Please note:
We endeavor to follow the BPA guidelines for accessible conferences. For those unable to come in person, we will offer the possibility to present or attend talks online.

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September 15, 2023, 9:00am BST

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Ghent University
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