You are invited to join us in this exciting conference as we move away from the Western trend of looking at mental health through the narrow lens of diagnosis and categorisation, and look towards some Eastern, African-oriented and Asian understandings of Wellbeing.
Through exploring insights into meanings and practices of Wellbeing across cultures, we will see what we can learn from our international speakers, and how we can better serve marginalised groups within the UK.
- Develop awareness of issues and themes to consider some similarities and differences within and between Eastern and Western philosophies of Wellbeing.
- Explore Wellbeing in terms of meanings and practices across cultures.
- Draw on the presenters’ professional, clinical and lived experiences of working with Wellbeing across cultures.
- Reflect on how some insights into meanings and practices across cultures impact the way we conceptualise Wellbeing.
- Reflect on what Wellbeing can mean and how some insights from today can shape our own practices across the cultures we each inhabit.
10.00- 10.05am Dr Phil Cox, Psychotherapy Section Chair’s introduction
10.05 - 10.15am Why we’ve organised the conference this way
10.15 -10.30am Keynote:
Steve Heigham - Mental health across the world
This presentation will look at recent research into how the cultural evolution of western nations has produced differences in conceptualisation and practice of mental health and wellbeing. The main themes that will be examined will be individualism, family systems, impersonal markets, social norms and self-regulation.
10.30 -10.45am Keynote:
Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw MBE - How the East meets the West in wellbeing
Ethnic minority communities living in UK are exposed to two different cultural value systems. My presentation will look at the four interrelated core values of the British/ English community versus the Indian community (Eastern values), first proposed by the late Dr Pittu Laungani. I will then briefly touch upon how that impacts on therapy and the client’s well-being.
10.45 - 11.00am Break
11.00 -11.45am Andy Curtis-Payne
SVASTHA - wholistic well-being for the individual and society! Svastha is a word that comes from the Veda (the ancient teachings upon which yoga is based), it is defined as our natural state and literally means being in one’s Self, that is identified with our highest potential. This talk will use this word for an exploration of how yoga can help us attain and maintain this desired state and its relevance to the world we live in today. Most importantly, yoga offers tools and methods that are accessible to all if appropriately applied, simple techniques to promote and maintain well-being! Additionally, the teachings of the Veda also offer Ayurveda (literally the science of life - that is how to live a happy, healthy and productive life, again realising our highest potential). It should be remembered that this highest potential also encompasses the Spiritual aspect of ourselves as, for many, this is our highest potential.
11.45 - 12.30pm Audrey West
Owning our Madness: Towards personal, national, and global mental health in the wake of 500 years European colonial distortion of selfhood. An introduction to the work of Professor Frederick W. Hickling
Professor Frederick Hickling was a bold Jamaican psychiatrist who upended the provenance of madness in Jamaica during his post as chief medical officer at the Bellevue Mental Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica during the 1970’s. He piloted the practice of psychohistoriography to examine the personal, social and colonial historical past that brought Jamaicans in mental distress to such a draconian institution. Prof Hickling assisted patients out of this oppression through personal and collective narrative leading to psychodrama, dance, and other creative expression. This included transforming the prison like grounds into a horticultural farm with a central theatre space: cultural therapy. Prof Hickling was unceremoniously ejected from this ground-breaking intervention towards mental health when he advocated the benefits of marijuana in calming mentally disturbed people. Prof Hickling soon regained international recognition and acclaim. In later life, his leonine white beard and firm, caring approach symbolised his power. His practice is still in its early global formation: we remain mad, until we recognise the lies and damage that our colonial and historical past has heaped on us, causing us to respond to the present in destructive ways for self and other.
12.30 -1.00pm Break
A culturally sensitive approach: Chinese Calligraphy Enhanced Therapy (CCET)
Chinese Calligraphy Handwriting as a mindfulness-based brush meditation has been practised for thousands of years in China. To Chinese people, calligraphy practice is not just a national art and cultural-historical heritage; it is a well-known and familiar way of achieving relaxation and harmony of the body and the mind, which are also essential for physical and psychological functioning. Chinese Calligraphy Enhanced Therapy (CCET) is a therapeutic intervention designed by Juan Du as a culturally sensitive and non-threatening approach to bridging Chinese clients’ access to psychological therapy. This workshops design is inspired by Juan’s clinical work and personal experience of psychotherapy practice and her teaching as a mindfulness teacher for community services. Please have a pencil and paper ready for the interactive part of the workshop!
1.45 - 2.30pm Sabnum Dharamsi and Abdullah Maynard
How do Muslims survive and thrive within secular and prejudicial spaces?
Less heavily framed conceptions of well-being are a precursor for greater inclusivity, wherein clients can be multi-dimensional and balanced, rather than two-dimensional figures in the western imaginary. Abdullah Maynard and Sabnum Dharamsi will share their experiences of spiritual and socio-political realities in the teaching and practice of Islamic Counselling. In doing so we hope to touch on the nature of being, consciousness, belief, and how these primary concepts relate to Islam, a way of understanding reality shared by 1.6 billion people. We hope that this alternative perspective offers challenges to established thinking of wellbeing.
2.30 - 2.55pm Plenary with attendee questions to the any or all the presenters
2.55 - 3.00pm Closing
3.10 – 4.00pm Psychotherapy Section AGM - all are welcome to attend
BPS Concession/Student Members
£40 - If you a student and not a member of the BPS you can use this promotional code PSYCHSTU on the basket page to get this reduced rate
Psychotherapy Section members
Have a query?
Contact us at [email protected]