ISPS UK is the UK network of the international organisation ISPS – the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis.

We are a member organisation and draw together individuals who are interested in psychological and social understanding and approaches to psychosis. We provide a place where professionals, people with lived experience and carers/family members can share their ideas, hopes and struggles and can examine their differences in constructive dialogue and debate.

ISPS UK works to promote greater knowledge of the different psychological approaches to psychosis – psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, arts-based, family and holistic approaches – and their better integration with each other and with pharmaceutical approaches.

We are a UK registered CIO and were launched in 1997.  The Board of Trustees meet four times a year and hold an annual AGM.  We have no employees, and our administration is carried out by a freelance worker.

ISPS – A brief background

ISPS began as a series of symposia held in Europe in the 1950s and 60s, which brought together psychiatrists, psychotherapists and others who were interested in a psychological approach to understanding and treating people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This was in contrast to the relentless pursuit of biological explanations of psychosis within psychiatry generally, and ‘established a dialogue with young, open, non-dogmatic psychiatrists from different countries’.

Today ISPS is an international organization promoting psychological and social approaches to psychosis. There are established networks in 16 countries across Europe, Asia, North America and Australia/New Zealand, and a number of emerging groups in other countries. Further information about these is available on the ISPS International website.

ISPS holds a major international conference every two or three years. Recent hosts have included Dubrovnik (2011), Warsaw (2013), New York (2015) and Liverpool (2017). In 2009 ISPS launched a major international journal Psychosis, published by Taylor & Francis, which members receive at a significantly reduced rate.

ISPS also publishes a major book series on psychological approaches to psychosis, which members can buy at a reduced rate. In 2010 one of the books, Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Schizophrenic Psychoses edited by Alanen et al, was ‘highly commended’ by the British Medical Association. One of the assessors wrote: ‘If I were to recommend a single book on psychotherapeutic approaches to psychosis it would be this one because it is eclectic and open- minded in approach and a credit to the editors and contributors.’

The UK network of ISPS was launched in 1997, when the 12th International ISPS Symposium was held in London. It became a registered UK Charity in 2004.