Madness and Mental Health: 2023-4

Beyond Psychiatric Diagnosis: A radical new approach to mental health

The next talk in the series Madness and Mental Health will be presented by Lucy Johnstone & Mary Boyle.

The Power Threat Meaning Framework, published by the British Psychological Society in 2018, is a conceptual alternative to the mainstream diagnostic model of mental distress. Co-authored by a team of professionals and survivors, it explores the role of power and threat in people’s lives, and the way we make meaning out of difficult experiences.

The Framework can be used as a way of helping all of us, whether in contact with the mental health system or not, to create more hopeful narratives or stories about our struggles, instead of seeing ourselves as blameworthy, weak, deficient or ‘mentally ill’. Mary Boyle and Lucy Johnstone will outline its core principles and provide examples of its national and international impact.

  • About the speakers

    Mary Boyle is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London where she was Head of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. She has also held NHS posts in adult mental health and women’s health. She is the author of Schizophrenia: A scientific delusion? and ‘Rethinking Abortion: Psychology, gender, power and the law’ (Routledge) and has published many articles and chapters on feminist approaches to women’s health and on problems of and alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis.

    Dr Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of 'Users and abusers of psychiatry' (3rd edition Routledge 2021) and ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis’ (PCCS Books, 2nd edition 2022); co-editor of 'Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems' (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013) along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years. She is now an independent trainer.

    Lucy Johnstone and Mary Boyle are lead authors of the Power Threat Meaning Framework and co-authors of A Straight Talking Introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework (PCCS Books).