20TH SEPTEMBER 2013 | London Conference
Spirit possession is recognised worldwide across many cultures and by several religions. Spirit possession is often seen as an idiom of distress causing a change in behaviour and mental well being. Spirit possession is also included in the ICD 10 and DSM IV classifications of mental disorders, yet the ex tent to which it is recognised and / or discussed in clinical practice is less than we would expect, even in UK cities where there resides a diverse population.

This one day event will consider the critical themes and debates on spirit possession from an anthropological, social, psychological, medical and religious perspective using a range of illustrative case study, clinical practice and research.

The aims of the conference

Discuss possible definitions and different kinds of spirit possession
Debate the key elements which typify spirit possession
Discuss who can make a diagnosis of spirit possession and how such a diagnosis might be made
Compare and contrast how spirit possession might be viewed by clinicians, religious leaders, healers, the “the patient”, family and community members
Discuss the value of using patient’s explanatory model of illness
Reflect upon the key issues associated with defining what is “normal” and “abnormal”
Discuss folk healing practices in different cultures and “treatment” options including exorcism
Consider whether there is a need to enhance joint working between mental health professionals and transitional healers.

Who Should attend?
This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care, including those from Local Authorities and NHS trusts across the UK, Social Workers, Approved Mental Health Professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Early Intervention Teams, CPN’s, OT’s, Chaplains, Community Faith Leaders & Healers, Equality Leads, Community Development Workers, Service User Representatives, Charities, Third Sector, Educational Establishments, Academics and Policy makers.




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