United Kingdom


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.

Published on Jun 3, 2013

Chris Underhill of BasicNeeds Accepts the Skoll Award

Chris Underhill of BasicNeeds accepts the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship at the 2013 Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. 

Dear Colleague,

Queen Mary, University of London is delighted to host this two-day workshop on anthropological methods in clinical practice and research. The workshop will be introduced by Professor Kamaldeep Bhui (QMUL). The speakers are leading experts in the field of ethnography, anthropology and psychiatry.

Medical anthropology examines the social and cultural dimensions of health, illness and healing.   Its central research paradigm -ethnography- is a qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena.  Through participant observation, the observer engages in ongoing activities of a cultural group and records observations allowing for an in depth description of the experience of illness. This two-day workshop provides an introduction to anthropological methods through lectures, seminars and practical workshops and focuses upon a number of topics: setting up an ethnographic study, participant observation, ethics, data analysis and writing ethnography.  These themes will be illustrated through lectures on specific health-related topics. Furthermore, participants will be encouraged to set up their own ethnographic research projects. 

The workshop will take place in the vibrant central campus of Queen Mary University in Mile End, on the 10th and 11th of July 2013 and will run from 9 to 5. Both days will commence with presentations and discussion and it will continue with practical workshops.

Places are limited, so please register your interest and book your place as soon as possible.


Prof Kamaldeep Bhui QMUL
Dr Simon Dein UCL 
   Prof Roland Littlewood UCL  
Dr Sumeet Jain University of Edinburgh  
Dr Rodney Reynolds UCL  
Aaron Parkhurst UCL 
Dr Jane Derges UCL


Event Information

Date and Time 

10th July 2013, 9:00-5:00

11th July 2013, 9:30:5:00


Mile End Campus, Queen Mary University of London

Francis Bancroft Building, Room 2.40

How to book

Please use the following link to book your place:


Fees & Rates

The workshop will cost £180 for two days.

Travel information


Mile End on Hammersmith and City, District and Central lines; and Stepney Green on the Hammersmith and City and District lines.


Number 25. 

Also the following buses stop near Mile End Underground station: 

277, D5, D6, D7. 

309 stops outside Stepney Green tube station.

Please attachment for full timetable and further information on the workshop

Website: http://www.mental-health-studies.org.uk/

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress

2 – 5 July 2013

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Wednesday 3 July 2013


Diaspora session International Psychiatry in Ascension

Chair: Professor Sue Bailey, Royal College of Psychiatrists 

Developing leadership in medical education in LAMI countries Dr Subodh Dave, BIPA Member 

BAPA’s international projects Dr Tarek Al–Kubaisy, BAPA Member 

BPPA’s Kick the stigma project with school children Dr Mateen Durrani, BPPA President & Dr Saduf Riaz, BPPA Kick the Stigma coordinator 

The established diaspora: the Iraq sub committee 7 years on Dr Mohammed Abbas, ISC Chair 

Round table discussions Professor Sab Bhaumik, President of BIPA, Professor George Ikkos, Chair Hellenic Psychiatric Association UK Division, Dr David Jimenez, SUD Project in Latin America

Friday 5th July 2013


Working in international psychiatry 

Chair: Dr Alice Lomax, London 

Doing a medical student elective in psychiatry in South Africa, and how students can get involved early! Dr Roxanne Keynejad, Carshalton 

Being a trainee overseas: My experience in the Gambia Dr Imogen Kretzschmar, London 

Humanitarian work in psychiatry post-natural disaster in Pakistan Dr Samina Matin, London 

Working in psychiatry around the world, and how to get involved as a consultant or trainee Dr Peter Hughes, London

Personal View

“Global mental health” is an oxymoron and medical imperialism

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3509 (Published 31 May 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3509

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      1. Derek Summerfield, honorary senior lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, and consultant psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
      1. derek.summerfield@slam.nhs.uk

      Why do we assume that Western notions of psychiatry translate to other settings, asks Derek Summerfield

      A remarkable thing about psychiatry is that its primary object—what is referred to as mental disorder—remains undefined. Bar organic categories, mental disorders are not facts of nature but cobbled together syndromes, with psychiatrists as the cobblers. Given that mental disorders are also grounded in Western culture, how do they translate to non-Western settings?1

      Do the methods that identify depression in Spain identify the same thing in Sudan? The World Health Organization has been describing depression as carrying the greatest global burden of all diseases,2which is a bizarre claim and testament to the dangers of viewing a psychiatric category as if it were a disease like any other disease. Is depression really more burdensome than AIDS (currently 34 million cases, with 1.8 million deaths in 2010), tuberculosis (8.7 million new cases in 2010, with 1.4 million deaths), or malaria (216 million cases in 2010, with 665 000 deaths)?

      An emergent discipline entitled “global mental health,” backed by WHO, the US National Institute of Mental Health, and the …