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Alternative ways of thinking about mental distress

Some people find psychiatric diagnosis a useful way of understanding their difficulties. However, others find labels unhelpful and may prefer to find other ways of understanding psychological distress that do not focus on ‘disorders’ or ‘illness’. The British Psychological Society’s Power Threat Meaning Framework has been developed as an alternative to more traditional models of psychiatric diagnosis, and can be used as a way of helping people create more hopeful narratives about their lives and the difficulties they have faced.

This course will give an introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework, and explore the link between social factors such as poverty, discrimination and inequality, along with traumas such as abuse and violence, and emotional distress or troubled behaviour.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the debate about psychiatric diagnosis, its uses and limitations
  • Learn about the British Psychological Society’s Power Threat Meaning Framework, which is about finding patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to psychiatric diagnosis
  • Be more aware of the influence of wider social contexts, trauma, and other difficult life experiences on mental health issues
  • Consider how these ways of thinking about personal narratives might apply to your own story, and to clinical practice.

Lead tutors: Danny Whittaker and Kate Allsopp

Dates, Times and Venues:

26 November 2019 – 10am to 4pm
Room 3, The Curve, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3BL

13 February 2020 – 10am to 4pm
Start in Salford, Brunswick House, 62 Broad Street, Salford, Manchester M6 5BZ


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