Cork Conference in November 2013




A Two-Day Conference organised by the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, the School of Applied Social Studies,

University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland




Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Booking: To book a place, email Please make sure you give your name, and indicatethe day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 13 November, Thursday 14 November, or both days). Booking will be confirmed by return email.

Registration: Please bring the booking confirmation slip with you to the conference registration desk on the day(s) you are attending.


The conference offers opportunities to consider:

  • ·      Meanings of madness
  • ·      Broadening understandings of expressions of madness
  • ·      Creative approaches to engaging with and responding to madness


This conference, now in its fifth year, is unique as it is free for all participants and it involves people from diverse backgrounds (self-experience, survivors, professionals, academics, carers) presenting, discussing and debating critical and creative perspectives on and beyond the dominant bio-medical approach. The 2010 conference saw the launch of the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people interested in considering and developing responses to human distress, which are creative, enabling, respectful and firmly grounded in human rights. The conference will include an open forum to discuss the on-going work of the CVNI.


Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order): Liz Brosnan has just completed her PhD through a Government of Ireland scholarship at the University of Limerick. Her research explored User Involvement in Irish Mental Health Services. Liz has both personal and professional experience of dealing with “madness”. Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA. Her research and writings – grounded in an understanding of the mind, based on lived experience – challenge fundamental assumptions about ‘mental illness’ and treatment. Irene van de Giessen, Expert by Experience employed at the Admiraal de Ruyter Hospital, Vlissingen, the Netherlands and Owner of the Convalescent Talent Agency.  John Read,Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool, UK. He has written extensively in the area of trauma and psychosisDoug Ross, artist, founding member of Renew. Personal experience of sustained recovery from addiction and psycho-spiritual distress. Teresa Tuohy, Health Research Board funded PhD Candidate at Trinity College Dublin. Her research title is ‘Mothers’ Voices: A study of mothering with women experiencing mental health problems’. Teresa has many years’ experience working in mental health practice, education and recovery.


Concurrent Sessions: the conference also includes a series of workshops and oral presentations, related to the conference theme.


Full programme: full details will be available in early October on and Check for accommodation. To get to Brookfield (UCC) check Parking facilities are limited around UCC. Try car park next to Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross (10 walk from venue via footbridge behind Western Gateway Building on Western Road). Coffees and lunches not included. There are restaurants and cafes in and around the conference venue.


The Conference organisers are Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.