BIGSPD Values and Philosophy

As an organisation we pride ourselves on our promotion of co-production, which embraces the involvement of people with lived experience (which additionally includes family and friends), multi-disciplinary practitioners, academics, clinicians and researchers. We do this to influence the commissioning of better services using evidence-based practice; the removal of the treatment postcode lottery, the reduction of health inequalities, progressive research that enhances practice and service user experience; raising the knowledge and awareness of personality disorder and related difficulties. We are committed to reducing stigma and prejudice and to enhancing the diversity within the organisation. We bring together a wide range of partners who shape the agenda and debate relating to this field of practice and this is encouraged by adopting, as an organisation, a stance that all opinions are valued and welcomed, and that healthy debate can only improve practice, treatment and service experiences of those who are likely to receive a diagnosis of personality disorder or related difficulties.

Our values include:

Inclusivity and Diversity:

Striving to include and represent people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, ages, religious beliefs, gender and sexual identities, disabilities, socioeconomic statuses, professional disciplines, and all lived experience backgrounds, including living with and supporting those with a diagnosis or associated difficulties. 

Honouring Identity:

Acknowledging the variety of opinion surrounding diagnosis, its contention, the potential for both harm and help and how people choose to identify being unique to them.  


 Acknowledging and putting people’s histories, experiences of care and the meaning people make of their experiences at the centre of what we do. 

Lived Experience:

Lived experience holding equal value with traditionally trained colleagues at all levels of organisations and a commitment to all areas of our work being co-produced.

Relational Working:

 We believe that people should be offered meaningful, collaborative and therapeutic relationships delivered by the same people over a period of time and provided in a flexible and responsive way that meets the needs and wishes of the individual. 

Critical Reflection:

Examining past, current, and future developments, organisations and roles through a diverse range of experience, recognising that quality will mean different things to different groups. 

Progressive Change:

Using research, co-production and best practice guidance to support wider systems to create change for better outcomes for those given a ‘personality disorder’ diagnosis or associated difficulties. 


Often people ask, ‘what is the stance of BIGSPD?’ on, for example, the diagnostic term ‘personality disorder’, diagnostic manuals, treatment preferences, or the future direction of treatments. We hope our values provide some clarity in relation to these questions. All our members, conference delegates and executive members have a unique range of views and opinions but collectively BIGSPD as an organisation does not hold a position on these debates. Instead, our focus is on providing a safe platform which encourages and facilitates inclusive debate, where all views, opinions and discussions relating to personality disorder and related difficulties are explored.

We acknowledge the sensitivity relating to the debate around the diagnostic label in particular, but also endeavour to represent those who find this construct helpful. Where there is consensus, is that we are working to improve understanding, and address stigma. As an organisation, we aim to bring people with interest in this field together to form networks and collaborations. By adopting this stance we facilitate and actively encourage healthy and respectful debate. Central to achieving our values is the practice of co-production. We are working to embed this throughout the organisation with a greater representation of lived experience within the executive team, our members, speakers and delegates.

The Executive Members – The BIGSPD executive has a broad range of expertise and experiences and holds different views and opinions about various current and topical debates in this field of practice. Those views held by individuals are not representative of BIGSPD as an organisation and no one person or the executive can speak for all. However, the executive team will adopt a position of influence and information provider with all the complexities of debate carefully considered before statements or organisation representation is made in public forums.

Click here to view a PDF version of the BIGSPD Values Statement.

The BIGSPD values and Philosophy Statement was developed by the communications team led by Dr Gary Lamph and including; Tamar Jeynes, Kier Harding, and Dr Kirsten Barnicot,  input and feedback from members of the BIGSPD executive team were sought over several months.  The first version was complete and finalised in August 2020 this statement was put before the BIGSPD membership during our AGM, and final amendments based on their feedback were addressed. 

In 2022 we have updated this document following an executive team away day event and reforming of the communications team which now includes; Dr Gary Lamph, Tamar Jeynes, Kath Lovell, and Tom Mullen.  They have led the development of the Version 2 statement which was finalised following consultation with the wider executive team in May 2022 and will be reviewed on an annual basis.  As aligned to our values, this work has been co-produced with a diverse range of people contributing, including shaping by differing occupational collaborators and lived experience expertise. Responses from outside the membership and at our next AGM will be considered for future annual reviews. The process of defining who we are and what we do will not cease with the publication of this statement, and if the experiences of people who have a diagnosis of personality disorder are important to you, we hope that you will consider joining our collective that embraces many different perspectives.