BIGSPD conference 2011 Oxford 23rd-25th March

Dr L Tennyson
Tower Hamlets

This year’s conference was held in Oxford. As a first time attender of it, I found it good value, both in terms of the content and social aspects. Key papers were given by Joel Paris, Kate Davidson and philosopher Hannah Pickard. Some themes emerging from these papers, the willingness to be open to different models of psychological treatment, the need to reconcile humanistic and scientific perspectives – set an integrative tone for the conference – a useful approach for work in PD which requires integration of a number of levels.

Which leads onto what emerged as another major theme for me in the conference – that of the importance of relationships – with patients, colleagues, other agencies, and between services at local, regional and national level.

There was a good mix of workshops (eg on ward liaison, service user partnerships, mentalisation based treatment), and presentations of new research. Also useful were updates of national initiatives eg the KUF and also a review of the Government’s National PD programme.

Regarding relationships, the organisers attended to this at a social level as well – with hog roasts, barn dances (dress code cowboys and cowgirls), a gala dinner with Jo Brand as guest speaker, there was ample time for getting to know others and networking.

So all in all, a very good conference for all who have an interest in PD – I think one which does allow a good review of breaking research and service developments in PD – and one to diarise for next year.