|Member||Year of joining||Position|
|Dr Anastasios Dimopoulos ||2021 (C)||Chair|
|Professor Drozdstoj Stoyanov||2012 (C)||Vice-Chair|
|Dr Hasanen Al-Taiar||2020 (C)||Finance Officer|
|Dr Abdi Sanati|
|Dr Gwynnyth Adshead||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Hasanen Al-Taiar||Committee Member|
|Dr Anna Bergqvist||Committee Member|
|Professor Deborah Bowman||2013 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr John Callender||2010 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Subodh Dave||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Anastasios Dimopoulos||Committee Member|
|Professor Anthony Vincent Fernandez||2021||Committee Member|
|Professor Kenneth Fulford||2011 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Allerdiena Hubbeling||2011 (C)||Website Content Editor|
|Professor Julian Hughes||2011 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Clara Humpston||2021||Committee Member|
|Dr Afzal Javed||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Elselijn Kingma||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Michalis Kyratsous||Committee Member|
|Dr Marek Marzanski||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Edward Mitchell||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Professor Marcin Moskalewicz||2021||Committee Member|
|Professor Taj Nathan||2021||Committee Member|
|Dr Gareth Owen||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Hanna Pickard||2011 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Stephen Ramplin||2010 (C)||Newsletter Editor|
|Dr Rosa Ritunnano||2021||Committee Member|
|Ms Elizabeth Shaw||2014 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Tim Thornton||2012 (C)||Committee Member|
|Professor Francesca Brencio||2021 (C)||Committee Member|
|Dr Awais Aftab||2021||Committee Member|
I am Anastasios Dimopoulos, the Chair of the Philosophy Special Interest Group.
Our SIG counts over 4,500 members, a clear sign of a wide interest for a dialogue between philosophy and psychiatry. The central aim of our group has traditionally been to encourage philosophical thought and conceptual analysis amongst psychiatrists. A main contention of those interested in the philosophy of psychiatry is that conceptual problems lie at the heart of clinical practice. This has been increasingly evident in recent years and we have been witnessing a short of renaissance in developing further this dialogue and make it relevant for everyday practice.
To give you a few examples, we have seen an amazing proliferation of research that uses insights from phenomenological philosophy to investigate the subjective experience of patients within a certain context. These insights help practitioners in understanding their patients, allowing them to build therapeutic relationships and identify relevant treatment options.
Another example is how philosophy of psychiatry had an impact on initiatives within the Department of Health through, for instance, the notion of values-based practice. We can now point to documents from the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that make reference to values-based practice, a concept that has emerged directly from work in the philosophy of psychiatry.
Our Exec board has members with rich backgrounds from UK and abroad who all share a common interest in promoting a stronger relationship between philosophy and Psychiatry. We have Philosophers specializing in conceptual and ethical issues in mental health theory and practice. We have Psychiatrists who are actively involved in various positions within the NHS aware of the pragmatic constraints of everyday practice. And we have Academics and Researchers who are familiar in working in an interdisciplinary way.
We hope to offer a range of activities and opportunities that will attract wide participation.
An exciting new area of activity that we want to pursue further is that of serving as project Partners for research proposals that want to promote a similar interdisciplinary dialogue. By adopting a similar role, it will help us in our core mission to develop and promote further a philosophically informed psychiatric practice. Please do approach us if you have a research proposal that would benefit from our input and we will aim to identify ways to partner with you.
As a SIG we have considered the possibility to develop a series of educational resources that will aim to assist psychiatrists in their everyday practice. This is a project that will benefit immensely from the feedback of our members. We hope to create a dynamic learning environment that will enhance reflective practice and help psychiatrists to develop the capabilities needed to deal with complexity and uncertainty.
Please explore our webpage, become a member and we will keep you updated through our Newsletter. You will find there information on how to contact us. We would be really delighted to hear from you.
Dr Anastasios Dimopoulos, Chair of the RCPsych Philosophy SIG
Over the years the philosophy SIG has supported meetings with the Philadelphia Association. In 2007, the two groups conjointly organised the 4th RD Laing Conference. In recent years the philosophy SIG has also put on workshops or symposia in the Annual College Meeting.
Members of the SIG have been instrumental in building up the International Network for Philosophy and Psychiatry (INPP). The INPP website hosts a Resource Base of references, précis, and links to relevant publications in the interdisciplinary field. There are now links with similar groups in over 20 countries.
The INPP has pursued a series of international conferences every few years, the 14th International Conference for Philosophy and Psychiatry was held in September 2011 in Gothenborg Sweden:
Ethics, Experience and Evidence: Integration of Perspectives in Psychiatry - videos of the Conference
Our connections with our American counterpart, the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry, led to a new journal called Philosophy Psychology and Psychiatry (PPP). Launched in 1993, it is still published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Following the success of PPP, Oxford University Press has brought out a series entitled International Perspectives on Philosophy and Psychiatry. Professor Bill Fulford, one of the founding members of the Philosophy SIG is joint editor of the series (he was also a joint founding editor of PPP). This series now has a large number of volumes relevant to the philosophy and practice of psychiatry.
The philosophy SIG focuses on a central aim, which is to encourage philosophical thought and conceptual analysis amongst psychiatrists. To this end, we are delighted that the new curriculum for the membership examination includes a specific focus on philosophy and ethics.
The philosophy SIG continues to encourage educational activities within the College both through workshops at the Annual Meeting and also through other CPD activities, which include the running of local groups.
Local groups always depend on the enthusiasm of individuals and, as such, such groups have come and gone. The Scottish section of the philosophy SIG continues to foster meetings on a regular basis. There has been a strong group formed in London centred on the Maudsley and, in recent years the HUMAN Group in Nottingham has been encouraging interdisciplinary meetings.
Other groups have existed in the past in both Sheffield and Oxford and the philosophy SIG would always be pleased to hear of local groups and to advertise their meetings.
Research is also an important part of the dialogue between philosophers and psychiatrists.The Philosophy SIG has links with teaching and research programmes at Oxford and London.
Masters and doctoral programmes have been available from a number of universities in recent years in relation to philosophy and psychiatry. The Institute of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire runs a distance learning masters programme based on the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Also available by local teaching and/or distance learning is:
MPhil in Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health at University of Pretoria, South Africa.
One of the functions of the philosophy SIG is to examine the ways in which philosophy can be brought to bear on practice and also seen to emerge from the context of practice.
A main contention of those interested in the philosophy of psychiatry is that conceptual problems lie at the heart of clinical practice. It is for this reason that we are excited that the work of the philosophy SIG continues to burgeon and broaden.
In the last few years we have seen philosophy of psychiatry having an impact on initiatives within the Department of Health through, for instance, the notion of values based practice. For instance, we can now point to documents from the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that make reference to values based practice, a concept that has emerged directly from work in the philosophy of psychiatry.
The development of the philosophy SIG over the last 25 years has been exciting and stimulating for all those involved and there is no reason to believe that this excitement and stimulation is set to do anything other than to continue in the future.
The following podcast gives a good introduction into philosophy of psychiatry.
Philosophy Special Interest Group Conference: biopsychosocial model revisited; myth and reality
13 December at The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street, London, E1 8BB
For further details and to book please view our events page.
an initial meeting. The proposed dates are the following:
- 28-09-2022 at 15:30
- 23-11-2022 at 15:30
- 25-01-2023 at 15:30
- 29-03-2023 at 15:30
- 24-05-2023 at 15:30
Please share the dates with psychiatric trainees that may have an interest in philosophy and are not yet recipients of this newsletter.
For expressing your interest, please contact Catriona Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading and online discussion group
The SIG have recently launched a new reading and discussion group.
To find out more and express your interest in joining, please contact Catriona Grant at email@example.com.
- Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences
- Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology
- Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
- Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine
- Oxford Textbook of Philosophy & Psychiatry
- Journal of Ethics in Mental Health
- The Journal of Medicine & Philosophy