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IMH Lunchtime Seminar - Dr Rosa Ritunnano, MD

Lectures Talks and Workshops, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical and Dental Sciences, Research
Monday 14th December 2020 (13:00-14:00)

Please contact if you have any questions at all.

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Can delusions have and give meaning?

Current psychiatric approaches to investigating and treating delusions in the context of psychosis operate on the assumption that delusions are the source of the problem. On this view, due to a dysfunction of the mind or brain, the person’s ability to provide an accurate narrative of their world or self-identity is impaired and results in meaningless utterances. While delusions might contain errors of fact, in this talk I argue that they can nonetheless have and give meaning. Drawing on ongoing empirical research, I suggest that delusions can, in some cases, provide a sense of coherence, purpose and meaning in life. A case is made for investigating delusions within a “madness-as-strategy” rather than a “madness-as-dysfunction” paradigm.  

Rosa Ritunnano’s PhD research is based at the Institute for Mental Health, and she works as a Consultant Psychiatrist in an NHS team that provides early intervention in psychosis. Rosa is interested in the cross-disciplinary applications of phenomenological philosophy in mental health research and practice. Her doctoral project (Priestley Scholarship - Universities of Birmingham & Melbourne) focuses on the psychopathology of early psychosis and seeks to integrate classical phenomenological theories with the existential dimension of experience. 


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