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Workshop: Interpersonal Narratives and Mental Health

Thursday 13 June 2013 (10:00-16:00)

We are all narrators. The diverse experiences we have in our lives are gathered in a story that is supposed to make sense of those experiences, give a sense of direction and purpose to our lives, and shape future actions and decisions. Self-narratives are being studied by philosophers and psychologists because they seem to have powerful effects on wellbeing and on the sense of identity, autonomy, and responsibility we develop as agents. There is an increasing interest in the study of self-narratives in the context of mental health, as many suggest that psychiatric disorders are at bottom ‘disorders of the self’. Do the narratives of people with a psychiatric diagnosis lack correspondence with reality or internal coherence? Can interventions aimed at restoring correspondence or coherence, contribute to recovery and increased wellbeing?

This workshop, led by Professor Lisa Bortolotti, will explore these issues, and the role of narratives in the understanding of mental health service users’ sense of autonomy and responsibility. It will propose an investigation of the interpersonal dimensions of narratives, which involves gathering narratives from family, friends or carers of service users and comparing such narratives with the self-narratives service users themselves develop. 

For more information, visit the Institute of Advanced Studies website.

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