United State

Register by November 5!

Moving Toward Shared Understandings
in Psychosis and Extreme States:
Professional, Individual, and Family Perspectives

ISPS-US Virtual Conference

November 5-7, 2021

Psychosis and extreme states are complex, multifaceted phenomena. Mainstream mental health care in the United States has historically presented a narrow view of both root causes and treatments for the distressing symptoms associated with psychosis, viewing these experiences from a purely bio-medical framework. However, scientific advances over the past decades, and greater awareness of social, cultural, and societal influences on mental health have opened up opportunities to shift the conversation toward more humanistic, person-centered understandings. Thanks to the contributions of people with lived experience, family members, and enlightened practitioners, many of the experiences associated with psychosis are now understood as ways in which the human mind and spirit respond to confusing, challenging, and often difficult environments and relationships. While much progress has been made, much work remains to be done.

Join ISPS-US at our 2021 Conference and Annual Meeting as we consider the progress that can be made when multiple perspectives are honored in the treatment and understanding of psychosis.

We offer presentations that examine and build upon rich collaborations between people with lived experience, family members, researchers, and clinicians across theory, practice, and innovation. Join us as we envision a future that offers greater hope, understanding, and possibility for all people who experience and struggle with extreme states.

This year we plan to include an interactive Creative Healing Space to present an array of therapeutic and creative arts modalities used for treatment, and as forms of self-expression that provide connection, comfort, joy, and healing. These can include origami, visual art, poetry, photography, music, dance, spoken word, and more. This Creative Healing Space was inspired by the ISPS International Congress, to be held in Perugia, Italy in September 2022. With permission, we will take these submissions with us to Perugia next year.

Conference Links

Donate to Scholarship Funds
Program Schedule
Continuing Education Credits
Abstracts, Target Audience, Learning Objectives and References
Presenter Bios
View Interactive ePosters
Sign the Disclosure Form
Bertram Karon Memorial Award
Accessibility and Technical Information
Refund, Cancellation and Grievance Policies

Jaakko Seikkula

Keynote Speaker: Jaakko Seikkula, PhD
Jaakko Seikkula has been involved in developing family-centered mental health care since the early 1980s. He was a member of the original team in Western Lapland in Finland developing the approach later named Open Dialogue. Since 1988, he has conducted research projects on the effectiveness of Open Dialogue, especially on psychosis. He is also interested in looking at dialogues as the basic form of human life and therapeutic practice. Lately he has been looking at embodiment in dialogue, how we communicate in our bodies and create a relational mind. He is Professor of Psychotherapy (emeritus) at University of Jyväskylä and author of two books on dialogical practice and author/co-author of about 190 scientific papers.

Keris Myrick

Honoree: Keris Jän Myrick, MBA, MS
Keris Jän Myrick is a Co-Director of The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i), which aims to advance the transformation of mental health by catalyzing cross-sectional reforms, strengthening collaborations, and bridging gaps. She serves on the Board of the National Association of Peer Specialists (N.A.P.S.) and is a Certified Personal Medicine Coach. She is a leading mental health advocate and executive, known for her innovative and inclusive approach to mental health reform and the public disclosure of her personal story. She has over 15 years of experience in mental health services innovations, transformation, and peer workforce development.

Program Committee
Claire Bien, MEd and Marie Brown, PhD, Co-chairs
Toshiko Kobayashi, MA, Creative Healing Space Chair
Halle Thurnauer, PhD, Conference Logistics Director
Nancy Burke, PhD
Leah Rokeach, MSW, LCSW
Ron Unger, MSW
Pat Wright, MEd

Toshiko and Kristina

The International Organizing Committee of the Perugia ISPS conference, given the pandemic emergency, has decided to reschedule the Perugia conference of 2021 to next year on September 1st-4th, 2022.

Consequently the abstract presentation deadline has been extended until:
January 31st, 2022.
Submit an abstract here.

We would however like to maintain September 3rd-4th, 2021 as the date for a two-day "Co-constructing Healing Spaces" virtual conference.

At this virtual conference the plenary speakers will briefly present and discuss the following themes of the 2022 conference:


A small participation fee will be charged.

Recordings are available from prior ISPS-US Annual Meetings

Free videos are available on our YouTube channel:

Videos for sale or rent are available on Vimeo: (ISPS-US members get a 50% discount on paid videos. The code is in your welcome letter, or email Karen Stern for more information:

A few audio files are available at

If you find our free resources helpful, please make a donation to ISPS-US:

Videos recorded at ISPS International meetings, webinars, and other events are available at the YouTube channel for ISPS-UK and on the channel for ISPS-International.

The ISPS Book Series


ISPS-US webinars go in depth on innovative and diverse approaches to psychosis. Examples of past webinars include:

Cognitive Behavioral & Related Therapies for Psychosis: Diverse Approaches to Supporting Recovery

Internal Family Systems (IFS) and the Inner World in Non Ordinary States

Family Dynamics And Struggling With Voices

How Can the Uncontainable Be Contained? Paradoxes of Madness & Philosophy

Help Support ISPS-US

You can make a direct donation to ISPS-US. Donations made directly to ISPS-US are tax deducible to the extent allowable by law.

The next time you shop on Amazon, use this link and a small portion of your purchase will be donated to us at no extra cost to you!

With iGive, you can setup your account to support ISPS-US. You can signup here and a small portion of your purchases will be donated to help support our foundation

Institutional Members

Join With Others

Join with others working to promote effective psychological and social approaches for psychosis and extreme states!

Joining ISPS-US also makes you a member in ISPS International.

Online Courses

Three online courses are now available, for which 50% of your tuition directly supports ISPS-US. Covered subjects include CBT for psychosis, trauma and psychosis, and spiritual issues and psychosis.

CBT for Psychosis: An Online Course

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for psychosis is an evidence-based method to reduce distress and disability related to psychotic experiences, and to support a possible full recovery. You can complete the course on your own time, with lifetime access to all course materials. Use this link for more information and to register - 50% of your tuition directly supports ISPS-US!

Working with Trauma, Dissociation, and Psychosis

A large body of research now indicates that trauma can be a cause of psychosis, with dissociation playing an important role. This online course will help you understand how this happens, and how to use CBT and other approaches to support work toward recovery. Use this link for more information and to register - 50% of your tuition directly supports ISPS-US!

Addressing Spiritual Issues Within Treatment For Psychosis and Bipolar

Crisis in the mind raises deep questions that are often understood as spiritual. Learn culturally competent and recovery-oriented ways of engaging with people around these issues in this online course. Use this link for more information and to register.

Statements Taken by ISPS-US

ISPS-US Statement on Mass Shootings and "Mental Illness"

While the number of mass shootings in the United States has risen sharply over the past 20 years, and shows no sign of slowing down, some public leaders have erroneously blamed "mental illness" for these horrific crimes. ISPS-US joins Mental Health America, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association in condemning statements that blame or suggest that "mental illness" is the culprit behind these crimes.

View Full Statement

Please sign Brian Koehler's Petition:

APA Drop the Stigmatizing Term "Schizophrenia"

Sign the Petition

Find more information on ISPS-US

Subscribe to the ISPS-US Mailing List

Get the most recent information about upcoming ISPS conferences, webinars, and other opportunities!

Click Here to Subscribe