CHT runs conferences and its staff regularly present papers at conferences run by other organisations both in the UK and abroad in order to develop a psychoanalytic understanding of therapeutic communities, engage in dialogue with others in the field and raise awareness of the benefits of therapeutic commities and psychoanalysis.

CONFERENCES

 

RECENT CONFERENCES

Cuerpo o psicosis: tres casos a la luz de Lacan
On 16th April John Gale delivered, via Skype, the first of three lectures on 'the topography of the body - from invention to fragmentation' as part of a three months seminar run by Dr Maria Teresa Albarran for students of psychoanalysis at the ELEIA Institute in Mexico. Dr Albarran is a Lacanian analyst and professor at the Institute.

This first lecture was entitled ‘the signifying body’ and a Spanish translation of the text was made by Mai Tassinari.

Abstract: The historiography of the body mirrors that of the self. Like ‘the self’, the meaning of the term ‘body’ is a hard to pin down. It is a concept that shifts across a series of intersecting intellectual landscapes. Thus, answers to the question ‘What is a body?’ vary considerably, depending not only on whether one is asking a psychologist, a psychoanalyst, a philosopher, an anthropologist or a theologian but also on when one asks the question. In other words, the topography of the body is closely linked to its chronology. Within this chronology we find key instants at which the body has been dramatically re-conceptualised. Indeed, we might say that different bodies not only coexist but that the body (sōma) emerges in varying guises and is privileged at different moments as ‘the flesh’ (sarx), as a the place of absence - of the psuchē - (the corpse), and as a metonym of the cadaver (the tomb - sēma); as the site of mutilation (the body of the martyr), in relation to the practice of spiritual exercises (the ascetic body which, as we shall see, is closely related not only to  the notion of practice and thus to the development of the concept of phronēsis but also to the development of the concept of ‘formation’ from Stoicism and Epicureanism through to Freud and Lacan) in the context of what Foucault designated ‘the care of the self’, and self-punishment (the penitential body); as the locus of magical powers (the demonic body), of penetration (the possessed or convulsive body); a place impregnated by the Real (the mystical body), by madness (the psychotic or fragmented body), and by the erotic (the hysterical body). Much here, it will be noticed, refers to religious discourse. As Freud had considered his relationship to Judaism in Totum and Taboo (1912-13) and Moses and Monotheism (1937-9), Lacan in his Ethique de la psychoanalyse (1959-60) considered his relationship to Christianity. While Freud’s Judaism has been discussed in detail, Lacan’s Catholicism has been less closely examined. However, one cannot but notice that time and again he writes in relation to the New Testament, to theological texts, particularly Augustine, to Pascal, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila etc. For this reason Michel de Certeau describes Lacan’s discourse in its history, narratives and theoretical loci as Christian. It is a view that Roudinesco echoes in describing mysticism and the Trinity as two of the great myths on which Lacan based his reading of Freud.

John's further lectures in the seminar will be held on 28th May and 2nd July.

The Freud Museum
On 12th April John Gale held a TC Masterclass at the Freud museum in Hampstead. The theme was on the inscrition of new staff into a therapeutic community informed by Lacanian psychoanalytic ideas, and the formation that is most suited to the staff. Particular emphasis was place on the fundamental difference between the notion of training and that of formation. The latter emphasising the importance for the staff to be in their own analysis. 

Brunel University
On 1st February, for the second year running, at the invitation of Prof Dany Nobus, John Gale lecturered to students at Brunel University who are studing for a Masters in psychoanalysis.

ISPS conference in Bled, Slovenia 25-6th September 2015

The annual conference of the Slovenian branch of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS) was be held in Bled, Slovenia 25-6 September 2015.

John Gale gave a paper about CHT's work with particular emphasis on the Lacanian orientation in the therapeutic community treatment of psychosis. Janja Mihoci illustrated this with a case study of clinical work at Lilias Gillies House.

2nd International conference of INDTC, Zagreb 12th June 2015

The second international conference of INDTC was held at the University Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce, Bolnicka c 32, Zagreb, Croatia on 12th June 2015. The conference was attended by psychiatrists, psychologists, students, occupational therapists, psychiatric nurses and others in the field of mental health, those who commission services and people with personal experience of mental ill health. There were interventions on theory, research and the history of therapeutic communities, and examples of good practice, and an experience of large group process.

After an introductory address by John Gale, Professor Sladjana Štrkalj Ivezic, who is a psychiatrist, group analyst and member of INDTC's International Advisory Panel gave a paper as did Dr Steve Pearce. Steve trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in London and now works as a consultant psychiatrist and medical psychotherapist in Oxford, UK, where he runs the Complex Needs Service, a specialist service for people with personality disorders and related conditions. He is the editor of the journal Therapeutic Communities, Chair of NHS England Personality Disorder Clinical Reference Group, and President of the British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder. Hiroko Sakate, a clinical psychologist from Osaka, Japan currently working at CHT gave a presentation about INDTC and Janja Mihoci, a clinical psychologist from Slovenia and trainee group analyst, also working for CHT, gave a presentation about the work of the Community of Communities peer review network based at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

We also heard a fascinating account of the history of therapeutic communities in Croatia from Dr Zoja Pisk, a psychiatrist and group analyst, psychotherapist and a leading expert in therapeutic communities in Croatia with many years of experience in this field.

Participating in this conference was an enormously rewarding experience for all those involved and our heartfelt thanks go to Professor Sladjana Štrkalj Ivezic and her team for organising it. We hope to establish a local INDTC group in Zagreb soon.

 Click here for further details.


Conference at the Albanian University, Tirana 6th June 2015

At the invitation of Professor Dr Vera Ostreni, John Gale and Holly North made a presentation about the work of CHT and INDTC at a conference at the Albanian University in Tirana, Albania on 6th June 2015. The conference was extremely interesting and Professor Egla Dervishi (Head of Psychology) and Professor Fatmir Tartale (Dean of Social Sciences) as well as Professor Vera Ostreni (Rector) and Silva Ibrahimi made us most welcome. The conference was opened by Nora Malaj (Deputy Minister of Education) and other speakers came from Italy and the United States as well as from Albania, and contributed interesting papers. The papers from the conference are due to be published in the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. Albania is about to embark on something akin to the establishment of care in the community and CHT hopes to be able to offer its support. The Albanian University has become an institutional member of INDTC.

 

INDTC conference Anna Freud Centre 9th May 2015 - London
The origins of the therapeutic community in England are most often associated with the work of and W.R.Bion, Richman, Harold Bridger, S.J. Foulkes, Maxwell Jones and Tom Main. In Italy with Franco Bassaglia and Diego Napolitani. But while it is true that psychoanalytic thinking only ever takes place within a specific tradition of thinking, there is always scope for a cross over. This conference – the second in a series – aims precisely at a mutual sharing of ideas between clinicians and academics across divergent discourses, dialects and traditions.

In the last two years over 1,500 professionals from 65 different countries have joined INDTC. Why is interest in therapeutic communities growing so fast? What is the experience of international cross cultural cooperation like? Is it relevant for you - should you be getting involved?

This conference was a huge success with almost 90 people attending, over 20 of whom came from Italy. After an inspirational address by Dr Rex Haigh (Chair of the trustees of CHT) Marino de Crescente (Rome) introduced the morning speakers. Dr Chris Scanlon (Consultant Psychotherapist, Group Analyst and Visiting Professor at UEL) got the conference off to a brilliant start with a inspirational presentation about the politics of mental ill health. This was followed by a presentation by Prof Raffaelle Barone (Psychiatrist/Group Analyst/Professor University of Palermo) and a discussion chaired by Dr Chris Nicholson (Sen Lecturer, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex). After a simple lunch in the lovely garden, the afternoon speakers were introduced by John Diamond (CEO Mulberry Bush School). Luca Mingarelli (Milan) and Dr Alistair Black (Lacanian psychoanalyst/CHT's Training Director) discussed aspects of staff leadership and training. The final discussion was chaired by Dr Anne Worthington (Lacanian psychoanalyst/Sen Lecturer, Centre for Psychoanalysis, University of Middlexsex).

 Click here for further details.

 

TC Masterclass, Freud museum London 13th January 2015


PAST CONFERENCES

Learning from Action Experiental Group Relations conference, Maccagno Italy 24th until 26th October 2014

Janine Miller and Nelly Gomez attended a Learning from Action Experiental Group Relations conference from 24th until 26th October 2014 at Casa Emmaus in Maccagno, Va, Italy. The conference was run by Luca Mingarelli who is a member of the advisory panel of CHT's international network (INDTC).

Our COO, Nesha Kelly, and a small group of project managers attended the annual conference of The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities which was held in Windsor from 20th until 22nd October. CHT's chairman, Dr Rex Haigh, gave the keynote address to the conference which was attended by over 120 people. 

Home Base staff attended a conference on 18 October 2014 at The Anna Freud Centre entitled PSYCHOANALYSIS, TRAUMA AND MILITARY MENTAL HEALTH at which John Gale and Mike Swinburn gave papers about CHT's work with traumatised and homeless veterans. The conference dealt with military conflict and its psychological consequences, and its place in the development of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the 20th century, and the treatment of emotional casualties of war have led to a new understanding of complex trauma. This important conference looked at the lessons that can be learned from past and current forms of diagnosis and treatment.

John Gale and staff attend a lecture by Dr Rex Haigh, CHT’s chairman, about the book The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times at London University, on Monday 30th June 2014.

John Gale made a presentation about CHT’s international network (INDTC) at the AIRSAM Congress (Italian Association for Residential Mental Health), which is an institutional member of INDTC, in Matera, Italy 19th – 20th June 2014. Laura Porry Pastoral also made a presentation.

John Gale and staff attended a seminar at the Freud museum in June 2014 given by Professor Matthew del Nevo (Catholic Institute, Sydney University) on Freud and the Jewish hermeneutic tradition. Matthew will be spending some months, as part of his sabbatical, at CHT in early 2015.

In March 2014 John Gale, Terry Saftis, Nesha Kelly, Hiroko Sakate attended the launch of a recent book entitled The Psychic Home. Psychoanalysis, consciousness and the human soul by Roger Kennedy, CHT’s president, in which he spoke about the work of CHT.

On 14th January 2014, we ran a TC Masterclass at the Freud museum. The speaker was Dr Rex Haigh, CHT’s chairman, NHS consultant psychiatrist and group analyst, former chair of the Association of Therapeutic Communities. Around 25 people attended. 

On 22nd November 2013 John Gale gave a paper entitled ‘Intersecting Heterologies’ at the 1st international conference of CHT’s international network (INDTC) held in Rome. Over 150 people attended from many countries including Italy, UK, Portugal, Pakistan, Lebanon and Japan. There were a number of eminent speakers from the fields of therapeutic communities and psychoanalysis, and the papers from the conference were published as a special edition of the journal European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. 

John Gale delivered a paper on poetry and psychoanalysis, as part of the Open Seminar Series, on 13th November 2013 at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex. 

On 8th October 2013 CHT ran a TC Masterclass at the Freud museum. The speakers were Dr Leon Redler (founder of Archway Communities; former Chair of the Philadelphia Association), Dr James Low (SLAM) and Stephen Blunden (CEO Childhood First). 

Terry Saftis and Iwona Munia (PM ML) made a presentation at the ISPS conference in Warsaw on 22nd August 2013. 

Terry Saftis, Rubi Abad, Janja Mihoci and Zsofia Rozalia attended the ‘Growing Towards Recovery’ conference 12-13th July 2013 in Sevenoakes. CHT’s chairman, Dr Rex Haigh, also gave a paper. There is a growing body of evidence that green care and ecotherapy interventions have a positive impact on mental health and social inclusion. This conference aimed to make explicit different and contrasting mental health models, service structures, and their outcomes in green care settings. This was the first national conference to address the theoretical and applied ideas that contribute to this effective way of addressing mental health problems and associated social exclusion.

On 12th July 2013 Nesha Kelly, Natalie Scofield , Kevin Knottley and Anthony Jones attended the annual trauma conference organised by the Tavistock Trauma Service.

On 15th July 2013 we ran a TC Masterclass series at the Freud museum. The speaker was Professor Gary Winship (Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Nottingham, Senior Fellow, Institute of Mental Health). Around 25 people attended.

John Gale ran a support visit at Grendon Prison for the Community of Communities (Centre for Quality Improvement, Royal College of Psychiatrists) on 24th July 2013.

John Gale was invited to the bi-annual Thalassa Haz conference in Budapest on 7th June 2013, as the key note speaker. About 60 people attended. Other speakers included Dr Tom Ormay, the editor of the journal Group Analysis, who is an Associate of CHT’s international network (INDTC).

On 20th May 2013 we ran a TC Masterclass at the Freud museum. The speaker was Dr Chris Nicholson (Lecturer at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex). Around 25 people attended. 

John Gale and Terry Saftis made a presentation on the work of CHT, entitled ‘Pedagogy and the analytic experience’, at the annual forum of the Community of Communities, Centre for Quality Improvement, Royal College of Psychiatrists, held at SOAS on 2nd May 2013.

In November 2012 John Gale present a paper at a symposium about the International Network at the 11th World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation congress in Milan. 

John Gale and Terry Saftis made a presentation on spirituality and psychosis at a conference organised by ISPS Slovenia in Bled 21st to 23rd September 2012. Janja Mihoci also presented a case study at the conference. 

Terry Saftis and Nesha Kelly made a presentation about CHT/Tavistock Trauma Service partnership at the 15th International Military Mental Health Conference in Marseilles on 4th September 2012. This is the main annual conference in the field of mental health services for veterans and the second time we have made a presentation. 

Janja Mihoci presented a paper about the work of CHT at the ISPS conference in Dubrovnik in July 2012. 

On 1st July 2012 John Gale, Yin Ping Leung, Janja Mihoci, Katarzyna Dec, Yaprak Ölmez and Anar Kali made a presentation on Home Base at an open day at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust (PETT), near Cheltenham. 

In March 2012 John Gale contributed to a panel discussion at a conference at The Institute for Mental Health at Nottingham University organised by Prof Gary Winship. 

Terry Saftis presented a paper at the Association of Therapeutic Communities annual Windsor conference in 2011.

John Gale presented a paper at a conference on trauma and spirituality held in Belfast in March 2011.

John Gale and Terry Saftis gave a paper at a conference on Cultures of Evaluation for the Quality of the Cure: Process and Result of Treatments in Therapeutic Communities held in Milan 29th-30th September 2011.

John Gale and Terry Saftis gave a paper about CHT's work with traumatised ex service men and women at the 14th International Military Mental Health Conference held in Berlin on 5th-6th December 2011.

Terry Saftis and Tom Cotton made a presentation about the work of CHT at the 2011 annual forum of the Community of Communities, in the Centre for Quality Improvement at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The theme was 'Different traditions in TCs: How much do TCs embrace different therapeutic approaches?' and as always featured workshops and presentations from member organizations.

John Gale and Natalie Scofield made a presentation of Home Base at the Homeless Link 'mental health and well-being good practice event - introducing Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs)' on the 24th March.

Terry Saftis and Emma Pyle presented the work of CHT at the 2011 Therapeutic Communities Interest Group conference in Eastbourne. The conference was on psychosocial therapies for the treatment of psychosis.

In September 2010 Dr Alistair Black presented a paper with Holly North at the Annual Windsor conference of the Association of Therapeutic Communities. Their paper was entitled 'Psychosis, transference and the position of the analyst'. In a compelling and erudite paper it was argued that, in contrast to a Kleinian approach, "a psychoanalytic approach along Lacanian lines organises the treatment around a defined axis of transference to the knowledge which is supposed to have a healing effect. All forms of treatment involve the fundamental role of transference, including psychiatric modes of treatment, however within psychiatric discourse and practice, and even in medicine more generally, transference is undoubtedly utilised yet un-theorized and therefore any effects of transference is purely accidental one way or the other. Lacanian psychoanalytic practice within a hospital or therapeutic community setting needs to develop a clearly defined 'axis of transference' in which transference relations are worked within and handled through the theoretical architecture of the three dimensions:, the imaginary, the symbolic and the real".

John Gale gave a paper at a conference entitled Architettura e Psiche organised by Dr Rosario Marocco at La Sapienza University in Rome on 28th September 2010. "One of the principles of the therapeutic community approach is that the whole environment - including the built space - forms not just the arena of treatment - although of course, it does include it - but also in its function as habitation the built space is part of what is specifically therapeutic in the experience of the patients and staff who live and work there. This corresponds quite closely to the three-fold notion of environment discussed by Heidegger in which the person’s own self-environment (the inner as well as the outer bodily self), social environment (which includes relationships, intersubjectivity, Mitsein) and surrounding environment (nature as a whole, the location and surrounding landscape) form a whole. This threefold schema encompasses all the spaciality characteristic of Dasein from the nearness of interiority to remoteness of the other. This tripartite conception of the concept of the environment has led to a fascination with Heidegger's philosophy by some architectural theorists which in its turn has informed the designs of architects like Peter Zumthor, Steven Holl, Hans Scharoun and Colin St John Wilson. For Heidegger a place is a space that has been cleared, like a clearing in the forest, cleared for something. And in a way, what matters, he suggests, is the kind of thing that the place has been cleared for. In other words, the emphasis in architecture is shifted by the philosopher away from the aesthetics of the building to the human activity of dwelling, which is rooted in the building which has been constructed". [The conference was reported on www.archinfo.it/meeting-architettura-e-psiche].

Alistair Black and Holly North ran a workshop at the 13th Annual Northern Ireland Group Psychotherapy Conference on Recovery and Reparation through Groups held in Belfast 12-13th August 2010.

CHT's annual conference 2010 was held at the Royal Society of Medicine. The theme of the conference was psychosis and substance misuse. Professor Gary Winship (Associate Professor Centre for the Study of Human Relations, School of Education and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham University) gave a fascinating paper on Bion's unpublished notes on Rosenfeld's Psychotic Addicts. Martin Weegmann (Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Group Analyst, Lead for Psychology and Psychotherapy, South West London NHS Trust Substance Misuse Services) gave a paper on Dual diagnosis. Dr Rik Loose (Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer, University College Dublin in association with St Vincent's Hospital) gave a paper on Drug use and 'ordinary' psychosis. Dr Alison Summers (Consultant Psychiatrist, Lancashire Care Early Intervention Service) made a presentation on Substance use in early psychosis and Patrick Coyne (Nurse Consultant Dual Diagnosis, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust) presented on the use of traditional relapse prevention approaches to dual diagnosis.

On 26th March 2010 at the Annual Forum of the Community of Communities Staff and clients from Home Base made a presentation about the dispersed therapeutic community model CHT has developed for ex-servicemen and women which deviates from the typical one-site residential TC model. They demonstrated how psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help to prevent those with complex trauma becoming homeless.

On 11th and 12th December 2009 staff presented a paper entitled 'Social pedagogy and depth hermeneutics' at a conference at Ghent University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. The aim of the symposium was to explore different paradigms of care and support by way of theoretical exploration, the similarities and dissimilarities in the contemporary theoretical frameworks of education and social work. National and international experts were invited to discuss concepts and paradigms that have influenced their work and the way social and educational care and support are organised in their respective countries. The paper was an exploration of the nature of therapeutic community practice, illustrated by the work of CHT and a discussion of the notion of the TC in relation to social pedagogy by developing the idea that the social and community aspects of human living depend on language and dialogue (Wittgenstein) and that this necessarily involves understanding and interpretation which rely on pedagogy understood in terms of the 'depth hermeneutics' (Habermas) intrinsic to the psychoanalytic tradition (Lacan). This dual focus on intersubjectivity and the unconscious, it was argued, leads to a re-evaluation of the notions of care and treatment which challenges the current reductionist climate.

John Gale presented the work CHT has been doing on applying early Lacanian thinking (based on Heidegger's philosophy) to the treatment of patients with a psychosis in small therapeutic environments at a joint one day ISPS UK and NWIDP Conference entitled Understanding the experience of people with psychosis - applying NICE guidelines on using psychodynamic principles held on Tuesday 29th September 2009 in Warrington. The focus of the presentation was on understanding the linguistic structure of the group and how to develop what we call 'fundamental conversation' or in Lacan's terminology 'full speech' - that is, recognising the intersubjective nature of the unconscious and taking that into account. This provided a foundation to say something about the presence of the past in patients' self understanding and about the importance of allowing patients to find her/his own direction/answers in the course of treatment, and the corollary that the therapists/staff gain an understanding of their own lack of understanding.

John Gale presented a paper entitled The Continuing Influence of the Past at The Association of Therapeutic Community's (ATC's) Windsor Conference 2009 held at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park, 15-18 September. This paper addressed the fundamental aspects of the notion of tradition by drawing principally on the philosophy of Hans-George Gadamer and the psychoanalytic oeuvre of Jacques Lacan. The authors argue that a concern for present lived experience is also always a concern for the past, because in order to uncover the meaning of the present, we need to reach back into that past with which we remain intimately connected. Our self understanding is, therefore, an immersion into tradition. That tradition, however, is part of the history of the group or community of which we form a part and into which we are embedded. Memory and remembering are intimately connected to our historical being and for this reason, following Lacan, we can describe the unconscious as a sort of register of memory. Memory, in this sense is not a storehouse of unconscious phantasies, but something dynamic. Thus, our historical being is always an historical being-with (Heidegger's Mitsein) or part of the intersubjective nature of the therapeutic community to which we belong. But this past focus also bears something of a transcendent character, for tradition, history, memory and present recalling of the past are linked with self-continuity, and therefore with our own future and that of our communities.

John Gale ran a half day workshop on "the inner conflict of combat" at the 12th Annual Boston-Northern Ireland Group Psychotherapy Conference held in Belfast 20-21st August 2009. The theme of the conference was Terror, Trauma, Transformation: Skilled Group Work at the Edges. The workshop was based on clinical work being carried out with traumatized and homeless former soldiers in the UK by CHT. The workshop aimed to help participants gain experiential insight into the traumatic effects of conflict, by linking experiences in which groups are identified in terms of adversaries with participants' inner world.

John Gale made a presentation on the interface between psychotherapy and spirituality in the context of the therapeutic community at the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities (EFTC) annual conference Rehabilitation and Drug Policy held in The Hague 2-5 June 2009.

At the invitation of Dr Franco Scarpa and Dr Jose Mannu John Gale gave a paper on CHT's work at a conference organised on the theme of marginality which was held in Rome 26-7 March entitled Le nuove marginalità tra aggregazione ed emarginazione:Il ruolo della riabilitazione psichiatrica. Their paper focused specifically on CHT's work with traumatisted ex soldiers. In their paper the authors describe the work of Community Housing and Therapy (CHT), a UK based not-for-profit social enterprise, which has developed a unique and successful business model, research programme and staff training programme, and runs small therapeutic treatment centres along therapeutic community lines. This approach, which is based on a hermeneutic reading of psychoanalysis, primarily treats and cares for those with a psychosis, and severely traumatised ex-military personnel, who have been homeless. Both groups suffer from profound social exclusion. Through its psychoanalytic psychotherapy programmes, and its rehabilitative and employment schemes, CHT effects social integration for people suffering extremes of marginalisation. The paper will be published in the acta of the conference later in the year.

Terry Saftis and Weronika Kocikowska made a presentation on whether acute wards can use therapeutic community methods at the ISPS UK conference Improving the experience of inpatient care: developing a positive approach to risk taking was held on 26th March.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement, asked CHT to make a presentation in the Community of Communities' Annual Forum on 27th March. Emma Pyle and Cristina Vergara ran a workshop on experiential staff learning in a therapeutic community.

The Mental Health Today Exhibition on 4th December 2007 - the biggest mental health event in the UK (60 plus exhibitors and 2,000 visitors) - was used to raise CHT's profile. CHT had one of the five zones– the "therapy zone" and made a number of presentations during the day, followed by discussions and experiential sessions. Topics we presented on included CBT, TCs psychodynamic therapy, training for work and art therapy.

The theme CHT's annual conference 2008 was 'Psychological Services for the Homeless'. The key note speaker was Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point. Other speakers included Dr Angela Jones, Health Adviser at the Department of Communities and Local Government; Dr Phil Timms, Consultant Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust; Doug Davie RN, from the Veterans Policy Unit, Ministry of Defence; Dr Philip Stokoe, a psychoanalyst and Clinical Director of the Adult Department of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Nick Maguire, Deputy Director, School of Psychology, University of Southampton. There were two workshops, one run by Homeless Link and the other by Terry Saftis, one of CHT's senior managers.

John Gale gave a paper on the work of CHT and ran a workshop with Dr Enrico Pedriali at a conference at the University of Bolzano, Bressanone, Italy in March 2008 at the invitation of Professor Liliana Dozza. As a result John was invited to join the scientific committee for G&LLL, a new European body being set up to promote collaboration in groups in education, health and social care.

John Gale attended the Therapeutic Communities Oxford Science Meeting held in March 2008 at the invitation of Dr Rex Haigh. The meeting was to discuss research options for TCs, particularly whether or not RTCs were a realistic option. A consensus statement was drawn up. It was very valuable to be present, to network and to bring into the arena an awareness of TCs for psychosis. The meeting included, notably, Nick Benefield from DoH, Professor Peter Tyrer from Imperial College, Professor George de Leon from NYU School of Medicine and Dr Eric Broekaert from the University of Ghent.

John Gale and Inma Vidana presented a research paper about the work of CHT at the 8th ENMESH 2008 (the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation) conference on 23-4th May at the invitation of Professor Andrzej Cechnicki and Dr Anna Bielanska at Krakow University. This was a large international conference on mental health research and our aim now is to maintain the numerous links we made there, including links with the Institute of Psychiatry and the Sainsbury Centre, and to stay in active contact with the ENMESH group. There will be another conference in two years time which we are already working towards.

John Gale made two presentations and delivered an academic paper at the Institute Pensar at the Javeriana University in Bogota and at Rosario University, Bogota at the invitation of Professor Alberto Ferguson on 16th June. Hosted by Professor Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez, this conference was organised around the book which John edited and there was a book launch at the university.

John Gale presented a paper at the ATC International Windsor Conference held in September 2008. The staff who attended the conference on behalf of CHT arranged a book launch at that the conference in which we sold over 50 copies of the book.

John Gale attended the Second Oxford Health and Homelessness Conference in September 2008 and presented a poster session on the work of Home Base. Around 80 people attended the presentation and there was great interest in the innovative work CHT was doing with homeless and traumatised ex service personnel.