Workshop: Therapy’s Choice: Narrative Practices, Cognitive Neuroscience or Both?

Therapy’s Choice: Narrative Practices, Cognitive Neuroscience or Both?

Tuesday 16th February 2016
Northfield’s Campus, University of Wollongong
Lecture Theatre 21.G08, Early Start, Building 21. Map:

On the 25th of November 2015 the Australian Government announced that “Reform starts today” in response to the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services. Our workshop will take a hard look a tough choice the mental health field faces between two competing and seemingly incompatible ways of understanding mental disorders. The folk psychology view puts our everyday normative conceptual scheme in the driver’s seat – on the assumption that it, and it only, tells us what mental disorders are (Graham 2009). Opposing this, the scientific image view (Murphy 2006, Gerrans 2014) holds that our understanding of mental disorders must come, wholly and solely, from the sciences of the mind, unfettered by folk psychological assumptions about the mind.

This workshop marks the launch of the Narrative Practices in Therapy (NPT) Initiative, which is funded by the Faculty of Humanities, Law and the Arts, University of Wollongong –


08.45-09.00 Welcome and opening words

09.00-10.15 The Place of Narrative in Psychiatric Theory and Practice
Laurence Kirmayer, M.D., FRCPC, James McGill Professor and Director, Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University.


10.30-11.45 Levels of explanation, Folk Psychology and Psychiatric Disorder: Explaining the (in?) effectiveness of SSRIs in the Treatment of Depression.
Philip Gerrans, Professor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide and an associate of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences in Geneva.

11.45-13.00 Changing Minds: Narrative Practice and the 4 Es
Glenda Satne, Vice Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Wollongong.

Lunch (Non-NPT attendees to make own arrangements)

14.00-15.15 A Reconciliation for the Future of Psychiatry: Both Folk Psychology and Cognitive Science
Daniel D. Hutto, Professor of Philosophical Psychology, University of Wollongong.

15.15-16.30 Culture, Cognition and Explanation
Dominic Murphy, Associate Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney.


16.45-18.00 Patterns of the Narrative Self in Therapeutic Contexts
Shaun Gallagher, Moss Chair in Philosophy, University of Memphis, Humboldt Anneliese Maier Research Fellow, Professorial Fellow in Philosophy, University of Wollongong.

Drinks @ Dagwood –

19.30- late
Conference Dinner @ Hanoi Vietnamese restaurant – (Non-NPT attendees are very welcome to join – and please notify the organiser if you intend do so – but only speaker meals will be covered by event funding)

All are welcome to attend. There is no registration fee, but places may be limited due to restrictions on space. Please RSVP to secure a place by inserting the subject line ‘Registration for TC Workshop, 16 Feb 2016’.

NPT Pre-Workshop Launch Meeting

NPT Pre-Workshop Launch Meeting
LHA Research Hub seminar room, 2-5pm, Monday 15th Feb 2016

This will be an internal event to launch our initiative. The team will discuss future plans. A main item of business will be to discuss the timing and focus of the second workshop NPT workshop in 2016/2017. It is is likely to focus on how narratives play their part in therapy – looking at the nature of narrative practices, how they are used in different cultures and how we should understand the way they transform the way we think about ourselves – and thus live our lives. Special attention will be given to contributions from indigenous studies, media studies and literature. Speakers: We will invite David Denborough, Dulwich Centre, and Marc Slors (Radboud University Nijmegen) to deliver keynotes. Prof Slors eads the “The Management of the Self: A Humanities Approach to Self-Management in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine”project – This second NPT workshop could aim at presenting any new developments in the field that are relevant to NPT and which might for the basis for future projects and publications.

New project on Managing the Self

Prof. Marc Slors receives EUR739,678 for a project on “Management of the Self: a Humanities Approach to Self-Management in Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine”. Our own Prof. Hutto is part of the project. For more information go to:

Academy of Finland funds…

Professor Mari Hatavara receives funding from the Academy of Finland for the project “Making Sense in Literature and Social Life”. Our own Prof. Hutto is the international investigator of the project. For more information on the project go to: