Searching for a Rose Garden. Fostering Real Alternatives to Psychiatry

on 2nd and 3rd September, 2011 in Berlin.

Programme: Please download the programme of the conference here. Or choose to download the complete conference booklet here.


The conference took place with more than 200 guests from several countries.

Please read the comment written by Peter Beresford, professor of social policy, one of the main speakers on the conference, here: „… insights for new solutions“.

Here you can find another comment written by Dr. Tara Gregory from Kansas, U.S., to this „illuminating and inspiring conference“.


The announcement was:

This conference is the highlight of the event series ‘’Survivor Control: The Rights and Self-help Opportunities of People with Psychiatric Experience” organized by the Berlin Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence this year.

Searching for a Rose Garden will introduce and explore alternatives to psychiatry that build upon survivors’ knowledge. These are approaches developed in close collaboration with people who have direct experience of extreme crisis and receiving psychiatric treatment. They are based on survivors’ own understandings of madness and distress. The conference topics will also include suicidality and self-harm which can challenge alternative practices and are often handed over to psychiatry.

Experiential knowledge proves to be a unique and invaluable source in creating radically different social responses and building up real alternatives to psychiatry. Bringing together world leaders in the field, this conference will be an important chance to reflect in depth on these innovative approaches: their origins and potential, the prerequisites for their development and the difficulties they face. We will contemplate and discuss a way forward together. The conference will focus on survivor-controlled practices including research as well as working partnerships with professionals. The two days will both divide into plenary sessions with keynote speeches as well as smaller working groups.

This conference is a must for anybody working toward different values in mental health. Searching for a Rose Garden will bring together radical thinkers, long term political activists, authors and experts pioneering unique alternative concepts.




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