Power Threat Meaning Framework webinar hosted by Psychotherapy SIG

We work in care systems which are struggling or broken. Human suffering including grief, is increasingly misdiagnosed and treated as a disease, while external conditions which create suffering are ignored. Meanwhile commercial interests unduly influence treatment options. Clinicians today suffer moral injury as care and connection are eroded or lost.

The Power Threat Meaning Framework is an ambitious attempt to outline a new, empowering, evidence-based, non-diagnostic approach to working with psychological and emotional distress, based on people’s attempts to survive and make meanings within their relational and social circumstances. Presented by UK Psychologist Lucy Johnstone and Director of Humane Clinic Matthew Ball, this not-to-be-missed event is for all health professionals and students.

Presenter: Dr Lucy Johnstone

Dr Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of 'Users and abusers of psychiatry' (3rd edition Routledge 2021) and ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis' (PCCS Books, 2nd edition 2022); co-editor of 'Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems' (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013); and co-author of  ‘A straight talking introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework' (2020, PCCS Books) along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate in the UK and has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales.

Lucy was lead author, along with Professor Mary Boyle, for the ‘Power Threat Meaning Framework’ (2018), a British Psychological Society publication co-produced with service users, which outlines a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis and has attracted national and international attention. Lucy is an experienced conference speaker and lecturer, and currently works as an independent trainer. She lives in Bristol, UK. 

Articles and News:

The British Psychological Society article - Clinical, Crisis, Disaster and Trauma

Podcast - It's Not Just In Your Head Episode 50

Book - A Straight Talking Introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework, An Alternative to Psychiatric Diagnosis

Presenter: Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball is a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Psychotherapist, and founder of Humane Clinic, Adelaide. Matthew speaks internationally on humane approaches to working with a person in distress as an alternative to pathologizing, diagnosis led, mental health systems.

Matthew completed his Mental Health Nurse Practitioner training in 2018 with a scope of practice of psychodynamic, existential and humane psychotherapy and non-pathologizing responses to ‘psychosis’ and other human expressions of distress. He has facilitated Hearing Voices groups, Maastricht Interviews, and psychotherapy with people hearing voices and other extraordinary realities for many years and has the privilege of having resided in a residential community space outside of mainstream mental health services, for people in extreme states of ongoing distress. His background includes valuing and learning from his own lived and professional experiences in mental health, drug and alcohol, domestic violence, and compassion based approaches to human connection.

Matthew has also developed the theory of Dissocaichotic, and teaches, supervises, and consults nationally and internationally. Matthew developed the Dissociachotic framework, publishing the original paper with Mental Health Nurse Practitioner colleague Sharon Picot in 2021. He is the first author and trainer of the Suicide Narratives approach (2020) and the Director and head of the leadership group that has opened the Just Listening Community – a psychotherapeutically informed emergency dept alternative. His vision for the Just Listening Community draws on lived and professional experiences. Matthew has also acted as an expert witness in child protection and family legal cases.

Matthew was a Top 10 Finalist out of 24,000 candidates from 184 countries for the Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award in 2022. Matthew was awarded Australian Mental Health Nurse of the year in 2017 for his work providing alternatives. 

Matthew's awards and articles: 

  • 2022 Top 10 Finalist – Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award – Matthew Ball
  • 2018 Finalist - 2018 Hesta Australian Nurse of the Year Award - Matthew Ball
  • 2017 Australian Mental Health Nurse of the Year - Matthew Ball
  • 2017 Best Paper Presentation in General Category at the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses International Conference - Matthew Ball
  • 2015 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards: Clinical Practice - Metropolitan Registered Nurse/Midwife - Matthew Ball

To find out more about Matthew and his work, head to the Humane Clinic website.


Thursday 20 October 2022


6pm (AEDT)







Who can attend?

All health professionals and students


Australian College of Mental Health Nurses event

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