Different Worlds


Roughly 1 in every 200 people experience a psychotic disorder in the course of a year (Singleton et al, 2001) while 4.4% of the general population have experienced at least on psychotic symptom (Wiles et al, 2006). Among service user groups the frequency will obviously much higher and most staff will come in contact with people troubled by psychotic experiences. These can be among the most difficult experiences for staff to understand and many will feel torn between conflicting professional advice.

This workshop aims to prepare participants to feel more confident and skilled in working with service users who are troubled by hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. The workshop is delivered through a series of dramatised case scenarios, each addressing a different aspect of working with psychosis. In each case participants are helped to explore their own reactions, understanding and skills and then to compare that with best practice.

This evocative workshop dramatically brings together the fraught tension between the needs of the service user and that of the practitioner in a way that highlights good, safe and appropriate practice.


The workshop can be run over one, two, three or more days. It is recommended that participants have attended "Troubled Minds" before enrolling on this course - or alternatively it is possible for us to design a workshop that integrates both courses. As a rough guide:

  • The one-day workshop is suitable for staff for may come in contact with service users troubled by psychotic experiences, but where this is not the the focus of their work

  • The two-day course is for staff where assisting service users who are troubled by psychotic experiences is the main focus of their work

  • The longer courses are for staff who need to develop specialist skills in working with service users who are troubled by psychotic experiences



On this course participants will:

  • Explore the relationship between psychotic experiences and a person's wider mental health

  • Learn about how the onset, course and outlook of psychotic experiences are affected by a person's age, gender and race

  • Consider how these disruptions alter the way in which a person experiences the world

  • Learn how to intervene to assist a person experiencing an acute psychotic episode

  • Identify strategies to help service users feel more in control of their lives


This covers everything on the One Day Course, and in addition course participants will:

  • Discover skills and strategies for working with people who experience hallucinations, delusions and paranoia over the longer term

  • Consider complications such as substance misuse, learning disabilities and non-compliance

  • Review how these insights and skills can be applied to benefit current service users


The longer courses (3-5 days) cover everything in the one and two day course and then go on to look in more detail at the specialist skills involved in working with specific client groups.