The Power Threat Meaning Framework - Psychology Cultures seminars

University of Leicester Psychology Cultures Seminars to explore alternative ways of understanding mental health.

University of Leicester Psychology Cultures Seminars:

  • Tuesday 5 February 2019, 2.30 to 4.30pm – Professor John Cromby
  • Wednesday 15 May 2019, 2.30 to 4.30pm – Dr Lucy Johnstone

As part of the Psychology Cultures Seminar Series, the University of Leicester is hosting two seminars about the The Power Threat Meaning Framework.

The Framework is an alternative to more traditional models of mental ill-health based on psychiatric diagnosis. Since it was published by the British Psychological Society in January 2018, it has gained considerable attention. Workshops have been organised across the UK, and in countries including Greece, Ireland, Denmark, New Zealand and Australia. The Framework has been translated into Spanish, with Danish and Italian translations underway.

John Cromby is Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester. He is a co-author of The Power Threat Meaning Framework, and co-authored the book Psychology, Mental Health and Distress, which was a British Psychological Society Book of the Year in 2014.

His talk on Tuesday 5 February will explain why the Framework was needed, introduce its key concepts, and describe how it provides a basis for understanding patterns in distress and in troubled and troubling behaviour. Some criticisms and misunderstandings of the Framework will also be addressed.

Lucy Johnstone is one of the lead authors of the Framework. She has authored or co-authored various books including Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems and A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis.

Following on from John’s seminar, Lucy’s talk on Wednesday 15 May will consider practical applications of the Framework, as well as opportunities and barriers for implementing its ideas within services.

Professor Cromby said: “New ways of understanding mental health problems are urgently needed. By clarifying the connections between people’s distress and the things they have experienced, the Framework can help clinicians to work with them in more humane and non-stigmatising ways.”

Dr Gareth Morgan from the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour at the University of Leicester, said: “We hope the seminars will attract an audience of local professionals, academics, students, members of non-statutory services, and people with lived experience of accessing mental health services. Further, we hope the content will support critical reflection on how we make sense of and talk about distress; that the ideas from the Framework might offer attendees ideas about how services could be structured differently in order to promote greater understanding and reduce stigma.”

John Cromby’s seminar will take place in the Henry Wellcome Frank and Katherine May Lecture Theatre at the University of Leicester. To book a place, please contact Carl Gudgeon at