Therapeutic Culture and Development Workshop, Sheffield

Please join the Disability Research Forum for a workshop on therapeutic culture and international development on Friday March 17th, 11-5pm, at Sheffield Institute of International Development (SIID), University of Sheffield.

Minds, behaviour and psychologies are fast becoming key frontiers in contemporary development policy. While the links between development and psychology have a long (colonial) history, there has been, of late, a contemporary shift to the more explicit mobilization of therapeutic culture within development interventions. We can see this in multiple arenas, from the uptake of behavioural science in the World Development Report ‘Mind, Society and Behaviour’; the inclusion of mental health on the UN Sustainable Development Goals; to the focus on measures of subjective well-being inter/nationally. Furthermore, digital technology has been used to further integrate psy-expertise in development policy and practice: from the use of phones to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy and to nudge behavioural changes in populations, availability of mental health diagnostic tools on digital platforms, to income management regimes that control population spending.

Speakers so far include:

  • Dr Sally Brooks (University of York)
  • Dr Eva Hilberg (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Elise Klein (University of Melbourne)
  • Dr China Mills (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Vanessa Pupavac (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Sarah White (University of Bath)

The workshop will be split into two parts:

11-1.30pm Speakers will give short (10 min) presentations of their current research relating to therapeutic culture and/or digital technology within international development. This session is open to anyone who would like to attend.

2.30-5pm A focused workshop to identify priority research areas and strengthen future collaborations. This session is limited to a small group of researchers.

To book a place please email: China Mills and Elise Klein  Please also indicate if you would like to give a 10 min presentation of your work in the morning, and/or attend the second half of the workshop, through submitting a short abstract within the email (by Feb 20th).

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