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Psychosocial Studies Online Reading Group: Psychosocial meaning making in carcaeral spaces

28th January 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A case study of prison and mental health care practis

We are incredibly happy to invite you to join us for the first APS online reading group of the year! We are starting this year with Andrew Sheppard’s incredibly important work on carceral spaces in prisons and mental health care, published in The Journal of Psychosocial Studies.

The article is available to download for free here



Prisons represent sites of psychological distress and suffering. In this article, the implications of this, and the need for the maintenance of a psychosocial perspective, are explored. A psychogeographic overview of the prison environment is provided to consider the way it is constituted at different levels: the macro-social, meso-social and micro-social levels. Two vignettes are presented, which illustrate the process of loss and emergent self-destruction accompanying an enforced identity change followed by the radical means of stabilisation that may be adopted in opposition to this process. The essential nature of personal narrative construction ‐ this process of sense making ‐ is considered alongside the forcing impact of the social environment, as well as wider social pressures, and their impact on the dynamic process. In closing, a limitation of the employed methodology ‐ focusing on individual experience ‐ is remarked on: if these psychological processes take place through an act of modulation in response to a social field, how does the social field in turn respond to these modulations? In closing, I argue that through maintaining a psychosocial focus, researchers and clinicians discharge an ethical duty to maintain the attention of society on the suffering of some of its most vulnerable members.


All registered attendees should automatically be sent a Zoom link. The link will be re-sent the day of the event.


Author biography:

Andrew Shepherd is a Consultant Forensic psychiatrist – secure hospital and prison settings and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the University of Manchester. Andrew has on-going research and teaching interests in psychoanalysis, the lived experience of mental disorders, and the enactment of mental health at institutional boundaries.


Other events are currently in the planning stage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or sign up as a Member to keep up to date with everything. Members will continue to receive copies of the Journal of Psychosocial Studies as a further benefit of subscription to the Association.



28th January 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Association for Psychosocial Studies