‘The survivor researcher as ‘trickster’? Critical reflections on the role of experiential knowledge within academic research in mental health’

For this meeting, on Thursday 15 December at 17.30-19.00, we have a presentation from SRN Director, Dina Poursanidou, PhD:

“In this paper I am borrowing the character of ‘the trickster’ from H. Spandler’s work in ‘The radical psychiatrist as trickster’ (2008) to experiment with and explore the characteristics and functions of ‘the trickster’ as they could potentially apply to the double identity and role of service user/survivor researchers within academic research contexts. The lived contradictions characterising service user/survivor researchers’ liminal professional identities, as well as the paradoxical, disruptive and unsettling nature and function of experiential knowledge within academic research in mental health, will be critically reflected upon having the character of ‘the trickster’ as a point of departure. Drawing upon my autobiography, the paper will discuss the unremitting identity and other (ethical, political and methodological) struggles implicated in the task of constructing and negotiating our double identities as researchers and mental health service users within University-based mental health research in England; a task involving immense complexities, challenges, paradoxes, contradictions, ambivalence and discomfort.”

These meetings offer a space for people with lived experience of mental distress to discuss survivor research and the issues and barriers we face in getting involved in doing mental health research for ourselves, and there will also be space for those attending to raise issues and support needs for discussion.

The meeting is via Zoom and you can register here.

Although our primary focus is on mental health research in England, survivor researchers from outside England or the UK are welcome to register and attend.

Looking ahead, our January 2023 meeting is on Wednesday 18 January.