top of page

Bittersweet icing on a honey almond cake

The potential contribution of User/Survivor led research and Open Dialogue to PPI research capacity

As a contribution of INTAR and its wider network to PPI Ignite Network at DCU webinar training focused on user led research and dialogical practice three webinars were held in October and November 2022.

Whilst the health and social care population context for these webinars is mental health, which has a long standing tradition of active involvement and leadership amongst people with self-experience, the principles and learning is applicable to any health and social care setting.

We want to explore how PPI can benefit from this.

Webinar 1

Dialogue between established Peer Leaders in the mental health field

The first Webinar is a pre-recorded live Dialogue between established Peer Leaders in the mental health field, which demonstrated both the benefits and challenges of expertise by experience and the role of people with self-experience in determining their own destiny.

The aim of this initial webinar is to illustrate that prior to and alongside PPI and the involvement of patients and public in research and practice; in some arenas there is a long history of not only involvement, but leadership in this area of health care.


Presenters : Liz Brosnan, David Gibbs, Veenu Gupta, Prateeksha Sharma

Faciliated by Sabine Dick and Líam MacGabbhan

October 14th, 2022

Video Documentation

Webinar 2

Owning our Own Destiny: Survivor/Service User Research & the Implications for PPI

The second Webinar ‘Owning our Own Destiny’ brings together a selection of expert by experience/service user/survivor researchers to discuss (a) the justification for and impact of peer led research and (b) what PPI research can learn from this tradition.

The aim is to appraise the benefits of survivor/service user led research and how the principles and practices can contribute to PPI research.

Leaders in survivor/service user/expert by experience research will present their perspectives on how, why and where this research benefits health care delivery. They will then discuss the lessons that can be gleaned for researchers engaging in PPI focused research.

Presenters : Liz Brosnan, Steven Byrne, David Gibbs, Veenu Gupta

Facilitated by Sabine Dick and Líam MacGabbhan

November 4th, 2022

Video Documentation

Webinar 3

Open Dialogue Approaches to Public/Citizen Engagement in Research – doubling roles and moving forward.

The third Webinar will explore how Open Dialogue Approaches can contribute to effective PPI research

The aim is to demonstrate the benefits of utilising Open Dialogue approaches in participatory research methodologies

A selection of INTAR participants will present a range of Open Dialogue that accommodate inclusive participation and multiple perspectives within a practice, research or community setting. The second part of the seminar will present characteristics of research underpinned by Open Dialogue approaches and the panel will discuss how these can be incorporated into PPI research.

Presenters : Michaela Amering, Liz Brosnan, Ana Carolina Florence, Líam Mac Gabhann

Facilitated by Steven Byrne and Sabine Dick

November 11th, 2022

Video Documentation


Amering Foto 2017.jpg

Michaela Amering is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of Vienna, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, with a focus of interest on psychosis and the development of the families` and the users` movements. She is a founding member of the Vienna Trialogue, which has been going on since 1994. Her experience includes work in research and community psychiatry in the USA, UK, Canada, Germany and Ireland as well as engagement in international organisations such as ESSP, EPA, WASP, WPA, where she currently serves to facilitate the work of the WPA Advisory group service users and family carers. She is convinced that the most exciting challenges for mental health research and practice are the concepts created by people with lived experience and is a firm believer in the necessity and the great opportunities of a trialogic approach to mental health and Recovery.

Liz B.jpg

Liz Brosnan is a survivor researcher, active in user-led research since 2005. Her PhD (Medical Sociology), the first Irish 'lived experience' thesis, examined the politics and power dynamics in service user involvement in an Irish setting. She has researched and published on this topic, on survivor research, on the CRPD, critical disability law, the violence of mental health law, marginalized perspectives, including an autographical account of being a lay panel member for mental health tribunals. She is currently a part-time research assistant on a project at the University of Galway looking at changing mental health law in light of the UNCRPD. She found her intellectual home in Mad Studies.


Steven Byrne is the new PPI Ignite Network programme manager at DCU. He completed his BA in Economics and Sociology, MA in Sociology and PhD in Sociolinguistics (all UL). He has previously taught in the Dept. of Sociology, the School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics, the Dept. of Politics and Public Administration and the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Limerick (UL). He has published his work in the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Ethnopolitics, Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, the International Journal for Iberian Studies and Social Semiotics.

Sabine Dick
Ana Florence 25_pp.JPG

Sabine Dick is a systemic counselor, consultant and advocat who has worked in peer-led and collaborative projects since more than 20 years. She studied sociology, English philology and ethnology in Trier and Berlin, Germany. She was a social worker in the runaway house "Villa Stöckle", an anti-psychiatric institution in Berlin, which has profoundly shaped her path. She came to work to Marseille, France in 2018 where she is currently active with the Association Chaque Jour Compte, who engages in sports, well-being, disability / chronic disease and inclusion. As an organizer with INTAR she has partnered in the DCU PPI project.

Ana Carolina Florence, PhD Dr Florence is an early career investigator at Columbia University Department of Psychiatry and New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is a Brazilian clinical psychologist fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. As the project manager of the NIMH Early Psychosis Intervention Network -- OnTrackNY Hub -- her current research focuses on early intervention for first-episode psychosis. Other research interests include global mental health and community-based participatory research.



David Gibbs is a trainer and consultant on race and mental health. He also trains and sits on Panels for Adoption and Fostering. As an Expert by Experience consultant he works with the University of Birmingham Department of Psychology and has also worked with a number of organisations on race and inclusion. He has a wealth of experience facilitating reflective workshops on race and Whiteness. David has also written a number of articles and blogs for Clinical Psychology Forum, Liberation Psychology and National Survivor User Network. He also serves as a Magistrate (Justice of the Peace) in Birmingham.



Veenu Gupta is a Psychology PhD student and has lived experience of psychosis. She also works in various lived experience roles such as service user advisor to the National Clinical Audit in Psychosis. Her PhD research is on understanding the impact of lived experience roles on identity and to identify support strategies for those in these roles.


Líam Mac Gabhann is a Mental Health, Practitioner/Therapist, Community Activist, Medical Sociologist, and Researcher into transforming dialogues in mental health communities. He has been working in mental health communities with like minded critical voices and activists to play any small part that will shift the paradigm to effective supports and services in mental health communities. He is an Associate Professor in Mental Health Practice at Dublin City University, where the administrative headquarters of INTAR is based and he provides secretariat support to the INTAR organising committee.



Prateeksha Sharma is a peer-psychotherapist - musicologist who works in emancipatory research and praxis in mental health, counseling, music and education. She is at the Bright Side Family Counseling Center, New Delhi, India. Working in self-funded research for two decades, her first book is titled Barriers to recovery from "psychosis": a peer investigation of psychiatric subjectivation (Routledge), which will be published in the South Asian region in early 2023.

bottom of page