APOD researcher Kiara reflects on her experience of the 2023 European Network of Psychological Anthropology conference in June:

I had an amazing week in Oslo at the European Network of Psychological Anthropology conference in June, where I represented the APOD team and presented a paper as part of a panel on mental health and biopolitics. My paper began by narrating the everyday dynamic within an Open Dialogue team room, including gossip and bizarrely amusing conversations I witnessed; which became the basis of making observations on social and professional hierarchies in NHS mental healthcare. It felt exciting to be at a conference that honed in on the psychological/medical spoke of anthropology as this enabled concentrated discussions on topics like different (and sometimes conflicting) approaches to care, research ethics in therapeutic settings and navigating dual roles as researchers and practitioners.

A particular highlight was the pre-conference workshop which I had the opportunity to attend and meet other junior scholars. We shared our writings and experiences of fieldwork, jointly brainstorming remedies for our research dilemmas. These friendships carried on into the conference panels and general Oslo exploring – including a museum trip to see Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’.

I’m grateful to the EASA, SOAS doctoral school and APOD research team for their grants in making my travel to this conference possible.

As a final note, Oslo is a beautiful, serene city and I miss breathing its crisp air. I recommend walking the roof of their opera house for a scenic view of the Oslo fjord!