Phenomenology, Power, Polarization, and the Discourse on Psychosis: Nev Jones, PhD

Having experienced psychosis herself, a psychologist wants us to rethink how we understand and treat this complex condition.

Conversations in Critical Psychiatry is an interview series that explores critical and philosophical perspectives in psychiatry and engages with prominent commentators within and outside the profession who have made meaningful criticisms of the status quo.


Dr Jones is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida and a faculty affiliate of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. An applied mental health services researcher, her expertise includes the social and cultural determinants of pathways to and through care, early intervention in psychosis, multi-stakeholder perspectives on mental health services, and the relationship between poverty, education/employment and longer-term outcomes. She is currently a primary investigator or site PI on grants funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Although I had known about Nev Jones, PhD, for some time and had interacted with her on social media, I remember the exact moment when I found myself in complete awe of her. It was when I read David Dobb’s article “The Touch of Madness,” a profile on her life and career.1 It remains one of the most remarkable and thought-provoking profiles I have read as a psychiatrist. The article describes her experiences of psychosis as a doctoral student in philosophy, the ways in which her social circle reacted, her encounters with the mental health system, the derailment of her career as an aspiring philosopher, and the beginning of her career as a brilliant psychologist, who has used insights from her own lived experience to shed light on the ways in which our current practices are failing those who need our help the most.

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