This paper describes a process developed in order to work collaboratively on a conceptual review of some of the family involvement models that are used in acute mental health treatment. The members of the review team consisted of clinicians, academics and people with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services. This combination of backgrounds had the potential to present many challenges to the dynamics of the group. There were varying levels of research knowledge and experience within the group, as well as a lack of literature describing how to actualize their potential to best effect. Financial resources were minimal, which meant that the number of meetings had to be limited. Most importantly, however, there was the strong potential for a power imbalance within the group during the review process. Senior academics and clinicians were being expected to help to create a research environment in which the patient voice carried as much weight as theirs. In this paper, we discuss how we overcame these challenges and ended up with a process that was coherent, equable and enjoyable.