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Title: First episode psychosis: an IPA exploration of the experiences of partners
Author: Christoforidis, Gina
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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There exists a wealth of research which suggests that for family members, caring for an individual with psychosis can be a distressing experience. However, despite the growing body of literature surrounding First Episode Psychosis (FEP) and caregivers, the experiences of partners have somehow been neglected. This study aimed to bridge this gap in the literature by exploring partners' experiences of being with an individual who has recently developed psychosis, investigating the impact on the individual and the relationship from a transitions perspective. Six partners of individuals within one of two allocated Early Intervention Services took part. Semi- structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA, Smith et al. 2009) were used to collect and analyse data respectively. Three super-ordinate themes were developed from the data: The Self versus the Psychosis, Living in the Relationship with the Psychosis and Looking to the Outside for Support. Participants described how their sense of self had been affected since the arrival of psychosis in their lives, illustrating how they entered into a battle with the psychosis, adapting both behaviourally and psychologically whilst trying to take control of the situation. Participants also described how they renegotiated their lives in light of a third presence, the psychosis, in their relationship. Complexities surrounding seeking external support were also described by participants. These results are considered in light of existing literature and clinical implications. Overall, the findings support the development of relationship-specific family intervention initiatives within FEP, including the needs of partners
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Psych.D) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available