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Title: The phenomenology of negative and positive imagery in early psychosis
Author: Laing, J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 3747
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is presented in three parts and focuses on intrusive cognitions in psychopathology, particularly the phenomenology of mental imagery in early psychosis. Part one is a systematic review which examines the impact of suppression, rumination and worry, hypothesised maintenance factors in cognitive models of PTSD, on trauma-related intrusions. The reviewed experimental studies provide support for increased intrusion frequency following suppression in clinical samples only with limited evidence of an adverse impact on affect. There was evidence of decreased mood following rumination in analogue studies. A number of methodological issues are discussed which warrant consideration in trauma-related experimental research. Part two is an empirical paper that investigates negative and positive mental imagery in early psychosis. Thirty-one service users from Early Intervention in Psychosis services participated in this study. The phenomenological characteristics, thematic content and appraisals of imagery in addition to participant’s ability to intentionally generate positive future-oriented images were investigated in this mixed-methods study. Negative imagery content reflected external threat, traumatic experiences and also depressive and anxious concerns. Positive imagery depicted affiliation and the achievement of personal goals. Idiosyncratic appraisals of imagery varied in terms of their perceived dangerousness, benefit and source. Furthermore, depression and social anxiety were associated with the vividness and perceived likelihood of intentionally generated, positive future-oriented images. Part three is a critical appraisal of the investigation presented in the empirical paper. It discusses challenges in the examination of cognitive and behavioural responses to intrusive imagery, an issue highlighted in the literature review. It concludes by considering the role of positive imagery in therapeutic interventions for individuals with psychosis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available