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Title: Exploring adaptation and adjustment to the experience of psychosis
Author: Hartley, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5205
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The process of adjustment to chronic conditions has been well described within the literature. However, the process by which individuals adjust to the onset of mental illness, such as psychosis, remains poorly understood. In the absence of theoretical models, which aim to explain and predict adaptation to psychosis, the notion of recovery styles has received increasing attention within the literature. The theoretical paper reviewed literature examining the concept of recovery styles in people who experience psychosis. The topics of the studies reviewed broadly covered four areas: 1) Recovery style and outcome, 2) Recovery style and interaction with services, 3) Recovery style and trauma symptoms in psychosis, and 4) Correlates of recovery style. Although some patterns in the findings were observed, the literature remains largely disjointed and therefore firm conclusions could not be drawn. The empirical paper presents a qualitative investigation into the process of meaning-making following psychotic experiences, as an alternative way of examining adaptation. The study examined how couples make sense of and create meaning from the experience of psychosis. Six people with previous experience of positive symptoms of psychosis, were interviewed jointly with their partners. The interviews, analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), yielded four super-ordinate themes: 1) The identification of a problem, 2) The meaning of professional involvement, 3) Recovery and growth and 4) Internal and external influences. The findings underline the importance of acknowledging the co-constructed nature of meaning-making within clinical settings. A number of important clinical implications were also identified. Further research is required to develop a greater understanding of the adaptation process following psychotic experiences. Such research will assist in the refinement of psychological approaches for the treatment of psychosis, and contribute to the development of strategies to facilitate greater service engagement in this client group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available