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Title: Recovery after psychosis : patients' perspectives of a compassion focussed group intervention
Author: Abraham, Lucy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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Background: Recovery in psychosis is increasingly recognised as more than merely symptom reduction, rather it is about rebuilding meaningful lives. Compassionate Mind Training (CMT) was trialled within community samples and found to reduce feelings of shame and self criticism that can act as barriers to recovery (Gilbert and Irons, 2004; Mayhew & Gilbert, 2008; Gilbert & Proctor, 2006). Forensic patients often suffer high levels of shame and stigma in relation to their illness, their crime and their detention (Laithwaite & Gumley, 2007). Laithwaite (2007) therefore developed and trialled a 'Recovery After Psychosis' (RAP) programme for forensic patients, based upon the principles of CMT. The programme has been found to have positive outcomes in terms of improving self esteem, and reducing both depression and general psychopathology (Laithwaite et al., 2009). Due to the constraints of quantitative methodologies this study was however, unable to explore the process of change that occurred from a patients' perspective. Aims: The current qualitative study aims to gain a better understanding of the process of change for participants of the RAP programme in order to inform both content and delivery methods of future programmes. Method: Semi structured interviews were conducted with eight participants, following their participation in RAP. All interviews were transcribed and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al, 2009). Results: Six super-ordinate themes emerged in the patients responses: 'limited resources as consequences of upbringing'; 'mistrust'; 'the fragility of the mind'; 'institutional barriers to recovery'; 'self reflection and understanding' and 'personal development'. Discussion: The participants told of a journey of personal development. They discussed their upbringing and how this limited their academic abilities. They described feelings of mistrust and anxiety surrounding the 'power of their mind' during psychosis, and their fears of discussing any of these issues with others. The group setting appears to have been a unique environment that acted as a vehicle to facilitate change, overcome fears and normalise their experiences. The themes raised recommendations for improving the RAP programme and provided more general recommendations to improve the experience of hospitalisation of forensic mental health patients.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available