University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30
Number of pages17
JournalThe Cognitive Behaviour Therapist
Journal publication date7 Nov 2016
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2016

Abstract

Traditionally studies have neglected emotion in psychosis, possibly as a
consequence of psychiatry’s emphasis on psychotic symptoms rather than individuals’ lived experience of emotions before, during and after psychotic episodes. This study sought to investigate how individuals experienced their emotions and delusions in the context of psychosis. A qualitative Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) research methodology was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposively sampled group of eight participants recruited from a local Early Intervention in Psychosis service. Four themes were generated by the analysis. The first highlighted emotional experiences prior to the onset of psychosis: ‘struggling with life
distress’. The second highlighted the intense emotional experience within psychotic experiences: ‘transformed world and intense emotion’. The third theme highlighted self-critical tendencies in the post-onset phase of psychosis: ‘blame and guilt after the breakdown’. The final theme highlighted a mixture of emotions in the post-onset phase: ‘confusion, despair and hope’. There were many clinical implications highlighted in the study including the value of normalizing participants’ emotional experiences in order to promote engagement in services and of assessing for self-criticism, despair and hope
following the psychotic experience, alongside therapeutically addressing the varying levels of emotional experiences before, during and after a psychotic breakdown.

Notes

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Jonathan Hutchins, John Rhodes, and Saskia Keville, 'Emotional earthquakes in the landscape of psychosis: an interpretative phenomenology', Vol. 9, e30, January 2016. The Version of Record is available online at DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1754470X16000167. COPYRIGHT: © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2016. Published by Cambridge University Press.

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