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Mindfulness for psychosis – helpful or harmful?

Mood Disorders Centre Think Tank Seminar Series

A Mood Disorders Centre seminar
Date7 May 2021
Time12:00 to 13:00
PlaceOnline via the platform Zoom

Our guest speaker is Pamela Jacobson of the University of Bath


Abstract

Mindfulness for psychosis aims to help people develop alternative ways of relating to, and responding to, distressing experiences such as hearing voices. Acceptability, safety, and efficacy of mindfulness for psychosis has been demonstrated in over 16 Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) according to the latest meta-analysis in the field. However, concerns remain about the appropriateness of offering mindfulness based interventions to people with psychosis, with clinicians often citing worries that this may exacerbate, or induce psychotic symptoms, despite empirical data to the contrary. How can we make sense of these on-going concerns? In this talk I will place this current debate in the wider context of the slow implementation of talking therapies for people with psychosis, which partly arises from a tendency of ‘othering’ of psychotic experiences in psychiatry, as something out of the norm of normal human experience. A contrary view is that experiences such as voices or delusions are understandable through normal psychological processes, and are likewise amenable to theory-driven psychological therapies such as mindfulness.

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