Characterising Core Beliefs in Psychosis; A qualitative study

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Background: Cognitive behavioural treatments are recommended for people with psychosis. Core beliefs regarding the self and others are a key part of the models underpinning cognitive behavioural therapy but detailed understanding of these putative beliefs in people with psychosis are limited. A greater understanding of these mechanisms is necessary to improve and refine treatments.

Aims: This study utilized a qualitative approach to explore core schematic beliefs in psychosis (strongly held positive and negative beliefs about the self and others) and their relation to hallucinations and delusions.

Method: Twenty individuals with psychosis participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyse the interviews.

Results: Four emergent themes were identified: (i) the solidity and permanency of core beliefs, (ii) the causes and development of core beliefs, (iii) a synergistic relationship between core beliefs and symptoms, and (iv) core beliefs associated with images and their influence on psychotic symptoms.

Conclusions: This study provides new insights into the range and character of core beliefs in psychosis and provides important data to guide ongoing and future development of treatment approaches for psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBehavioural and cognitive psychotherapy
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • core beliefs
  • interview
  • psychosis
  • schema
  • schizophrenia
  • qualitative


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