Support groups for people who have experienced psychosis

Paula Hyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Support groups are not usually provided for people who have experienced psychosis. Ten clients who had been admitted to hospital following a psychotic episode were invited to take part in a support group session each week for 10 weeks. This study aimed to examine the participants' experience of this type of intervention by using observation and interview. Qualitative research techniques were used and the information was gathered by in-depth interviews with clients and by the writing of fieldwork notes about the group and the post-group peer supervision. The transcribed interviews and fieldwork notes were subjected to content analysis where emerging themes were identified and the findings were confirmed by respondent validation. The findings suggested that this type of therapy enabled the members of the group to offer support to each other and to help with reality testing. They were able to mitigate, to some extent, the damaging effect of being diagnosed 'psychotic' by validating the experience in a personal sense. The group members shared coping strategies and, in some cases, were able to shift away from using non-coping strategies. They were therefore able to take a more active part in their own treatment. The occupational therapists found the experience to be positive in terms of their own professional development: it improved their listening skills and encouraged their use of reflection to evaluate their own contribution. They also felt that the availability to them of immediate post-group peer supervision was beneficial. This support seemed to be reflected back into the group experience for the clients. This type of support group was found to be appropriate where clients had been admitted to hospital and were preparing for discharge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001


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