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Acceptance and commitment therapy for emotional dysfunction following psychosis

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  • Medicine
  • Psychology


This chapter focuses on the emotional dysfunction that can emerge following psychosis. Even when the symptoms of psychosis have largely remitted, individuals can still experience marked difficulties with their mood. They are confronted with difficult thoughts about themselves, how others might see them, what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future. A contextual psychology perspective is provided on how these difficulties emerge, and an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) approach is presented. Key themes that can emerge in an ACT intervention for emotional dysfunction following psychosis are discussed and suggestions are made about how to work with these themes therapeutically. Finally, extracts from therapy sessions are used to elaborate on how this therapeutic work is operationalised in the therapist–client interaction. The ‘psychological flexibility’ that ACT aims to facilitate makes it an obvious candidate for addressing the experiential avoidance that characterises the emotional dysfunction following psychosis.

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