Promoting recovery for people experiencing psychosis

Promoting recovery for people experiencing psychosis

Issued: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 09:41:00 GMT

Our research has developed therapies which are used nationally to prevent psychosis relapse and promote emotional recovery, and has supported the design of local mental health services for people suffering from psychosis.

Psychosis affects 3-4% of the UK population and is ranked as the third most disabling condition worldwide by the World Health Organisation. Research led by Professor Andrew Gumley at our Institute of Health and Wellbeing has contributed to the development of early intervention services for individuals with a first episode of psychosis, identifying therapies that improve emotional recovery and prevent psychosis relapse.

These therapies include use of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that educates patients about their condition, and provides them with the skills to manage it. This CBT for psychosis, and specifically psychosis relapse, is cited in national clinical guidelines that have been implemented through increased practitioner training and service delivery in Scotland, and via a recently expanded UK Department of Health programme in England.

Prof Gumley’s research has been developed in close collaboration with an NHS early intervention service in Glasgow (ESTEEM). His research has demonstrated the importance of facilitating emotional support following a first episode of psychosis, and services such as ESTEEM now place attachment and emotional recovery at the heart of the service model. To help facilitate this, Prof Gumley has trained healthcare staff both in ESTEEM, and more widely worldwide, in methods that support the development of relationship-based strategies for emotional recovery. 

Demonstrating the effectiveness of early intervention services has also played a key part of service development, and it was a clinical evaluation of several such services, led by Prof Gumley together with Prof Schwannauer at the University of Edinburgh, which not only helped support the expansion of the ESTEEM service, but also directly informed the current Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy (2012-2015), with commitments to support such services.

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