Triumphs and tribulations in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia : reflections on a pilot study of metacognitive narrative psychotherapy

Bargenquast, Rebecca & Schweitzer, Robert D. (2014) Triumphs and tribulations in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia : reflections on a pilot study of metacognitive narrative psychotherapy. In Lysaker, Paul, Dimaggio, Giancarlo, & Brune, Martin (Eds.) Social Cognition and Metacognition in Schizophrenia : Psychopathology and Treatment Approaches. Academic Press (Elsevier), pp. 231-244.

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Schizophrenia results in a profound disruption of one’s capacity to make sense of mental states, coherently narrate self-experiences, and meaningfully relate to others. While current treatment options for people with schizophrenia tend to be symptom-focused, experience in designing and implementing a study focusing on enhancing sense of self demonstrates the feasibility of developing and implementing models of treatment that prioritize the subjective distress and self-experience of people with schizophrenia. There is emerging research evidence, based upon dialogical theory of self, that posits the potential of people with deficits of self to engage in meaningful therapeutic relationships and work toward greater integrity of self and degrees of recovery. The challenge is to translate these ideas into a research methodology that can be successfully applied within therapeutic contexts with people who meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. Based upon dialogical theory, we developed a principle-based manual for metacognitive narrative psychotherapy: a psychological approach to the treatment of people with schizophrenia, which aims to enhance metacognitive capacity and ability to narrate self-experiences. Five phases of treatment were identified: (1) developing a therapeutic relationship, (2) eliciting narratives, (3) enhancing metacognitive capacity, (4) enriching narratives, and (5) living enriched stories. Proscribed practices were also identified. We then implemented the manual within a university clinic context. Six therapists were trained to implement the model and, in turn, provided therapy to 11 patients who completed 12 to 24 months of treatment. Participants were assessed on metacognitive capacity, narrative coherence, narrative richness, self-reported recovery, and symptomatology at three points in time over the course of therapy. Contrary to expectations, participants were highly engaged in the therapeutic process, with minimal dropout. Overall, over 75% of participants evidenced improvement in their level of recovery over the course of therapy. The manualization and outcome findings demonstrate the feasibility of applying such interventions to a broader clinical population.

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ID Code: 77951
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: schizophrenia, metacognition, therapy, narrative, mentalisation, treatment manual
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-405172-0.00014-4
ISBN: 9780124051720
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 23 Oct 2014 01:20
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2015 15:15

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