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Person-based cognitive therapy groups for distressing voices: a thematic analysis of participant experiences of the therapy

Katherine May, Clara Strauss, Adrian Coyle & Mark Hayward.
Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches; Volume 6, Issue 1, 2014, pages 16-26.

Abstract
This study sets out to develop an understanding of participants’ experiences of person-based cognitive therapy groups for distressing voices, a therapy that integrates cognitive therapy with mindfulness principles and practice. Qualitative data were gathered during 10 interviews with participants, most of whom had a diagnosis of psychosis. A semi-structured schedule was used to guide the interviews and data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes unique to PBCT emerged: Relating to voices, Relating to self and Relating to others. The value of a mindfulness approach and the importance of changed beliefs about voice strength and power emerged as sub-themes in the “Relating to voices” theme. A sense of self-separate to voices and a developing positive view of self-emerged as sub-themes in the “Relating to self” theme. The “Relating to others” theme referred to changed social relationships during and following the group. The study provided support for the value of PBCT groups for distressing voices. Findings from the study supported the mechanisms of change suggested by the therapy model, namely, that benefit is gained through re-evaluating beliefs about voices, strengthening positive self-schema, mindfulness practice and principles and moving towards a symbolic sense of self.

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