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Psychother Res. 2011 Jan;21(1):41-53. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2010.508760.

Narrative evolution and assimilation of problematic experiences in a case of pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia.

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  • 1National Center for Organization Development, Veterans Health Administration, Cincinnati, OH 45249, USA.


This case study applied the assimilation model to examine the changing narrative of an outpatient with schizophrenia and symptoms of depression across a successful pharmacotherapy. The assimilation model describes how clients assimilate painful, problematic experiences. Therapeutic progress is understood to reflect increasing assimilation, measured by the Assimilation of Problematic Experiences Scale (APES). The authors used a 15-min semistructured interview (Problematic Experiences Questionnaire) to elicit narrative descriptions of the patient's problems and coping across five interviews throughout his 12-week treatment. They describe how the patient's narrative and APES ratings of his main problems by two clinicians changed in concert through treatment, explain these developments using assimilation concepts, and interpret the results in relation to assimilation and insight in schizophrenia.

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