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Psychother Res. 2008 Jan;18(1):77-87. doi: 10.1080/10503300701367992.

Responding mindfully to distressing psychosis: A grounded theory analysis.

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  • 1Hampshire Partnership Trust, Clinical Psychology, Winchester, United Kingdom.


This study investigates the psychological process involved when people with current distressing psychosis learned to respond mindfully to unpleasant psychotic sensations (voices, thoughts, and images). Sixteen participants were interviewed on completion of a mindfulness group program. Grounded theory methodology was used to generate a theory of the core psychological process using a systematically applied set of methods linking analysis with data collection. The theory inducted describes the experience of relating differently to psychosis through a three-stage process: centering in awareness of psychosis; allowing voices, thoughts, and images to come and go without reacting or struggle; and reclaiming power through acceptance of psychosis and the self. The conceptual and clinical applications of the theory and its limits are discussed.

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