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Int J Group Psychother. 2011 Oct;61(4):577-95. doi: 10.1521/ijgp.2011.61.4.576.

Narrative enhancement and cognitive therapy: a new group-based treatment for internalized stigma among persons with severe mental illness.

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Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, NY 10019, USA.


Internalized stigma has been suggested to play a major role in negative changes in identity in severe mental illness. Evidence suggests that roughly one-third of people with severe mental illness show elevated internalized stigma and that it is linked to compromised outcomes in both subjective and objective aspects of recovery. Despite substantial evidence for the impact of internalized stigma, few efforts have been made to develop professionally led treatment to address this issue. In this article, we discuss our development of a new group-based approach to the treatment of internalized stigma which we have termed "narrative enhancement and cognitive therapy (NECT)". We describe the treatment approach and offer an illustration of it by way of a case vignette.

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