For professionals working with people who experience severe psychosis, increasing empirical evidence for the benefits of psychotherapy for psychosis has been especially welcome. Given the limitations of medication-only approaches and the need for an expanded perspective, including for those diagnosed with schizophrenia, Surviving, Existing, or Living takes a fresh look at severe psychosis, offering a heuristic model for understanding psychosis along a continuum of severity, from the extreme experience of acutely impairing psychosis to a more enriched life experience.
Pamela Fuller emphasizes that facilitating recovery from psychosis requires appropriately and effectively matching the type and timing of interventions to client readiness and capabilities. The need to consider each individual according to which of three primary issues/phases preoccupy the person with psychosis is essential for tailoring treatment. She identifies these phases as:
Surviving Phase – preoccupation with survival
Existing Phase – preoccupation with restriction of life experiences in order to cope
Living Phase – preoccupation with quality of life and relationships
Surviving, Existing, or Living examines the rationale for these three phases, and provides details of phase-specific treatment interventions as well as a 'how to' guide for facilitating engagement and for determining 'what to do when,' including with those experiencing acute, severe psychosis. Rich clinical case examples are provided to highlight concepts and the types of interventions. Trauma-specific and group interventions for psychosis are also described, as well as ways to foster resilience in the professional who works with individuals with psychosis.
Surviving, Existing, or Living offers a detailed guide to help individuals experiencing psychosis move from suffering to recovery, beyond surviving or existing toward more fully living. The book will be essential reading for professionals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, counseling, medicine, social work, nursing, occupational, recreational, and vocational therapies, experience-based experts, and students.
Introduction. The Three Phases of Severe Psychosis: Surviving, Existing, and Living. The Surviving Phase: Characteristics and Care. The Existing Phase: Characteristics and Care. The Living Phase: Characteristics and Care. Incorporating Trauma Treatment Into Care for Psychosis. Phase-Specific Group Therapies. Building the Clinician’s Psychological Stamina. Conclusions and Future Directions. References.
ISPS (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) has a history stretching back more than five decades, during which it has witnessed the relentless pursuit of biological explanations for psychosis. This tide has been turning in recent years and there is growing international interest in a range of psychological, social and cultural factors that have considerable explanatory traction and distinct therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, people with personal experience of psychosis and family members are increasingly exploring interventions that involve more talking and listening. Many now regard practitioners skilled in psychological therapies as an essential component of the care of people with psychosis.
A global society active in at least twenty countries, ISPS is composed of a diverse range of individuals, networks and institutional members. Key to its ethos is that individuals with personal experience of psychosis, and their families and friends, are fully involved alongside practitioners and researchers, and that all benefit from this collaboration.
ISPS’s core aim is to promote psychological and social approaches to understanding and treating psychosis. Recognising the humanitarian and therapeutic potential of these perspectives, ISPS embraces a wide spectrum of therapeutic approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies, to need-adapted and dialogical approaches, family and group therapies and residential therapeutic communities. A further ambition is to draw together diverse viewpoints on psychosis and to foster discussion and debate across the biomedical and social sciences, including establishing meaningful dialogue with practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological-based approaches. Such discussion is now increasingly supported by empirical evidence of the interaction of genes and biology with the emotional and social environment especially in the fields of trauma, attachment, social relationships and therapy.
Ways in which ISPS pursues its aims include international and national conferences, real and virtual networks, and publication of the journal Psychosis. The book series is intended to complement these activities by providing a resource for those wanting to consider aspects of psychosis in detail. It now also includes a monograph strand primarily targeted at academics. Central to both strands is the combination of rigorous, in-depth intellectual content and accessibility to a wide range of readers. We aim for the series to be a resource for mental health professionals of all disciplines, for those developing and implementing policy, for academics in the social and clinical sciences, and for people whose interest in psychosis stems from personal or family experience. We hope that the book series will help challenge excessively biological ways of conceptualising and treating psychosis through the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas and by fostering new interdisciplinary dialogues and perspectives.
For more information about ISPS, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www.isps.org.
For more information about the journal Psychosis visit www.isps.org/index.php/publications/journal.