Surviving, Existing, or Living

Phase-specific therapy for severe psychosis

By Pamela R. Fuller

© 2013 – Routledge

136 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415516624
pub: 2013-06-13
US Dollars$46.95
Hardback: 9780415516617
pub: 2013-06-12
US Dollars$150.00

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About the Book

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.

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

Pamela R. Fuller is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working across the continuum of care with children, adolescents, and adults who have severe psychological problems. She is currently in private practice in Evanston, Wyoming, USA.

About the Series

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis Book Series

ISPS (The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis) has a history stretching back more than fifty years during which it has witnessed the relentless pursuit of biological explanations for psychosis. The tide has been turning in recent years and there is a welcome international resurgence of interest in a range of psychological factors that have considerable explanatory power and therapeutic possibilities. Governments, professional groups, people with personal experience of psychosis and family members are increasingly expecting 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.

ISPS is a global society. It aims to promote psychological and social approaches both to understanding and to treating psychosis. It also aims to bring together different perspectives on these issues. ISPS is composed of individuals, networks and institutional members from a wide range of backgrounds and is especially concerned that those with personal experience of psychosis and their family members are fully involved in our activities alongside practitioners and researchers, and that all benefit from this. Our members recognise the potential humanitarian and therapeutic potential of skilled psychological understanding and therapy in the field of psychosis. ISPS embraces a wide spectrum of approaches from psychodynamic, systemic, cognitive, and arts therapies to need-adapted and dialogical approaches, family and group therapies and residential therapeutic communities.

We are also most interested in establishing meaningful dialogue with those practitioners and researchers who are more familiar with biological-based approaches. There is increasing empirical evidence for the interaction of genes and biology with the emotional and social environment, and there are important examples of the impact of life experiences in the fields of trauma, attachment, social relationships and therapy.

ISPS activities include regular international and national conferences, newsletters and email discussion groups. Routledge has recognised the importance of our field in publishing both the book series and the ISPS journal: Psychosis - Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches with the two complementing one another. The series started in 2004 and by 2015 it contained 19 books and 2 monographs, with further publications in preparation. A wide range of topics are covered and we hope this reflects some success in our aim of bringing together a rich range of perspectives.

The book series is intended as a resource for a broad range of mental health professionals, as well as those developing and implementing policy and people whose interest in psychosis is at a personal level. We aim for rigorous academic standards and at the same time accessibility to a wide range of readers, and for the books to promote the ideas of clinicians and researchers who may be well known in some countries, but not so familiar in others. Our overall intention is to encourage the dissemination of existing knowledge and ideas, promote productive debate, and encourage more research in a most important field whose secrets certainly do not all reside in the neurosciences.

This series also includes a monograph strand, which consists of high-level academic texts aimed at researchers, academics and postgraduate students. Within the monograph strand the focus tends to be somewhat more conceptual, and less directly clinical, than in the main strand.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Psychiatry / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Schizophrenia