Anderson, Beatrice A.E.
Telling stories: personal narrative as a construction of recovery processes following psychosis : & clinical research portfolio.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Background: Traditional accounts of recovery from psychosis have failed to consider the individual’s subjective experience. It has been suggested that individuals may vary in ‘recovery style’: a predominant manner of reacting to experiences. Personal narratives provide an insight into how individuals process and assign meaning to their experiences, and thus reflect key processes underpinning recovery. Aims: The present study aimed to obtain personal narratives relating to recovery from psychosis, and, based on these narratives, to develop a more nuanced and holistic understanding of recovery. Method: A sample of nine individuals who had experienced psychosis participated. After providing informed consent, participants were interviewed using an in-depth semi-structured interview. All interviews were transcribed verbatim, with personal identifiers removed to preserve confidentiality. Narratives were analysed using Social-Constructionist Grounded Theory and Narrative Analysis approaches. Results: A core process of storytelling emerged, by and through which participants ‘charted the landscape of psychosis’ within narratives. Themes included ‘resounding echoes’, ‘attempts to reconcile multiple stories and perspectives’, ‘contextualising psychosis’, ‘describing the impact of psychosis’ and ‘managing the impact of psychosis’. Across all themes, participants’ stories were influenced by self-perceptions, relationships and experiences, and these in turn were influenced by the storytelling process. Four genres of narrative were discerned: narratives of escape, entrapment, endurance/acceptance, and exploration/discovery. Applications: This study offers an insight in to processes of recovery from psychosis, providing a basis for further research into psychotherapeutic processes of recovery from psychosis, and informing the development of psychotherapeutic strategies to support recovery.
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