British Journal of Clinical Psychology

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 45 Issue 3 (September 2006), Pages 279-438

Written emotional disclosure following first‐episode psychosis: Effects on symptoms of post‐traumatic stress disorder (pages 403-415)

Objective. This paper examined whether written emotional disclosure reduces psychosis‐related post‐traumatic stress disorder symptoms in a small clinical sample recovering from a first episode of psychosis.

Method. Approximately 2.5 years after their first episode of psychosis, 22 people completed measures of traumatic symptoms, recovery style, insight, anxiety and depression. Participants then wrote about the most stressful aspects of their illness (N=12) or about emotionally neutral topics (N=10) for 15 minutes on three separate occasions. Approximately 5 weeks later, participants re‐completed the same dependent measures.

Results. Participants who wrote about their psychotic experiences showed less overall severity and avoidance of traumatic symptoms compared with participants who did not write about their psychotic experiences. There were no effects on the other dependent measures.

Conclusions. Preliminary evidence with a small clinical sample suggests that providing people who are recovering from a psychotic episode with an opportunity to disclose the most stressful aspects of their illness and treatment may lessen the traumatic impact of these experiences. However, this finding requires replication with a larger sample.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>