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OBJECTIVE: To increase understanding of the internal processes of recovery in psychosis, with particular consideration given to self-compassion and self-criticism. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected by semistructured interviews, from 10 participants with psychosis, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: Five superordinate themes emerged: (a) "my mind can't take the load": the "curse" of psychosis; (b) the "trap" of self-criticism; (c) "coming to terms" with psychosis in my life to "move on"; (d) "on my own two feet"; and (e) "an opportunity" for growth. The themes included a reciprocal relationship between psychosis and self-criticism, processes of acceptance, empowerment, and posttraumatic growth. CONCLUSIONS: The internal process of self-to-self relating contributed to 2 maintenance cycles: self-criticism maintained distressing experiences of psychosis and compassionate self-acceptance resulted in empowered action and promoted recovery and growth. The dual process of acceptance and change in relationship to self was central to recovery.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/jclp.22211

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Clin Psychol

Publication Date

12/2015

Volume

71

Pages

1201 - 1217

Keywords

acceptance, growth, interpretative phenomenological analysis, psychosis, qualitative, recovery, self-compassion, self-criticism, stigma, Adult, Empathy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Psychotic Disorders, Qualitative Research, Recovery of Function, Self Concept