Schizophrenia (and other psychotic disorders) cognitive-behaviour therapy research programme : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a treatment that combined techniques from Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to alleviate the psychological distress and symptom severity resultant from psychotic-type disorders. This treatment (EVoLVE Therapy: an acronym for Exposing Virtues of Living Valued Existences) was designed to primarily target the psychological distress associated with psychotic disorders and secondarily to facilitate improvement in psychotic-type symptoms. Participants in this study were selected based on previous diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and other psychiatric disorders with psychotic features. Seven participants, who had each been long-term consumers of mental health services, completed 10 weeks of therapy. Post-graduate students, in training to become professional psychologists, delivered supervised therapy using a structured treatment manual written by the researcher. Pre-treatment, post-treatment and 5-week follow-up data were collected, using a variety of measures to assess the effectiveness of treatment. Results were quite positive overall, with some clients making considerable improvements in a number of domains. All 7 participants showed a decrease in symptom severity after treatment. In addition, 6 out of the 7 participants reported an improved quality of life following treatment. Marked improvement in negative affect was also evident, with a slight improvement in positive affect noted.