OBJECTIVES: Auditory hallucinations are extremely distressing, particularly when occurring during adolescence. They may be most responsive to psychological intervention during a three-year critical period following symptom-onset, but as yet no studies have investigated voices groups for young participants with adolescent-onset psychosis. The aim of the current study is to explore the experience of group-CBT amongst a group of young people experiencing distressing auditory hallucinations.
DESIGN: This project was planned and conducted in the tradition of idiographic, qualitative psychology. A small purposive sample was selected, and in-depth, open-ended interviews were conducted, in order to generate and explore rich, experiential accounts which are clearly situated and contextualized.
METHODS: Eight participants who had completed a cognitive behavioural group intervention were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. The transcribed data were analysed according to the principles of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, Osborn, & Jarman, 1999).
RESULTS: Two superordinate themes emerged. The first describes experiential features of the respondents' accounts of group therapy. The second theme posits a cyclical relationship between four key factors: the content of the hallucinated voices, the participants' explanations for, and reactions to these voices, and thus, their ability to cope with them.
CONCLUSIONS: 'Voices groups' are appreciated by young people with auditory hallucinations, as sources of therapy, information, and support. These results suggest a number of testable hypotheses about the efficacy of group treatment and its future development.
- Adaptation, Psychological
- Cognitive Therapy
- Interview, Psychological
- Patient Satisfaction
- Peer Group
- Psychology, Adolescent
- Psychotherapy, Group
- Social Support
- Treatment Outcome