Running acceptance and commitment therapy groups for psychosis in community settings


Lucy Butler, Louise C. Johns, Majella Byrne, Candice Joseph, Emma O’Donoghue, Suzanne Jolley, Eric M.J. Morris, Joseph E. Oliver


In this paper, we discuss the practice implications of our group Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for psychosis (ACTp) evaluations, in terms of the adaptations required to ACT interventions for group implementation in routine services for people with psychosis. ACTp shows promise as a brief individual intervention for people with psychosis to improve recovery, reduce future relapse, and reduce healthcare costs. Outcomes for group ACT interventions for non-psychotic severe mental illnesses support the potential for further cost-savings, through group delivery, and two recent trials suggest that adapting group ACT interventions to suit people with psychosis is both feasible and clinically effective. Trials were run from 2010–2014, and included people with psychosis and caregivers. Qualitative feedback was collected from group participants and service user co-facilitators. Based on this experience, we recommend psychosis-specific content for group interventions, and highlight process considerations to accommodate the particular needs of people with psychosis and their caregivers. With these adaptations, group ACTp can be feasible, acceptable, and effective as a routine frontline intervention in services for people with psychosis, however; this work is in the preliminary stages and further research is needed to consolidate the evidence base.

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