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Asking about trauma: the experiences of psychological therapists in early intervention services

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)175-186
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research has indicated that child abuse and childhood trauma has a causal role in the development of psychotic symptoms. Early Intervention (EI) services have been developed to work with individuals during their first experience of psychosis. This study aimed to explore whether EI psychological therapists were asking about abuse and their experiences with regard to this, as it has been demonstrated that in general professionals are reluctant to ask. Seven in-depth interviews were carried out with EI therapists. The data were analysed using Grounded Theory. The emerging categories were (the core category) “personal model of psychosis”, “commitment”, “service culture” and “process of asking”. The issue of “why ask” about abuse was more pertinent than “how to ask” about abuse, to these EI psychological therapists. The professionals in this research had a psychological, formulation-driven, trauma-based model of psychosis. A theory was developed from the data that indicates that having the skills to ask about abuse is not enough without consistent and developed personal beliefs about psychosis, and a service culture which is also consistent and supportive.