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Living with psychosis: Family perspectives on giving and receiving support

Green, Lisa; (2003) Living with psychosis: Family perspectives on giving and receiving support. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The advent of community care has led to the increasing involvement of family members as informal sources of support for people with severe mental illness. This qualitative study explores informal helping in families living with psychosis. Nine people who experienced repeated episodes of psychosis and a member of their family were interviewed. The interview enquired about the types of help and support provided, what was helpful or unhelpful from each person's perspective and the participants' respective experiences in the process of offering and receiving support. The resultant transcripts were analysed according to the principles of interpretative phenomenological analysis. Several themes captured the key elements of the participants' experiences; these were organised into two higher order domains. The first domain, 'Normal life', encompassed what was offered by family members and what the people who experienced psychosis found helpful. Particularly important were constancy of family interactions and a sense of asylum. 'Issues in help and support' was the second domain. This covered some of the difficulties, tensions and dilemmas which affected the families' support efforts. Despite the disruption caused by psychosis, families were not just passive in the face of psychosis and most also identified positive aspects to living with psychosis. Together, people who experienced psychosis and their family members described an active approach to managing and accommodating the difficulties imposed by the illness. The implications of these findings for researchers, mental health professionals and services are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Living with psychosis: Family perspectives on giving and receiving support
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Psychology; Psychosis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099300
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