Beyond early intervention & woodshedding: Using narrative to provide a new context for applying a recovery paradigm after the early phase of psychosis

Presentation First Author: 
Alan Rosen

This presentation considers how early intervention in psychosis can support a recovery paradigm. Methods: Significant numbers of those developing a first episode of psychosis are on a path to a persisting and potentially life long condition. Constituting the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, such conditions demand the particular qualities and attitudes inherent within recovery-based practice. This presentation explores some of these qualities and attitudes by examining the tension between a traditional 'clinical narrative used by many health providers and a 'human narrative of users of services and their families. Results: Key features and constructs of recovery practice as they relate to the EI paradigm are presented. These include: woodshedding, turning points, discontinuous improvement models, therapeutic optimism, gradualism and narratives of story telling. We also highlight the role of family members and other close supporters and believe their potential contribution requires greater consideration. Conclusions: The early intervention (EI) paradigm can resonate and indeed offer a stronghold for recovery-based practice where traditional mental health services have sometimes struggled. Conversely, failure of caregivers to provide such an approach in the early phase of illness can cause unnecessary and sometimes disastrous consequences.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
David Shiers - Ann Shiers
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