Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) aims to help people to manage distress and to enhance emotional well-being. CBT encourages examination of how thoughts and beliefs are connected to our moods, behaviours, physical experiences, motivation and life events. It is based on the idea that a person learns to think and act in a certain way as a result of their life experiences and their perceptions of those experiences. CBT provides a rationale to explain symptoms of psychosis by examining thinking errors, also known as cognitive biases, for example jumping to conclusions.
The goal of CBT for psychosis is not specifically to reduce symptoms, in the way that an anti-psychotic medication might, although studies have reported significant symptom reduction. The goal is to reduce the distress you may be experiencing, such as stress, anxiety, depression and/or low self-esteem. CBT skills are helpful in managing the distress associated with hearing voices. CBT also aims to help individuals develop problem solving strategies in order to reduce the chances of relapse.
As psychosis often affects our occupation, relationships and self confidence, some recovery time is often helpful. To assist those who attend DETECT to maximize their recovery we have an occupational therapy service. Individual Occupational Therapy sessions will assist people in identifying and achieving their goals in relation to work, training, education, leisure and daily structure. Occupational therapy has been shown to be beneficial to people recovering from their first episode of psychosis.
Supported employment (SE) is a type of vocational rehabilitation with a strong evidence base (Campbell, Bond & Drake, 2011). In this model a job coach who is a member of the mental health team works on a one-to-one basis with any person who is motivated to return to work. Since 2009 DETECT has had a job coach on its team through funding provided by the Mental Health Commission to UCD. Although this funding is time limited it is hoped that further funding will be obtained so the post can be retained.