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Butler Hospital

Press Release

New Book Explores Acceptance and Mindfulness Therapy for Psychosis
03/06/2015

A look at applying a novel form of psychotherapy offering new hope for patients with psychosis.

In his new book titled Incorporating Acceptance and Mindfulness into the Treatment of Psychosis: Current Trends and Future Directions, Editor Brandon Gaudiano, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Butler Hospital and faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at Brown University, provides a comprehensive look at the history and application of mindfulness and acceptance psychotherapies in the treatment of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia. The book, recently published by Oxford University Press, delves into the history and evolution of mindfulness and acceptance interventions for psychosis, and explores their application by reviewing current research and describing several clinical case studies.

“Despite research supporting their efficacy as complimentary therapies for patients with psychosis, psychotherapeutic interventions incorporating mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion-focused strategies are not widely used as part of treatment for this patient population,” said Dr. Gaudiano, who hopes that this book will help educate other mental health providers and the public about the benefits that newer psychosocial interventions can offer patients. “The adoption of mindfulness and acceptance strategies into the treatment for psychosis is still in its infancy, but there is already incredible interest from clinicians who want to learn more about using these therapies given the limitations of current approaches.” The research into mindfulness and acceptance therapies is increasing at a rapid pace, so the book will aid readers in staying up-to-date with these cutting-edge interventions.

Mindfulness and acceptance therapies are based on the premise that excessive avoidance or struggle with psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions can make them worse over time. Instead, patients are taught exercises that help them to cope better by being more aware, open, and accepting of psychotic experiences, and to disengage from them to focus more on living a valued and meaningful life despite any ongoing symptoms. Dr. Gaudiano explains, “Mindfulness and acceptance strategies have also been found to be effective for treating anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and other common problems, but fewer people are aware that these therapies can be adapted for patients experiencing more severe symptoms such as psychosis.” Recent research on mindfulness and acceptance therapies shows that they can improve coping with psychosis and even reduce future rehospitalizations better than medication treatment alone.

Compiled and edited by Dr. Gaudiano, the book also features contributions from numerous other top experts in the field. The book includes a section that focuses on six distinct treatment models that incorporate mindfulness and acceptance therapies for psychosis and a section that provides a synthesis and analysis of these approaches.

The book concludes with recommendations for moving research and practice in this area forward in a constructive and responsible way. “This volume is designed to provide a useful resource for clinicians, researchers, and students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches and newer psychosocial treatments for severe mental illness,” said Dr. Gaudiano.

More information: Incorporating Acceptance and Mindfulness into the Treatment of Psychosis by Dr. Gaudiano.

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