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
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.