An emotional regulation approach to psychosis recovery: The Living Through Psychosis group programme

Aisling Ryan, Edel Crehan, Mizanur Khondoker, Mary Fell, Roisin Curtin, Louise C. Johns

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Background and objectives: Research indicates the value of targeting emotional regulation (ER) skills in psychological interventions for psychosis. These skills can be delivered in a group format, thereby increasing access to therapy. This pilot study examined the acceptability and clinical effects of teaching ER skills in The Living Through Psychosis (LTP) group programme. Methods: Patients with a psychotic illness were offered the LTP programme, comprising eight sessions over four weeks. Measures were completed by 55 participants. Acceptability was assessed by attendance rates and group cohesion. Measures of intervention targets, recovery and clinical outcomes were completed at baseline, pre-group, post-group, and one-month follow-up. Results: High group attendance and cohesion support the acceptability of the group. Participants reported less difficulty with ER (Coeff. = −8.29, 95% CI: −13.40 to −3.18, within participant uncontrolled effect size (ES) d = 0.29), increased mindful relating to distressing symptoms (Coeff. = 11.20, 95% CI: 7.02 to 15.38, d = 0.65), and improvements in recovery dimensions (Coeff. = 10.07, 95% CI: 5.6 to 14.54, d = 0.42) from pre-to post-intervention, and maintained at one-month follow-up. Participants’ hallucinations and delusions reduced from pre-intervention to follow-up (t(18) = 4.64, p < 0.001; t(18) = 5.34, p < 0.001). There was no change in fear of relapse. Limitations: The uncontrolled, pre-post design precluded blinded assessments, and may have inflated effect sizes. Other factors may have contributed to the improvements. Conclusions: The LTP programme was acceptable to people with psychosis. The preliminary findings indicate the potential utility of teaching ER and mindfulness skills in a brief group programme. Findings require replication in a randomized controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101651
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Early online date18 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Emotional regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychosis
  • Recovery
  • Schizophrenia

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