Helen M. Spencer

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OBJECTIVES People with psychotic symptoms are reported to have a characteristic reasoning style in which they jump to conclusions. To date, little research has been conducted to investigate if this style changes over time and is associated with improvements or worsening of symptoms. This study considered these questions. METHODS Thirty-one service users(More)
AIM People with psychotic symptoms are reported to have a characteristic reasoning style in which they jump to conclusions (JTC). The aims of this research were threefold. The first was to establish how prevalent this style is in people with first-episode psychosis. The second was to examine the specificity of JTC to delusions. The third was to examine(More)
BACKGROUND Visual hallucinations (VH) are a common experience and can be distressing and disabling, particularly for people suffering from psychotic illness. However, not everyone with visual hallucinations reports the experience to be distressing. Models of VH propose that appraisals of VH as a threat to wellbeing and the use of safety seeking behaviours(More)
BACKGROUND Antipsychotic drugs are usually the first line of treatment for schizophrenia; however, many patients refuse or discontinue their pharmacological treatment. We aimed to establish whether cognitive therapy was effective in reducing psychiatric symptoms in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who had chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs.(More)
BACKGROUND Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in an open trial for people with psychotic disorders who have not been taking antipsychotic medication. There is little known about predictors of outcome in CBT for psychosis and even less about hypothesised mechanisms of change. METHOD 20 participants with schizophrenia spectrum(More)
Schizophrenia has traditionally been viewed as a unitary diagnostic entity with a single neuropathogenesis (1). However, classification is evolving and schizophrenia is now given less importance in DSM-V (2), with the proposal that schizophrenia spectrum disorders better capture varying manifestations of psychotic symptoms (3). Recent research has pointed(More)
Befriending allows for control of the non-specific factors of the therapist-patient interaction in psychosocial research. Manualised befriending is at the very least an active placebo and potentially an effective intervention. Befriending now merits increased research attention to determine indications for use and to elucidate mechanisms of action.
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