Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy



Main Section

THE INTERPRETATION OF INTRUSIONS IN PSYCHOSIS: AN INTEGRATIVE COGNITIVE APPROACH TO HALLUCINATIONS AND DELUSIONS


Anthony P. Morrison  a1 c1
a1 Mental Health Services of Salford and University of Manchester, U.K.

Abstract

A cognitive approach to the understanding of psychotic symptoms that focuses on the interpretation of intrusions into awareness is outlined. It is argued that many positive psychotic symptoms (such as hallucinations and delusions) can be conceptualized as intrusions into awareness or culturally unacceptable interpretations of such intrusions, and that it is the interpretation of these intrusions that causes the associated distress and disability. It is also argued that the nature of these interpretations is affected by faulty self and social knowledge and that both the intrusions and their interpretations are maintained by mood, physiology, and cognitive and behavioural responses (including selective attention, safety behaviours and counterproductive control strategies). The literature is reviewed and found to be compatible with such a model and the clinical implications are discussed.


Key Words: Cognitive; hallucinations; delusions; psychosis; appraisal.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to Tony Morrison, Psychology Services, Mental Health Services of Salford, Bury New Road, Manchester, M25 3BL, UK. E-mail: tmorrison@psychology.mhss-tr.nwest.nhs.uk


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