Engage Aotearoa

Tag Archives: Schizophrenia

Engage Consideration: Dutch initiative challenges mainstream thinking about psychosis

This post highlights a relatively new Dutch initiative that works to promote a helpful way of thinking about experiences of psychosis. The team at Engage Aotearoa recently stumbled across it on Facebook and thought it was full of information others might like to consider – either in their own recovery or in their efforts to support others seeking recovery.

Jim van Os and others have created a website, manifesto and set of audio-visual ‘explanimations’ to help people understand psychotic experiences in a way that allows for meaning-making and hope for recovery.

Much of the website is in Dutch, but an English-language version of the core resources on the “Schizophrenia Doesn’t Exist” website is available. It’s a provocative title, but the project creators do not mean to say that extreme experiences like hallucinations and delusions do not exist.

If you are not much for reading, you can watch Jim van Os’s TED Talk and get it all in a 15-minute nutshell or explore the 2-minute ‘explanimations‘ about psychosis and recovery on the website.

Visit the Schizophrenia Doesn’t Exist English-language webpage to find everything in one place. 

The Manifesto outlines “14 Principles for Good Care of Psychosis”. The first 7 principles address current thinking that frames psychosis as a brain disorder called schizophrenia and set out evidence for an alternative – Psychosis Spectrum Syndrome or PSS. The final 7 principles set out a vision for recovery-based practice, these state…

“8: To recover from PSS, a person must be offered hope and perspective from the very first moment. Recovery is a psychological process. It is a process of learning to adapt and develop a new perspective. With support from people with lived experience of psychosis and, where necessary, from doctors and therapists who support the process of recovery.

9: Every person with PSS should have access to a person with lived experience of psychosis from the earliest phase of treatment. A person with lived experience is in a unique position to offer perspective and hope (‘I was able to recover as well’).

10: The primary goal of treatment is return to the person’s environment, education and/or work. Education and work are prerequisites for recovery: even if residual symptoms remain, people can start picking up where they left off. The practice to wait for full recovery is counterproductive.

11: Anyone who enters the mental health system with PSS should be encouraged to talk about their psychosis. The content of the psychosis should be seen as meaningful, and may represent the key to underlying issues.

12: Psycho-education should not introduce an unproven biomedical model of brain disease as a central theme.

13: Anyone who suffers from psychosis should have access to psychotherapy by an experienced therapist.

14: Antipsychotics may be necessary to reduce psychosis but do not correct an underlying biological abnormality. Antipsychotics are no cure. Much more attention is required for individual dose optimisation to reach the lowest possible dose and to avoid irrational polypharmacy.

Schizophrenia does not exist, which is a good thing.
Because much can be done about PSS.”

~ Quoted from, Manifesto: 14 Principles for Good Care of Psychosis. Schizophrenia Does Not Exist website, 12 July 2015.



Research Articles from the BMC Psychiatry Journal

Here are some Research Articles from the BMC Psychiatry Journal:

Personality dimensions of schizophrenia patients compared to control subjects by gender and the relationship with illness severity

Miralles C, Alonso Y, Verge B, Setó S, Gaviria AM, Moreno L, Cortés MJ, Gutiérrez-Zotes A, Vilella E, Martorell L

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :151 (24 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

Suicide and suicide attempts in people with severe mental disorders in Butajira, Ethiopia: 10 year follow-up of a population-based cohort

Shibre T, Hanlon C, Medhin G, Alem A, Kebede D, Teferra S, Kullgren G, Jacobsson L, Fekadu A

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :150 (23 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

Why alternative teenagers self-harm: exploring the link between non-suicidal self-injury, attempted suicide and adolescent identity

Young R, Sproeber N, Groschwitz RC, Preiss M, Plener PL

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :137 (22 May 2014)

Abstract | Provisional PDF

A comparison of the characteristics of suicide attempters with and without psychiatric consultation before their suicidal behaviours: a cross-sectional study

Harada K, Eto N, Honda Y, Kawano N, Ogushi Y, Matsuo M, Nishimura R

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :146 (21 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Gender differences in suicide attempters: a retrospective study of precipitating factors for suicide attempts at a critical emergency unit in Japan

Narishige R, Kawashima Y, Otaka Y, Saito T, Okubo Y

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :144 (19 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Provision of group psychoeducation for relatives of persons in inpatient depression treatment – a cross-sectional survey of acute care hospitals in Germany

Frank F, Rummel-Kluge C, Berger M, Bitzer EM, Hölzel LP

BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14 :143 (19 May 2014)

Abstract | Full text | PDF

Research Articles available from Taylor and Francis Online

Here are some notable Research Articles available from Taylor and Francis Online:

“Schizophrenia” in the Australian print and online news media
Belinda Cain, Roseanne Currie, Eleanor Danks, Fiona Du, Erica Hodgson, Jennifer May, Kirsty O’Loghlen, Yen Phan, Jennifer Powter, Nayab Rizwan, Shazmi Shahim, Dominique Simsion, Steve Loughnan & Nick Haslam
Pages: 97-106

Delusional disorders: Prevalence in two socially differentiated neighborhoods of Barcelona
Jorge L. Tizón, Noemí Morales, Jordi Artigue, Yanet Quijada, Conxita Pérez, Francesc Pareja & Manel Salamero
Pages: 107-116

Psychosis and poverty: Coping with poverty and severe mental illness in everyday life
Alain Topor, Gunnel Andersson, Anne Denhov, Miss Sara Holmqvist, Maria Mattsson, Claes-Göran Stefansson & Per Bülow
Pages: 117-127

Family intervention for psychosis: Impact of training on clinicians’ attitudes, knowledge and behaviour
Jacqueline Sin, Steven Livingstone, Maria Griffiths & Catherine Gamble
Pages: 128-142

Developmental pathway to paranoia is mediated by negative self-concept and experiential avoidance
Alisa Udachina & Richard P. Bentall
Pages: 143-154

Metacognitive Narrative Psychotherapy for people diagnosed with schizophrenia: An outline of a principle-based treatment manual
Rebecca Bargenquast & Robert Schweitzer
Pages: 155-165

Avatar therapy for persecutory auditory hallucinations: What is it and how does it work?
Julian Leff, Geoffrey Williams, Mark Huckvale, Maurice Arbuthnot & Alex P. Leff
Pages: 166-176

Highlights from the Engage Facebook Page

Here are a few of the posts shared on the Engage Aotearoa Facebook Page in the last few weeks.

Real Life Story on TV One this Sunday 14 July at 8:30 am

Chris McMurray is a poet and a rapper. Words are his thing.

At nine he lost his father to a fatal heart attack… and he went down a disruptive path of drug use, after which he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder.

Now at the age of twenty-two Chris uses his art to express what it’s like living with mental health problems and is looking to the future.

Share his story in the documentary this Sunday the 14th of July at 8:30 am on TV One.

Check out the promo clip here on Youtube.