What Are the Primary Goals of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Psychosis? A Theoretical and Empirical Review

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Abstract

Despite a rise in the popularity of cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis (CBTp) over the past 15 years, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have concluded that CBTp has only modest effects on psychotic syndrome outcomes and that empirical evidence of its superiority over other psychosocial treatments is poor (Jones, Hacker, Meaden, Cormac, & Irving, 2012; Wykes, Steel, Everitt, & Tarrier, 2008). However, for some time now, some authors prominent in the development of CBTp have argued the primary goals of CBTp not to be global syndrome reduction but the amelioration of emotional distress and behavioral disturbance in relation to individual psychotic symptoms (Birchwood & Trower, 2006). A review of the theoretical and empirical literature related to CBTp reveals broad support for this position. Implications and recommendations for research into the efficacy of CBTp are discussed.

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