Best papers

On the psychological treatment of psychosis

This list has been compiled by the executive committee of the ISPS. It represents a central list of papers that are relevant for professionals training in the psychological treatment of the psychoses (including the diagnosis "schizophrenia"). The list contains old and more recent articles. With the growing number of papers on psychological treatments of psychotic disorders it may be difficult to discover new papers, easy to forget good papers published earlier, and important to find out which papers may be most useful. The EC wants the list to be supplemented as time goes by, and we want members to suggest new articles, and to tell us which ones to remove. Please contact Professor Jan Olav Johannessen, with your suggestions.


Alanen, Y.O. Vulnerability to Schizophrenia and Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Schizophrenic Patients: Towards an Integrated View. Psychiatry, Vol. 60, Summer 1997


Arieti, S. Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: New or Revised Procedures. American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, October 1980


Benedetti, G. Basic features in the realtionship between therapist and patient. “Klinische Psychotherapie”, G. Bendetti, Huber, Bern, 1964


Bertram, K.P. and VandenBos, G. Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: The Treatment of Choice. Jason Aronson, Inc 1981


Bollas, C. Expressive use of countertransference; notes to the patient from oneself. Contemporary psychoanalysis, Vol. 19, No 1 (1983)


Burnham, D.L. Separation anxiety. A A factor in the objectrelationship of patients with schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry 13:346-358, 1965


Ciompi, L. The concept of affect-logic: an integrated psycho-socio-biological approach to the understanding and treatment of schiziphrenia and related disorders. Psychiatry, Vol. 60, Summer 1997


Dillon, J (2009) The tale of an ordinary little girl. Psychosis, 2, 79-83.


A poignant and powerful account of a life that could have been destroyed by abuse and trauma but with great courage, self determination, self awareness and critical analysis of  the debilitating effects came to make peace with herself, her voices and ultimately prevail. Then with great generosity  proceed to devote her time and energy to assist others who are dealing with similar issues'. 


Falloon, I.R.H. Early intervention in first episode schizophrenia – a preliminary study. Psychiatry, Vol 55, February 1992


Fenton, W. and McGlashan, T. We can talk: Individual Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia . Am J Psychiatry 154:11, November 1997


Ferenczi, S. The confusion of tongues between adults and the child. In “ Final contributions to the problems and methods of psychanalysis” (1933). London, Karnac, 156-167


Fromm-Reichmann, F. The academic lecture – Psychotherapy of schizophrenia.  Am J Psychiatry 111: 410, 1954


Grace, A.A (2010). Ventral hippocampus, interneurons, and schizophrenia: A new understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and its implications for treatment and prevention. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 232-237.


This fascinating article proposes that dysfunction in the dopamine system is related to hippocampal dysfunction, and describes clearly how the resultant atypical pattern of dopamine neuron firing could be related to the development of delusions. The model also allows for chronic stress to play a prominent role in the development of this dysfunctional pattern, but stops short of attributing abnormal development to childhood trauma. Nonetheless, the model would easily accommodate a role for childhood trauma.


Greenson, R. and Wexler, M. The non-transference relationship in the psychoanalytic situation. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 1997, Vol. 28, No 5, 448-456


Hegelstad, W.T., Larsen T.K., Auestad, B., Evensen, J., Haahr, U., Joa, I., Johannesen, J.O., Langeveld, J., Melle, I., Opjordsmoen, S., Rossberg, J.I., Rund, B.R., Simonsen, E., Sundet, K., Vaglum, P., Friis, S., McGlashan, T. Long-Term Follow-Up of the TIPS Early Detection in Psychosis Study: Effects on 10-Year Outcome. Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Apr 1;169(4):374-80. PMID: 22407080


Hingely, S.M. Psychodynamic perspectives on psychosis and psychotherapy I: Theory. British Journal of Medical Psychology (1997), 70, 301-312


Hingely, S.M. Psychodynamic perspectives on psychosis and psychotherapy II: Practice. British Journal of Medical Psychology (1997), 70, 313-324


Hogarty, G.E., Kornblith S.J., Greenwald, D., DiBarry A.L., Cooley S., Ulrich RF, Carter M, Flesher S. Three-year trials of personal therapy among schizophrenic patients living with or independent of family, I: Description of study and effects on relapse rates. Am J Psychiatry 1997 Nov;154(11):1504-13


Joa, I., Johannessen, J.O., Auestad, B., Friis, S., McGlashan, T., Melle, I., Opjordsmoen,S., Simonsen, E., Vaglum, P., Larsen, T. K. The key to reducing duration of untreated First psychosis: information campaigns. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2008. 34(3): p. 466-72.


Johannessen, J.O. (2007) An early detection and intervention system for untreated first episode psychosis : Reduction of duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), recruitment through early detection teams (DTs), and two-year course and outcome in first-episode psychosis patients (FEP). University of Oslo, Doctoral thesis. DUO.



Johannessen JOLarsen TKJoa I, Melle IFriis SOpjordsmoen SRund BRSimonsen EVaglum PMcGlashan TH. Pathways to care for first-episode psychosis in an early detection healthcare sector: part of the Scandinavian TIPS study. Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 2005 Aug;48:s.24-8.



Johannessen, JO; McGlashan, TH., Larsen, TK; Horneland, M; Joa, I; Kvebækk, R; Friis, S; Melle, I; Opjordsmoen, S; Simonsen, E; Haahr, U; Vaglum, P. Early Detection Strategies For Untreated First Psychosis. Schizophrenia Research 51 (2001) 39-46


Kurzban R, Leary MR. Evolutionary origins of stigmatization: The functions of social exclusion. Psychological Bulletin, 2001, Vol 127, no 2, 187-208.


Lampshire, D. (2009). Lies and lessons: Ramblings of an alleged mad woman. Psychosis, 1(2), 178-184. doi:10.1080/17522430802609992


A personal account of what was learned from multiple episodes of psychosis and how those experiences shaped and influenced that person’s thinking and established a world view that would continue to serve and direct her throughout her life. Examining how those views when challenged create uncertainty and  turmoil unless done safely. The acknowledgment that when a person’s core beliefs are undermined and people feel compelled  to adopt the views of health professionals, there is no or little possibility of a therapeutic relationship ensuing, rather it could be interpreted as having to deny their own personal principles  as the only way they will be permitted to  exist.


Larsen, TK and Opjordsmoen, S. Early identification and treatment of schizophrenia; conceptual and ethical consideratons. Psychiatry, 1996; 59: 37-380


Leff, J., Williams, G., Huckvale, M., Arbuthnot, M. and Leff, A.P. Avatar therapy for persecutory auditory hallucinations: What is it and how does it work? Psychosis, 2013, DOI: 10.1080/17522439.2013.773457


From the abstract:  ”[Avatar Therapy is] a novel therapy based on a computer program, which enables the patient to create an avatar of the entity, human or non-human, which they believe is persecuting them. … The therapy was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial with a partial crossover design. … There was a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of the voices and in their omnipotence and malevolence. Several individuals had a dramatic response, their voices ceasing completely after a few sessions of the therapy. …”


Martindale B, Smith J. Psychosis: Psychodynamic work with families. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, vol 25, no 1, March 2011, 75-91.


Martindale B, Summers A. The psychodynamics of Psychosis. Advances in psychiatric treatment (2013), vol 19, 124-131.


McGlashan, T. Long-term psychotherapy with schizophrenia. American Psychiatric Association, 1988. Paper read at Schizophrenia Days, Stavanger, Norway, 1989


Perona-Garcelán, S. et al. (2012). Dissociative experiences as mediators between childhood trauma and auditory hallucinations. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 25(3), 323-329.


Salvador Perona-Garcelán and his Spanish colleagues have been conducting very careful research for years on the relationship between trauma, dissociation and auditory hallucinations. In this study, they demonstrate a relationship between childhood trauma and both delusions and hallucinations in a psychotic sample. Further, they find that the relationship to auditory hallucinations is fully mediated by dissociation, but that the childhood trauma-hallucinations relationship is not. As an added bonus, this careful study on psychotic symptoms is published in the most prestigious psychological trauma journal, emphasizing the increasing recognition in the trauma field of the importance of psychotic symptoms.


Read, J. Child Abuse and Psychosis: A Literature Review and Implications for Professional Practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 1997, Vol. 28, No 5, 448-456


Sparrowhawk, I. Recovering from psychosis: Personal learning, strategies and experiences. Psychosis, Vol 1, no 1; Febr 2009, 73-81.


Szalita-Pemow, A.B. The “intuitive process” and its relation to work with schizophrenics. Journ. of American Psychoanal. Ass. 1955, vol 3, no 1


Tähkä, V. Psychotherapy as phase-specific interaction: Towards a general psychoanalytic theory of psychotherapy. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev. (1979) 2, 113.


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Finding Hope in the Li...

This book offers first-person accounts of the experience of psychosis from the inside and the outside, through the eyes of two doctors, one of whom...

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