Mindfulness groups for early psychosis: A qualitative study


Dr. Katie Ashcroft, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Early Intervention in Psychosis Service, Fairways House, Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton, SO14 OSP, UK (e-mail: Katie.Ashcroft@hantspt-sw.nhs.uk).


Objectives. The aim of the study was to explore experiences of practising mindfulness in participants within an early intervention for psychosis (EIP) service.

Design. A qualitative research methodology was used – that of grounded theory. This was chosen as it enabled examination of clients’ experiences of mindfulness practice.

Methods. The experience of mindfulness among nine people within an EIP service who had been practising mindfulness for at least 20 weeks was investigated. Semi-structured interviews exploring how mindfulness practice related to psychosis and day-to-day life were recorded verbatim, transcribed, and analysed.

Results. Four main categories emerged: being able to use mindfulness, making sense of mindfulness and coping, relating to people differently, and increased self-understanding and acceptance.

Conclusions. All participants reported subjective benefits and challenges of mindfulness practice, and gave insights into processes of change. These preliminary data suggest mindfulness can be of use to individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis.