Body-Oriented Psychotherapy for Persons with Schizophrenia: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Participants’ Experience. IAS Research Seminar by Laura Galbusera.

Centro Carlos Santamaría, Room B14. 11:15-13:00, 3rd Jun 2014.

Laura Galbusera M. Sc. (Psych.)
TESIS Marie Curie Fellow, Clinic for General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg

According to different models, schizophrenia is a disorder that disrupts the Self, even at the implicit and bodily level of basic self-awareness. Consistently, specific body-oriented psychotherapy interventions for schizophrenia have been developed to access firstly the implicit and bodily level of experience. The aim of this study is to explore participants’ experience of body-oriented psychotherapy in order to understand the helpful factors in the process of therapeutic change. After a 10 weeks program of body-oriented group psychotherapy (Roericht et al., 2000) 6 adults with schizophrenia participated to a semi-structured interview (Change Interview; Elliott, 2001) exploring their experience of change and helpful/hindering aspects of therapy. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al., 2009). The preliminary results showed six super-ordinate themes related to therapeutic change: 1) Being a whole: body-mind connection 2) Being unique and worthy: feeling accepted for who one is 3) Being part of a group: feeling of social belonging 4) Being agentic, being able 5) Hoping and investing in the future. These core themes share the underlying idea of a recovery of a sense of Self at different levels. The relevance of these results and their implications for treatment approaches to schizophrenia will be addressed.