Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To increase understanding of the internal processes of recovery in psychosis, with particular consideration given to self-compassion and self-criticism. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected by semistructured interviews, from 10 participants with psychosis, and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: Five superordinate themes emerged: (a) "my mind can't take the load": the "curse" of psychosis; (b) the "trap" of self-criticism; (c) "coming to terms" with psychosis in my life to "move on"; (d) "on my own two feet"; and (e) "an opportunity" for growth. The themes included a reciprocal relationship between psychosis and self-criticism, processes of acceptance, empowerment, and posttraumatic growth. CONCLUSIONS: The internal process of self-to-self relating contributed to 2 maintenance cycles: self-criticism maintained distressing experiences of psychosis and compassionate self-acceptance resulted in empowered action and promoted recovery and growth. The dual process of acceptance and change in relationship to self was central to recovery.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





1201 - 1217


acceptance, growth, interpretative phenomenological analysis, psychosis, qualitative, recovery, self-compassion, self-criticism, stigma, Adult, Empathy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Psychotic Disorders, Qualitative Research, Recovery of Function, Self Concept