'Schizophrenia’: a Crisis of Meaning

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/618245
Title:
'Schizophrenia’: a Crisis of Meaning
Authors:
Cotton, Tom
Other Titles:
A heuristic exploration of the psychotherapeutic experiences of those who have a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis
Abstract:
The empirical aim of this heuristic study was to explore the psychotherapeutic experiences of those with a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis. The epistemological aim was to deconstruct the structures of knowledge underpinning the diagnosis. The ‘personal knowledge’ drawn from the researcher’s own experience of working as a psychotherapist and filmmaker with individuals who had the diagnosis, and of being a psychiatric patient in the past, was used as a way of furthering these aims. Along with the work of Moustakas and Polanyi, key discourses used were Heidegger, Laing and contemporary critical clinical discourses. Eight participants with a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis took part in open-ended, conversational interviews that yielded substantial detail about the phenomenon. A multiperspective chronological narrative of early life experience, ‘schizophrenic’ breakdown, treatment and recovery emerged during the analysis of data, and is preserved in the composite depiction of the group experience. It was found that exploring the meaningfulness of experiences was a core driver of recovery, and psychotherapy was most helpful when it facilitated this exploration. By contrast, psychotherapy, and treatment as a whole, that obstructed this exploration were found unhelpful. These findings led to the argument that, what is termed ‘personal meaning’, may be a key factor in recovery from ‘schizophrenia’, and psychotherapy that was helpful seemed characterised by Heidegger’s concept of ‘anticipating care’. Treatment governed by ‘medical meaning’ and ‘intervening care’, meanwhile, are argued to prolong a crisis of ‘personal meaning’, and potentially facilitate an ‘acute’ phase of ‘schizophrenia’, rather than recovery. This conclusion raises critical questions about NICE guidelines for ‘schizophrenia’, which seem rooted in ‘medical meaning intervening care’. As well as facilitating an ‘understanding’ approach (in Heidegger’s sense) to researching experience, one key outcome arising from the researcher’s autobiographical connection to the research was learning more about his own experiences, and how to speak about them.
Advisors:
Loewenthal, Del; Cayne, Julia
Citation:
Cotton, T., & Loewenthal, D. (2015). Personal versus Medical Meanings in Breakdown, Treatment and Recovery from ‘Schizophrenia’. In Critical Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling (pp. 77-92). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Publisher:
Roehampton University
Issue Date:
2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/618245
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
PhD Theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.advisorLoewenthal, Delen
dc.contributor.advisorCayne, Juliaen
dc.contributor.authorCotton, Tomen
dc.date.accessioned2016-08-11T12:15:26Z-
dc.date.available2016-08-11T12:15:26Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationCotton, T., & Loewenthal, D. (2015). Personal versus Medical Meanings in Breakdown, Treatment and Recovery from ‘Schizophrenia’. In Critical Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling (pp. 77-92). Palgrave Macmillan UK.en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/618245-
dc.description.abstractThe empirical aim of this heuristic study was to explore the psychotherapeutic experiences of those with a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis. The epistemological aim was to deconstruct the structures of knowledge underpinning the diagnosis. The ‘personal knowledge’ drawn from the researcher’s own experience of working as a psychotherapist and filmmaker with individuals who had the diagnosis, and of being a psychiatric patient in the past, was used as a way of furthering these aims. Along with the work of Moustakas and Polanyi, key discourses used were Heidegger, Laing and contemporary critical clinical discourses. Eight participants with a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis took part in open-ended, conversational interviews that yielded substantial detail about the phenomenon. A multiperspective chronological narrative of early life experience, ‘schizophrenic’ breakdown, treatment and recovery emerged during the analysis of data, and is preserved in the composite depiction of the group experience. It was found that exploring the meaningfulness of experiences was a core driver of recovery, and psychotherapy was most helpful when it facilitated this exploration. By contrast, psychotherapy, and treatment as a whole, that obstructed this exploration were found unhelpful. These findings led to the argument that, what is termed ‘personal meaning’, may be a key factor in recovery from ‘schizophrenia’, and psychotherapy that was helpful seemed characterised by Heidegger’s concept of ‘anticipating care’. Treatment governed by ‘medical meaning’ and ‘intervening care’, meanwhile, are argued to prolong a crisis of ‘personal meaning’, and potentially facilitate an ‘acute’ phase of ‘schizophrenia’, rather than recovery. This conclusion raises critical questions about NICE guidelines for ‘schizophrenia’, which seem rooted in ‘medical meaning intervening care’. As well as facilitating an ‘understanding’ approach (in Heidegger’s sense) to researching experience, one key outcome arising from the researcher’s autobiographical connection to the research was learning more about his own experiences, and how to speak about them.en
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Anne Pietsch (a.pietsch@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2016-08-11T12:15:01Z No. of bitstreams: 1 Tom Cotton PsychD thesis - double sided print formatted.pdf: 10911685 bytes, checksum: 5325d9eebf79cd32e903214a80ff119f (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceApproved for entry into archive by Anne Pietsch (a.pietsch@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2016-08-11T12:15:24Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Tom Cotton PsychD thesis - double sided print formatted.pdf: 10911685 bytes, checksum: 5325d9eebf79cd32e903214a80ff119f (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2016-08-11T12:15:26Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Tom Cotton PsychD thesis - double sided print formatted.pdf: 10911685 bytes, checksum: 5325d9eebf79cd32e903214a80ff119f (MD5) Previous issue date: 2015en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherRoehampton Universityen
dc.subjectschizophreniaen
dc.subjectdiagnosisen
dc.subjecttraumaen
dc.subjectexperienceen
dc.subjectmeaningen
dc.subjectpsychotherapyen
dc.subjectrecoveryen
dc.title'Schizophrenia’: a Crisis of Meaningen
dc.title.alternativeA heuristic exploration of the psychotherapeutic experiences of those who have a ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosisen
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.publisher.departmentDepartment of Psychologyen
dc.rights.embargodate2017-02-26-
dc.type.qualificationnamePsychDen
dc.rights.embargoreasonEmargoed on request for pending publicationsen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
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