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CBT for Psychosis – Peter Walker

Psychosis, the experience of hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing things others don't) and delusions (holding beliefs that those in your community consider false) can be a terrifying and isolating experience. For many years psychological interventions were thought to be at best ineffective and at worst reinforcing of psychotic symptoms, so it was unusual for individual's distressed by these experiences to seek psychological support. This has changed dramatically and there are a range of psychological approaches that have been demonstrated to be effective in managing distress associated with voices or paranoia. Peter Walker has worked with individual's suffering from psychosis for the last 14 years and he has been a key figure in the Australian CBT for Psychosis movement.

Peter was invited to write a lead article for the April 2013 edition of InPsych, the official magazine of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). The theme of this edition of the APS magazine was psychological approaches to psychosis. This was co-authored with Julia Shearsby, an experienced clinical psychologist who was at the forefront of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis movement in the early 2000's, and Associate Professor Zachary Steel, a clinician and academic known for his interest in the intersection of mental health and human rights issues.

It was difficult to reduce the diverse and expanding area of CBT for psychosis into a relative brief article, but we gave it our best shot.The article can be viewed here "Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis".

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