Improving psychological adjustment following a first episode of psychosis: a randomised controlled trial of cognitive therapy to reduce post psychotic trauma symptoms

Behav Res Ther. 2009 Jun;47(6):454-62. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.02.009. Epub 2009 Feb 25.


There are few evaluated psychological interventions or theoretical approaches which are specifically aimed at reducing problems related to adjustment and adaptation following a first episode of psychosis. The present study tests the efficacy of a form of CBT (Cognitive Recovery Intervention; CRI) in reducing trauma, depression and low self esteem following a first episode of psychosis, in a single-blind randomised controlled trial. A total of 66 patients who had recently experienced a first episode of psychosis were randomly assigned to CRI or treatment as usual (TAU) and followed up at 6 and 12 months. People receiving CRI tended to have lower levels of post-intervention trauma symptoms and demonstrated greater improvement than those receiving TAU alone. This was especially the case at 6 months for those with high pre-treatment levels of trauma. There was, however, no advantage for the CRI group with regards to reduced depression or improved self esteem. In conclusion, CRI appears to be an effective intervention to help young people adapt to the traumatic aspects of a first episode of psychosis although further evaluation in a larger study is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy
  • Self Concept
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult