First-episode psychosis typically emerges during late adolescence or young adulthood, interrupting achievement of crucial educational, occupational, and social milestones. Recovery-oriented approaches to treatment may be particularly applicable to this critical phase of the illness, but more research is needed on the life and treatment goals of individuals at this stage. Open-ended questions were used to elicit life and treatment goals from a sample of 100 people hospitalized for first-episode psychosis in an urban, public-sector setting in the southeastern United States. Employment, education, relationships, housing, health, and transportation were the most frequently stated life goals. When asked about treatment goals, participants' responses included wanting medication management, reducing troubling symptoms, a desire to simply be well, engaging in counseling, and attending to their physical health. In response to queries about specific services, most indicated a desire for both vocational and educational services, as well as assistance with symptoms and drug abuse. These findings are interpreted and discussed in light of emerging or recently advanced treatment paradigms-recovery and empowerment, shared decision-making, community and social reintegration, and phase-specific psychosocial treatment. Integration of these paradigms would likely promote recovery-oriented tailoring of early psychosocial interventions, such as supported employment and supported education, for first-episode psychosis.
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