Unmasking the Harms of Psychological Interventions for Individuals with Psychosis


Dismantling “Lack of Insight” and Treatment Decision-Making

In an article published in the most recent issue of Behavior Therapist as part of its section on harms in Cognitive Behavioral therapies, Emily B. H. Treichler and Nev Jones critically explore the hardships endured by those with psychosis within psychological interventions.

The Twin Forces behind Disempowerment and Discrimination

This compelling paper is entitled “Harm in Psychological Interventions for People with Psychosis: The Twin Arms of Disempowerment and Discrimination” – it invites reflection on long held convictions regarding dealing with psychosis among psychologists.

According to the authors, there are numerous treatment-related harms faced by people experiencing psychosis since governments policies as well as psychiatry interventions had sparked that harm.

However, they also bring attention to the potential dangers within the field of psychology and psychotherapy itself.

In their commentary, Treichler and Jones call on the psychology community to acknowledge both past and contemporary harms, urging a collective effort to end practices that further marginalize and disempower clients with psychosis.

They advocate for a commitment to collaboration, equity, and the adoption of progressive practices within the field.

What Lies Behind

Throughout their paper, authors identify stigma and discrimination against individuals with psychosis as widespread phenomena underlying all forms of harm they describe.

Notably they draw attention to deeply entrenched beliefs among psychologists that people who suffer from psychosis have no insight into their condition or wellness decision-making power.

Empowering Practices through Challenging Stereotypes

In this regard, Treichler’s & Jones core message highlights deep-rooted discrimination which psychologists must confront not only professionally but also personally.

While doing so they argue that moving towards empowering and healing strategies will be feasible only after the field has come to terms with and taken steps to challenge the prejudices.

The Complicated Web of Harms

The authors examine the various aspects of harms experienced by individuals with psychosis: how governmental policy as well as psychiatric interventions render them vulnerable.

Thus, they hope that by bringing into light the potential dangers within psychological practices they can ignite thoughts and motivate action among psychologists.

Stigma and Discrimination: A Pervasive Menace

The pervasive aspects of stigma and discrimination against people with psychosis occupy a central place in their argument.

They showcase different ways these deep-rooted prejudices manifest themselves perpetuating harm instead of promoting healing and empowerment.

A Call for Collective Responsibility

Treichler’s & Jones’s call for collective responsibility amongst psychologists is strong. Psychologists are being urged not to just acknowledge the harms but also engage in practices that discourage marginalization and disempowerment of those suffering from psychosis.

Collaboration, Equity, and Progressive Practices

The importance of fostering collaboration, equity, and progressive practices in psychology is emphasized by the authors.

They argue for a change in paradigm that would require psychologists to confront their biases so as to create an all-inclusive environment where persons experiencing psychosis would feel empowered.

Reconsidering “Lack of Insight” And Treatment Decision-Making

In an important way, the argument of Treichler and Jones revolves around uprooting the fixed idea of clients having ‘no insight’ and their perceived inability to have informed treatment choices.

Psychologists can facilitate this through addressing such prejudices head-on, argue the authors.

A Picture for Tomorrow

Ultimately, in a future world envisioned by Treichler and Jones, psychology can play a significant part in eradicating harmful practices and building a more inclusive, empowering or healing environment for people with psychosis.

This call for action is seen as an alarm bell in the field which requires transformative change towards collaborative process that is guided with fairness and sophisticated methods.

The publication of this thought-provoking article by Treichler and Jones has engendered a crucial debate within the psychology community.

It questions therapists’ roles, prejudices as well as duties they have towards patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in seeking for fairness and compassion.

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  • Unmasking the Harms of Psychological Interventions for Individuals with Psychosis