#OTalk Tuesday 15th March – Attitudes towards psychosis

This chat will be hosted by Clara Harvey-Hunt (@clarsyarveyunt) with Helen (@Helen_OTUK) and Sam Pywell (@smileyfacehalo) supporting from the @OTalk_ account.

As part of a reflective project within the final practice placement of my Occupational Therapy training, I have been exploring the attitude towards psychosis, held by professionals within a multidisciplinary community mental health team. To increase the relevancy and strength of the findings regarding my future practice, I wanted to create an #OTalk that explores understanding and aids in informing Occupational Therapy approaches of working with clients experiencing psychosis.

The word ‘psychosis,’ can have very different connotations to the individual. By definition, experiencing psychosis involves holding a differing perception and interpretation of reality than those around us (Mind, 2020). Broadly speaking, this definition could perhaps also be used when referring to members of opposing political parties or holding strong religious beliefs, yet these differences are seen to facilitate occupational identity (Bryceson, 2010), rather than present barriers to engagement resultant of the existence of stigma (Colizzi, Ruggeri & Lasalvia, 2020).

To formulate a plan that is truly person-centred and respecting of our profession’s code of practice (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2022), we must understand the client and their experiences. Understanding relies on both intellectual and empathetic knowledge bases (Gilbert & Stickley, 2012) and as we can observe through service user feedback and the successful implementation of ‘peer-support worker’ roles within NHS trusts, individuals presenting with psychosis often find it easier to share openly and form a trusting and therapeutic relationship with others who have comparable experiences (Makdisi et al., 2013). With this being said, and the long-standing medical approach towards treating psychosis within healthcare (Pitt, Kilbride, Nothard, Welford & Morrison, 2007), how can we best collaborate with service users to live and function with psychotic experiences, as opposed to relying on an altered state of mind?

The questions that I will request you to answer are as follows:

  1. What do you believe to be one of the biggest misconceptions regarding psychosis?
  2. When working with people experiencing psychosis, have you noticed a difference in barriers to occupation resulting from negative Vs positive symptoms?
  3. Did your university training prepare you for working with people experiencing psychosis?
  4. Do you have a preference of delivering either group or individual interventions to individuals experiencing psychosis?
  5. Do you think it is ever necessary or appropriate for a professional to share personal experiences of psychosis with a client?


Bryceson, D. (2010). Africa at Work: Transforming Occupational Identity and Morality. In D. Bryceson, How Africa Works: Occupational Change, Identity and Morality (pp. 3-26). London: Practical Action Publishing.
Colizzi, M., Ruggeri, M., & Lasalvia, A. (2020). Should we be concerned about stigma and discrimination in people at risk for psychosis? A systematic review. Psychological Medicine, 50(5), 705-726. doi: 10.1017/s0033291720000148
Gilbert, P., & Stickley, T. (2012). “Wounded Healers”: the role of lived‐experience in mental health education and practice. The Journal Of Mental Health Training, Education And Practice, 7(1), 33-41. doi: 10.1108/17556221211230570
Makdisi, L., Blank, A., Bryant, W., Andrews, C., Franco, L., & Parsonage, J. (2013). Facilitators and Barriers to Living with Psychosis: An Exploratory Collaborative Study of the Perspectives of Mental Health Service Users. British Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 76(9), 418-426. doi: 10.4276/030802213×13782044946346
Mind, 2020. About Psychosis. [online] Mind.org.uk. Available at: <https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-
problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/> [Accessed 6 March 2022].
Pitt, L., Kilbride, M., Nothard, S., Welford, M., & Morrison, A. (2007). Researching recovery from psychosis: a user-led project. Psychiatric Bulletin, 31(2), 55-60. doi: 10.1192/pb.bp.105.008532
Royal College of Occupational Therapists. (2022). Professional standards for occupational therapy practice, conduct and ethics [Ebook]. London: The Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Post Chat

Host:  Clara Harvey-Hunt (@clarsyarveyunt)

Support on OTalk Account: Helen (@Helen_OTUK) and Sam Pywell (@smileyfacehalo) supporting from the @OTalk_ account.

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.