Background: Cognitive behavioural treatments are recommended for people with psychosis. Core beliefs regarding the self and others are a key part of the models underpinning cognitive behavioural therapy but detailed understanding of these putative beliefs in people with psychosis are limited. A greater understanding of these mechanisms is necessary to improve and refine treatments.
Aims: This study utilized a qualitative approach to explore core schematic beliefs in psychosis (strongly held positive and negative beliefs about the self and others) and their relation to hallucinations and delusions.
Method: Twenty individuals with psychosis participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyse the interviews.
Results: Four emergent themes were identified: (i) the solidity and permanency of core beliefs, (ii) the causes and development of core beliefs, (iii) a synergistic relationship between core beliefs and symptoms, and (iv) core beliefs associated with images and their influence on psychotic symptoms.
Conclusions: This study provides new insights into the range and character of core beliefs in psychosis and provides important data to guide ongoing and future development of treatment approaches for psychosis.