Background: The evidence base for the use of psychological therapies in the treatment of psychosis is growing, however engagement can be difficult and outcomes are variable. Beliefs, attitudes and expectations may have an important influence on whether individuals engage with therapy and on clinical outcomes, however, these beliefs have not been adequately explored.
Aims: To examine what young people in Early Intervention Services (EIS) think about psychological therapies for psychosis.
Method: Thirty participants were recruited from EIS across five NHS trusts to examine young people’s beliefs about psychological therapy.
Results: Four distinct factors, or sets of beliefs, about therapy emerged: (1) Therapy is helpful and gives hope for the future; (2) Therapy is just talking, people need medication; (3) Therapy is useful but stigmatising; (4) Therapy is better than medication. Positive views towards different aspects of therapy were present in all four accounts. Other important issues were raised, including concerns about stigma and opposing beliefs about medication.
Conclusions: These four factors provide useful insights into young people’s beliefs about psychological therapy. Individuals’ beliefs and expectations should be recognised and explored in order to promote greater engagement in and better outcomes from therapy.