Understanding women's experiences of psychotic phenomena

PhD Thesis

Papada, P. 2013. Understanding women's experiences of psychotic phenomena. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsPapada, P.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Psychotic phenomena such as delusions have recently been understood as meaningful within the context of a person’s life while recent models of psychosis implicate psychosocial influences in its aetiology. Research on women with such experiences has been limited despite recognition of their specific needs and vulnerabilities due to the nature of their lives. This study aimed to examine the processes influencing women’s understandings of their delusional beliefs in the context of their lives. It used a social constructionist version of grounded theory to conceptualize the process of women’s understandings. Ten women who had experienced delusions were interviewed. Grounded theory analysis revealed four main processes: women’s acquisition of knowledge about themselves; significant life experiences; how women experience their delusions; and the process of emerging from the delusional world. According to the constructed theory, the core process of understanding is conceptualized as residing in the space between private experience and the social world. It is mediated by the relationship women have to knowledge about the self, which in turn is mediated by the responses of others. Delusions are understood as responses to life experiences and are therefore meaningful containers of truth. Implications for clinical practice, limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed

Publication process dates
Deposited16 Dec 2013
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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