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Psychological Approaches to Psychosis


The Psychological Approaches to Psychosis research theme aims to: (1) increase our understanding of the psychological processes involved in psychotic experiences across the psychosis continuum; (2) develop our understanding of the interplay between risk and protective factors involved in the pathway to psychosis, including psychological, social and biological mechanisms; and (3) develop new psychological therapies, including digital therapeutics, to aid recovery.

We have a broad network of collaborations across the faculty, the university as well as close working relationships with South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Health Partners. We have pioneered research into innovative therapies, mental health workforce training, and service developments to ensure the implementation of research findings into frontline NHS mental health care. We champion lived experience involvement at all stages of our research, which is central to our strategy.

Our varied research strategies evolve to reflect lived experience priorities, societal concerns and healthcare policies, and technological innovations. Currently they consist of (1) investigating psychological mechanisms in a range of populations, such as people at high-risk of developing psychosis; adults and children in the general population with psychotic experiences or experimentally-induced anomalous experiences; and people exhibiting specific symptom profiles; (2) using tasks from the cognitive, neuropsychological and psychophysiological literature to isolate specific cognitive processes and identify causal mechanisms; (3) evaluation of therapies across the translational pathway, spanning proof-of-concept studies of novel interventions, multi-site randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to implementation; and (4) harnessing technology to improve our understanding of psychotic experiences, factors which cause and maintain such experiences, and improve therapy delivery and effects. We are committed to improving the representation of the populations we serve in our workforce, student body and research participants, and promote equitable access to education, research and psychological interventions.