Lessons from the Psychedelic Community in Supporting People through Acute Psychosis: A Grounded Theory Study

Prof Doc Thesis

Shah, E. 2019. Lessons from the Psychedelic Community in Supporting People through Acute Psychosis: A Grounded Theory Study. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8756y
AuthorsShah, E.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Good relationships form a vital part of a person’s recovery from psychosis, yet within psychiatric setting there is a lack of quality relational care. A review of the literature indicates that there is limited evidence with which to understand the process of supporting a person in psychotic crises, as well as the knowledges and skills required by a caregiver. To learn more about how support is offered in non-medicalised contexts I investigated how caregivers support people having psychedelic crisis experiences, which can share similarities to supporting a person with psychosis.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight people experienced in supporting people during a psychedelic crisis across a range of contexts including harm-reduction, therapy, recreation, clinical trial, and group retreat.
Consistent with my epistemology, constructivist grounded theory methods were used to develop a framework with three core categories; ‘nature of the crisis’, ‘prepared to handle what comes our way’, and ‘holding people through the experience’. Following analysis of the interviews, the framework was supplemented with secondary data from two psychedelic harm-reduction manuals.
This study described the role of experiential avoidance in the development of a crisis and the approaches and strategies used by caregivers to enable a person to change their relationship to their experiences through acceptance. It highlighted the knowledge, attributes, and support needed by caregivers to Lessons from the psychedelic community in supporting people through acute psychosis: A grounded theory study provide this support. These findings are discussed in relation to the literature on psychedelic, and on psychosis. Implications and recommendations for research and practice are outlined.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8756y
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Publication dates
OnlineMay 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Dec 2019
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