Disrupted Relationships: Connectedness and Psychosis in Emerging Adulthood

Zoe Boden1; 1London South Bank University

Strong relationships are a significant source of support for recovery and are essential for physical and emotional well-being, however, relationships can also be a source of distress and confusion, particularly in the context of emerging adulthood, which is a time of critical psychosocial development and flux. The relational context of mental health in general remains under-researched, and this is particularly true for young people with early psychosis. This presentation will report on a recent qualitative research project about the relational lives of young people (18-25 years) who have had an experience of early psychosis and are under the care of an Early Intervention Service in London, UK. An innovative ‘relational mapping’ interview method was used to explore the ‘experiential texture’ of the key relationships – including those with family, peers and professionals – in the young person’s life. Qualitative findings of this study will be shared, including participants’ concerns about independence/dependence, their ability to trust and be trustworthy, feelings of responsibility for others, and the desire to reciprocate care whilst taking care of oneself. These will be considered in the context of the young people’s developmental stage, where the process of individuation has often been disrupted by the psychosis and post-psychotic experiences. Recommendations to improve social interventions and support for the young people and their informal carers will be offered.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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